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Gill cooke

Head of Planning & Delivery, Online & Digital, Three UK

 

And - Founder, STEMConnext

If you apply [yourselves, you] can 'be' and 'do' anything [you] want.

What do you do?

I am accountable for the full delivery of the Online and Digital Roadmap which includes: Three.co.uk, Three.store.co.uk and Three App. I am also responsible for all planning and governance for the team. I am responsible for the capital and operation expenditure budget for the team which consists of 11 scrum teams. I am a champion of agile ways of working and manage the team of scrum masters. 

 

On top of my day job, I also lead Women in Tech at Three, which seeks to encourage gender diversity. We believe that a genuinely diverse talent base is good for business, good for technology and good for both men and women. Our goal is to support that belief with practical and effective action. We want to find and retain women in technology roles, to show how diversity benefits everyone, plus remove barriers and change thinking. 

 

I’ve also just set up STEMConnext: STEMConnext’s events will bring you a panel of guest speakers, who are paving the way for diversity and inclusion within the industry, audience Q&A session and a chance to network. Our aim is to provide practical advice on effective ways to navigate your career to the opportunity to learn from the experiences of successful men and women in the industry, you will hopefully come away with valuable and actionable ideas and guidance. ​​

Why did you choose this field?

I actually fell into working for a STEM company. I studied Modern History at university and began my career as a reporter and then in television production. When I was made redundant, I looked for a job locally and had some experience of websites and my production management skills were very transferrable to project management.

 

Over the 9 years I’ve been at Three I’ve progressed to Lead Project Manager, Programme Manager and then Head of Planning and Delivery. Eight of my nine years have been part-time and I know work full-time but flexible hours so I think I am a good success story for advancing my career while flexible working (outcome over hours in office). 

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

"You can be anything and do anything."

When I speak in primary and secondary schools about STEM and working in STEM, I always tell them that you can be anything and do anything you like if you have the capability and the ambition. I wish I’d been told this when I was younger as I was always much more aware of my faults and more what I couldn’t be rather than what I could be.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I am so passionate about diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace and my ambition to even make a tiny difference is enough to make my jump out of bed.

 

I’m also very enthusiastic about my new challenge: STEMConnext, organising networking events for women in tech but in the suburbs, as well as promoting STEM for the future generations. It’s really hard work but it drives me to make the world a better place to work in the future and I love networking and connecting with like-minded women and men. 

Best advice for the next generation

STE(A)M pretty much covers everything in my opinion – you can have a tech job in a creative industry or a creative job in a tech industry but tech is the future and I believe the nearly every job in the future will have an element of technology to it.

 The future is STEM.

Role model 

My current role model is Jess Wade, I saw her speak recently and was bowled over by her infectious enthusiasm and energy. She’s awesome!