TechUPMentor: An Interview with Neelam Kaul
Please tell us a little about yourself and why you chose to mentor for the TechUPWomen project.
I am CEO of Stressed In the City, working as a Global Executive Coach and Trainer. Based in London, my background is in financial services, having had roles at PwC, Deloitte and UBS. I use my experience in the city to now coach professionals and work with corporate organisations to talent manage.
I am a STEM ambassador for STEM LEARNING UK – University of York. I look to inspire and encourage young girls and women to enter the STEM industries. I also support women in STEM who are already in middle management to develop the confidence and self-belief to reach more senior positions.
My interest in the STEM industry and experience of working with ambitious women led me to approach TechUPWomen as a mentor. I was very excited to be working with the first cohort on this project. TechUPWomen is very innovative, providing opportunities for women to further their skills for a tech career and redressing the imbalance of the tech workforce. The project further reinforces the notion that the participation in and contribution of women to STEM initiatives is fundamental both in the present and the future of these previously male-dominated industries.
How have you found the mentoring experience so far?
Mentoring provides a whole host of benefits both to the mentee as well as the mentor. The experience with TechUPWomen has been very insightful and rewarding. The mentoring programme itself was particularly apt at matching the background and experience of the mentor and mentee, which ensured the success of the relationship. Seeing the sense of community and connection from such a wonderful, diverse group of women was awe-inspiring!
How do you feel projects such as TechUPWomen can have an impact on the gender imbalance in STEM subjects?
Projects such as TechUPWomen are rewriting the narrative in this space. They actively promote awareness of the vast opportunities that exist in the STEM industries for women and establish the necessary framework to help persuade, encourage and inspire women to join these projects, and ultimately pursue careers in STEM industries.
It was incredible to see how the project has inspired self-belief and confidence in these women, which has tangible benefits above and beyond their career but on a personal level, too.
Are you working on any other projects for women at the moment? Can you tell us a little about that?
I work with the Allbright Private Members Club in Mayfair supporting the academy and members to enhance their professional and personal wellbeing.
Also, I partake regularly in panel discussions and industry events. I was recently part of a panel discussion at the Her Innovation Collective by Warwick University.
During International Women’s Week, I also ran a workshop for the Women in Investing Summit in London on flexible working. I run online webinars for women in tech.
What would you say to any older women contemplating pursuing a career in a STEM subject who feel discouraged by the lack of women in STEM disciplines?
I come across many women like myself who have successfully changed career direction, so it is never too late to consider something new, especially in areas such as STEM where diversity is being so actively encouraged.
By pursuing a career in STEM, you would be benefiting not only yourself, but also other women contemplating STEM careers. You’ll be helping to create more role models for other inspiring women who want a career in STEM. The effects would be felt for many generations to come.