Tech Expert News

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An Interview with Estelle Lloyd, Founder and COO at Azoomee

Estelle Lloyd 200 x 200.jpg "I think it's important to get more women into studies that ultimately lead to careers in technology which is much more than just programming."

Tell me about Azoomee, what do they do?
Azoomee is a kids' entertainment and learning app for primary school-aged children that gives access to the best videos, games, tutorials, learning and creative tools in a single safe place. It delivers tailored, age-appropriate material that changes and develops as the child grows. The company works with the best partners and engineers to create an environment that is ad-free and safe from the threats of the wider internet. The NSPCC is the company's Founding Partner.

How would you describe your role to someone who does not work in the technology industry?
I head up the creative side of the business so I work with the marketing and design team to come up with the ideas that fuel our app.

Have you always worked in tech? If not, where were you before? Please briefly describe your career path.
Ten years in investment banking followed by ten years as an entrepreneur.

What were the top three factors that contributed you to working in technology?
Wanting to create a digital product, wanting a fresh challenge and wanting to keep my children safe.

What was your favourite subject at school and what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mathematics and I wanted to be a professional dancer!

What were your top three chosen subjects at GCSE, not including the compulsory Maths, English and Science?
Physics, Chemistry, and Philosophy.

If you went onto Higher Education, what did you study?
Management.

What was your first job out of education?
Analyst - Investment Banking.

What do you think the perception of the technology industry is to people outside of the industry? Do you think it's accurate? If not, what would you do to change this?
Some people who work in tech think that people outside the industry know absolutely nothing about technology. That's often not true. Most people who are in their 20s and 30s have good basis knowledge of technology. Nobody is completely technology illiterate in today's world.
What do you think businesses can do to help with the gender imbalance in tech?
Obviously not discriminating on gender but hiring people on talent. However, the problem lies more with there simply not being as many women applying for tech jobs as there are men. I think it's important to get more women into studies that ultimately lead to careers in technology which is much more than just programming.

Does Azoomee have any formal initiatives in place to encourage more Women into Technology?
We're a start-up so we don't have formal initiatives but we are definitely seeking to hire as many women as men.

What do you think keeps people happy and productive at work?
Listening generously, speaking straight, and being there for each other, honouring commitments, acknowledgment and appreciation.

What are your favourite things about working in the tech industry?
The creative pace of it. The ability to create a product from scratch in a relatively short timeframe.

What one thing would you say to every 11-13 year old in the country to encourage them to consider technology as a career choice?
Nothing they already all want to work in tech!

Interview conducted in 2016 for our Women in Technology Survey, 2016 campaign.