Reskilling to Build Diverse Tech Teams
We have various skills shortages in the tech industry. There are always jobs going with no one to fill them. At the same time, there are so many people wanting to work in tech but don't know how to make that happen. We now also know that diversity is a strength and that if we want to build products and services that are fit for purpose we need diverse teams building our software. Re-skilling existing employees at the speed of business is paramount for companies to stay competitive, but that's not enough, we also need to bring new tech-skilled employees into the workforce. Our panel for this session have created, run, and taken part in successful programs specifically focused on retraining people into technology careers and creating pathways into tech from other areas with great success. We discuss how to reskill, build diverse teams, and solve industry skills shortages from our multiple experiences to meet the challenge of rapidly changing technologies.
Sue Black Bio
An award-winning Computer Scientist, Technology Evangelist, and Digital Skills Expert, Professor Sue Black was awarded an OBE for “services to technology.” She is Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist in the Department of Computer Science at Durham University, a UK government advisor, thought leader, Trustee at Comic Relief, social entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker. Sue set up BCSWomen, the UK’s first online network for women in tech, and led the campaign to save Bletchley Park, home of the WW2 codebreakers. Sue’s first book, Saving Bletchley Park, details the social media campaign she led to save Bletchley Park. She founded the #techmums social enterprise and the pioneering TechUPWomen retraining underserved women into tech careers. Sue didn’t have a traditional start to her career. She left home and school at 16, married at 20, and had 3 children by the age of 23. A single parent at 25, she gained a degree in computing then a PhD in software engineering.
Elizabeth Hawthorne Bio
Elizabeth (Beth) Hawthorne co-chairs the ACM Education Board and is an ACM Distinguished Educator. She’s the founding and current Graduate Program Director of Cybersecurity at Rider University in New Jersey. Beth is a longtime ACM volunteer and leader in the CS education community, including the special interest group and conference SIGCSE, the ACM-W(women) Council, and was a longtime member and past chair of the ACM CCECC (Committee for Computing Education in Community Colleges). She was a member and key organizer of the ACM/IEEE-CS/AIS Joint Task Force for Cybersecurity Curricular Guidance (the first major undergrad curricular recommendations in cybersecurity). She taught CS and cybersecurity at community colleges for more than two decades and has served as either the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on numerous National Science Foundation grants involving STEM education in community colleges. Beth is the recipient of the 2023 Women in Cybersecurity Advocacy Award.
Marlene Mhangami is a software engineer and developer advocate at Voltron Data, where she works on sharing and improving software infrastructure for big data. She’s an advocate for using science and technology for social good. Earlier in her career, she served as the Director and Vice Chair of the Python Software Foundation (PSF), where she helped organize PyCon Africa, the first regional/Pan-African gathering of the Python community. Marlene was recently named Vice Chair of the ACM Practitioner Board, which is responsible for developing programs that support the professional needs of ACM members as well as promoting computing as a profession. She’s based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Srikantan Moorthy Bio
Srikantan (Tan) Moorthy, has more than three decades of global experience in the IT industry. He is currently an advisory board member and strategy consultant in the areas of Workforce Transformation and Sustainable Development. Recently retired from Infosys as an Executive VP, he has served in roles including Global Head of Education, Chairman of the Board for Infosys Public Services, and Trustee on the Board of Infosys Foundation USA. He has represented Infosys in professional bodies including IFEES (International Federation of Engineering Education Societies) and the Education Council of NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services in India). He is a founding director of the International Professional Practice Partnership Global Industry Council (IP3-GIC). Tan led the UN workgroup for defining industry specific metrics for corporates to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He is passionate about workforce transformation, reskilling, and advancing SDGs.
Brad Voeller Bio
Brad Voeller is the Founder of New Apprenticeship, where he partners with leading employers to develop highly skilled, diverse, early-career tech talent via an integrated apprenticeship program. This degree apprenticeship model became the first of its kind for digital jobs, supporting marketing, data, developer, IT, and cyber roles. Ultimately, Brad’s vision is to transform the lives of 100,000 apprentices and fundamentally change the way tech talent is developed over the next decade. His personal learning journey was a blend of apprenticeships, international service, and hacking the college degree. Brad authored a groundbreaking handbook for students, founded Global Learning Strategies, and co-founded Lumerit, pioneering online learning pathways, courseware, and coaching systems. He lives in Garden Ridge, Texas.