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Meet the women making Boohoo tech team great.
22 July 2021

One of our aims at Manchester Digital is to help end inequality and increase diversity in the technology and digital sector. Digital Her exists to address these issues, by inspiring and encouraging more women across Greater Manchester to consider careers in technology and digital. The boohoo Group is all about fashion and attracting incredibly talented people from across the UK. Their people reflect the diversity of their customers, and see the importance of recruiting people from different backgrounds and with different points of view to ultimately make for a stronger business that is able to deliver outstanding growth. We wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the exceptional female talent working at boohoo, so caught up with four members of their digital and tech team.    

Jo Graham - CIO / CISO

How did you get into your current role?

I was headhunted by an agency to apply for the role having previously done a number of IT Director roles.

What do you love about working in digital and tech?

I love that we can enable and support the business in their ambition and are very much seen as partners. I truly believe Tech is an enabler.

What's been your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far?

I think our proven track record now in acquisition activity and bringing new brands into the group quickly and successfully.

What do you love about working for boohoo and how have they supported your career in digital and tech so far?

boohoo is the most collaborative and supportive business I have ever worked in, with a big family vibe. We literally achieve the impossible on a regular basis because our collective effort and drive is phenomenal. I’m proud to be part of such a high performing team.  

Kelly Conroy - Test Environment Manager

How did you get into your current role?

I started in IT as an IT Project Manager with responsibility for managing the testing of upgrades to the system I was rolling out. I enjoyed the software testing element of my role which then led me to become an Information Systems Manager/Test Analyst. I spent a lot of time as a Test Analyst dealing with test environment and data issues which allowed me to build on my technical knowledge and enabled me to become successful in obtaining the Test Environment Manager role at boohoo.

What do you love about working in digital and tech?

I love how digital and tech is forever changing.  I have never been bored working in this field as there is always something new to learn. It could be completely new technology or new processes and better ways of doing things and there are always improvements being made. As I’ve always been interested in IT and technology it really doesn’t feel like a job to me, I also get to work with a lot of amazing and talented people who have a passion for the field and are leading the way in digital and tech advancements.

What's been your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far?

In previous roles I have implemented IT solutions that have had a profound effect on people’s lives and even saved lives in some instances. I worked in IT at an NHS Trust for a number of years and rolled out a system that assisted with digital blood test and radiology image tracking which decreased the amount of time it took to return patient results and give medical staff the ability to see full patient details on one system. This was extremely successful and is still being used today. In recent years I successfully built an integrated end to end test environment for a large organisation that had no integrated testing environments. This was causing massive issues for releases that were going live without any integration testing and on many occasions was bringing systems down for end users. It was a difficult piece of work as many of the technologies being utilised on the live systems were extremely out of date and in some instances the prod tech was unsupported. Once the environment was built and utilised for testing it hugely decreased the amount of production issues during/following go live which ultimately had a positive impact on end users.

What do you love about working for boohoo and how have they supported your career in digital and tech so far?

I love how fast paced boohoo is. In all my years in IT, I’ve never worked for any organisation that can deliver IT solutions as fast as the IT Team at boohoo can! This is ultimately down to how great the Team is and how helpful everyone is. Members of the team will go out of their way to help and assist each other and there is a great ‘can-do’ attitude. The whole team are extremely passionate about boohoo as an organisation and want the business to be as successful as possible. This is something I have never experienced in other organisations. Since working at boohoo I have gained immense knowledge into Cloud infrastructure, AWS and Automation. As this is a new role at boohoo and a fairly new role throughout the whole IT industry (Test Environment Manager Roles are now increasing in organisations), I have been given the opportunity to shape the service and lead the way in how our environments are managed at boohoo. This has allowed me to look at implementing new technologies and automation strategies and given me the opportunity to trailblaze in environment management.

Nikki Shaw - Change & Release

How did you get into your current role?

I was working my redundancy notice due to the pandemic, when I spotted the role at boohoo. I applied and got the role literally 2 weeks after I became redundant.

What do you love about working in digital and tech?

I love the ever-changing world of tech, we never stay the same, we are always looking to improve and use the latest technologies. Change is good.

What's been your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far?

Taking a basic change management system and completely revamping the process and updating the tool to make the process and change raising as easy as possible.

What do you love about working for boohoo and how have they supported your career in digital and tech so far?

I have been at boohoo for a year and it has been amazing. I have the freedom and trust to design, create and introduce new ideas and the freedom to code and update the tool to match the process and improve the usability of change for the users.  

Abbie Turner - Android Developer

How did you get into your current role?

Having always loved IT based projects through school/college, I decided to go to university and pick up a degree in something technology based. Software Engineering was the field I chose which gave me a broad idea of different languages and career paths. Mobile development was the subject I enjoyed the most and continued to progress learning the skills to be a mobile developer outside of studies. A couple development jobs later and I find myself luckily here at boohoo group being able to combine my love for fashion and its industry with my job role in technology.

What do you love about working in digital and tech?

It’s always fast pasted and changing, there are always new features and technologies around the corner. It keeps the job fun and interesting. Tech covers such a large ground that there are always new skills to learn or ways to enhance a topic using tech.

What's been your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far?

My biggest achievement so far would be graduating with a first-class honours in Software Engineering having had no prior programming knowledge when I started.

What do you love about working for boohoo and how have they supported your career in digital and tech so far?

The people at boohoo are all super supportive in what you do even if they don’t work in your team or department, everyone is always willing to help out. As soon as I started my role here I was asked what training I would like or any courses I would like to do, they were already wanting to help, not many companies out there proactively do this. My day to day role as a mobile developer finds me working on different brands so it keeps the job exciting and offers me a chance to work on a vast number of features. To find out more about careers at boohoo Group, click here.