WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star Awards are now in their fourth year.
The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 100 role models across 20 different industries and professions.
Over the year’s, the awards have recognised 400 women across the UK and India.
In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a Rising Star award.
We spoke with Nadia Johnson, who won a 2018 Rising Star Award in Defence.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a 22 year old software engineer for Maritime Mission Systems Thales UK working on SONAR processing. As part of my role I study for my degree alongside my job. My role doesn’t only revolve around constant programming, but requires a key understanding of the systems we work on. Sonar is critical in mine warfare and I take great pride in being a part of this challenging, but rewarding, work.
How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a Rising Star award?
I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out that I was one of the winners of the Rising Star award. It’s incredibly humbling to be acknowledged for the hard work you put in especially alongside some amazing women with fantastic stories and experiences.
Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the Rising Star awards?
Since winning the award I have been featured at both internal and external communications at both Thales and the University I attend. I have also been nominated and started on Thales’ Front Line Leader Program, which I have been informed that I am the youngest person they have had on the course to date- which I am incredibly proud of. I hope to use both the training from this program and the exposure from the award to further myself as a future engineering/tech leader. I want to encourage others to share this excitement and influence the next cohort of engineers and technologists to consider this type of career choice- as it has endless opportunities. I am a strong believer that a good leader is one that is comfortable in supporting others to become leaders also and a key quality, along with trust, for a successful and effective leader. I hope to combine all of these and promote this as my personal brand going forward in my career.
I am using this award to encourage the next cohort of engineers and technologists, combining this with my new STEM campaign to influence and educate prospective engineering and technology students. I hope to identify the importance of technology, as it is vital for human advancement, and motivate others to share the same excitement I get in my role. I think the award will be a great tool to demonstrate how a little bit of hard work can really pay off, and you do in fact get recognised and rewarded for it.
What advice would you give to someone else going through our award’s process?
One piece of advice I would give, and one I think is very important is, make use of the amazing network of women that you meet as part of the process. You may find a mentor, a mentee, a collaborator, a role model or even just a friend but all just s equally important to help you develop in your career. There are so any people with amazing and inspiring stories who may be struggling or have struggled with an issue you’re encountering and can give you advice and guidance. Being part of a network that encourages you to make the best of yourself is important, but remembers to apply that to your outlook. Be supportive.
What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers?
As I mentioned in a previous question, I believe that a good leader is one that is comfortable in supporting others to become leaders to and a key quality, along with trust, for a successful and effective leader. So my tip would be to be an enabler. Encourage others to be high achievers, provide advice and insight on how to be this and promote good communication and trust.