Advanced Software (return to the homepage)

Celebrating Women in Engineering

19/06/2024 minute read OneAdvanced PR

Whilst the field of engineering is still male-dominated, women have made a remarkable contribution that has shaped and continues to influence the tech sector. Notable examples include Ada Lovelace, who is considered the mother of computing, Grace Hopper, known as the first lady of software, and Hedy Lamarr, whose pioneering work laid the foundation for modern Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS communication systems.  

As we celebrate the ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ today, we are proud to introduce a team of female engineers at OneAdvanced who continue to lead, innovate, and inspire across various departments. Whilst we celebrate their achievements today, it's important to recognise that honouring women in engineering should be an ongoing effort, not just limited to a single day.

Let’s meet them! 

The Women Engineers Powering the World of Work at OneAdvanced

Helen Frost-Symmonds, Vice President of Platform

Helen’s passion for engineering was fuelled by an insatiable curiosity about how things work and the creative use of logic. In a male-dominated class at Durham University, Helen stood out as one of the few women to earn her engineering degree. She joined OneAdvanced four years ago and since then, Helen has been leveraging her expertise to develop innovative solutions with a focus on meeting customers’ needs and contributing to the company’s success.

Challenges: When Helen started her degree, the path for engineering was far from welcoming for women. In her cohort, only a few women enrolled, and even fewer graduated. Over her 20 years in the engineering sector, Helen witnessed most opportunities going to her male counterparts, prompting her to switch industries multiple times in the search of workplaces that recognised her contribution.

Success story: Today, at OneAdvanced, Helen found her place in the company that champions diversity and inclusion and gave her the recognition she deserves. She actively supports other women in overcoming professional hurdles, sharing her experiences, and advocating for their growth.

Her advice to future women engineers: “There is no need to conform to a stereotype and you can do whatever you want to do. Be bold, be open, be vulnerable. And keep learning”.

Jay Patel, Director of Platform Engineering, DevOps

Jay Patel discovered a passion for engineering in her childhood during the early 90s. When her father brought home a Windows PC, Jay successfully set up her PC by connecting it with dial-up internet. This defining moment propelled her toward a career in tech and engineering. Driven by a dedication to mastering hardware and software integration, her journey has led her to become the accomplished professional she is today.

Challenges: Reflecting on her degree programme in computer science, Jay recalls she was one of only three women in her course, which underscores the gender disparity present from the beginning.

Success story: Today, Jay is profoundly grateful for OneAdvanced’s commitment to bias-free hiring and the creation of support groups like Women's Network groups. Her role as Director of Platform Engineering has allowed her to advocate passionately for increased female representation in leadership positions, both in the UK and India. Jay recognises the importance of continuing these efforts to ensure inclusive hiring practices, promoting diversity within all engineering teams, and providing equal opportunities irrespective of gender.

Morven Graham, Senior UX Designer

Morven Graham, our experienced UX designer whose journey into the realm of UX design is a blend of engineering and design. Her passion for physics and love for art and design led her to pursue her degree in product design engineering, which is a branch of Mechanical Engineering. Morven’s career took a pivotal turn during her graduate program at NatWest, where she was introduced to UX design. Inspired by the work of her peers and the particularly talented women excelling in the industry, she transitioned fully into UX design.

Challenges: Morven emphasised that her primary challenges stemmed from the sheer workload and intensity of her tasks, rather than any gender-based adversity. Her main hurdles were related to the volume and complexity of her responsibilities.

Success story: Today, at OneAdvanced, Morven is in a significant role of Senior UX Designer, working on the expansive 'Cloud Education' project, integrating various apprenticeship solutions into a cohesive platform. Her story underscores the importance of flexibility, continuous learning, and the impactful blend of technical expertise with creative design.

Her advice to upcoming female engineers: “In my role it’s essential to communicate effectively with people, and to understand their needs and wants. It's about having the soft skills to work well in a team, manage expectations, and collaborate efficiently.” 

Aminah Omar, UX Designer

Aminah Omar, whose unconventional path to a career in UX design sparked during the reflective period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially on track to pursue a degree in pharmacy, Aminah decided to take a bold leap into the world of UX design.

Challenges: Transitioning a career path from pharmacy to UX design was not an easy feat for Aminah. Leaving behind a stable opportunity at university, Aminah was unsure about whether she would encounter success and stability in the unfamiliar world of UX design. However, Aminah remained determined. She upgraded her skills and built a successful career for herself in the field of UX design.

Success Story: After enhancing her skills and gaining freelance experience, Aminah secured a permanent role at OneAdvanced just a year ago. This opportunity has accelerated her learning and growth in the UX design field. Today, she significantly contributes to projects such as the practice and case management system in the legal sector at OneAdvanced.

Her advice for future women in engineering: “Never doubt your place. Focus on the unique value your background and experiences bring. Instead of fitting in, ask: What value can I add through my differences?” 

Hannah Kirkup, Principal Service Designer, Platform Engineering

Next, we have Hannah Kirkup. Starting in diverse roles like audit, process improvement, and business analysis, Hannah developed a keen interest in enhancing internal processes. Her approach to service design marked a significant shift—embracing an outside-in perspective to improve experiences not only for those within the business but also for the broader community that interacts with the brand.

Challenges: Hannah often felt her qualifications and logic were doubted because she hadn't followed a traditional educational path or accumulated the same experience as her male counterparts.

Staying updated with industry trends, returning to work after maternity leave was not an easy path for her. However, her hard work and determination paid off. With the unwavering support of her team at OneAdvanced, Hannah successfully balances her roles as both a professional and a mother.

Success story: Today, Hannah immersed herself in the working world, continuously pushing for improvements and leveraging data to back up her decisions. At OneAdvanced, Hannah's role involves examining the end-to-end journey of services, seamlessly integrating processes to create a harmonious experience across digital and offline channels.

Her advice to future female engineers is “Believe in your brilliance, especially as a woman in engineering. Impostor syndrome can be tough in a male-dominated environment, but trust in your abilities.”

Soumya Prakash, Senior Software Engineer

Hailing from Bangalore, India, Soumya Prakash's journey to becoming a Senior Software Engineer is one driven by inspiration and a deep sense of purpose. From an early age, Soumya was motivated by her father's dream to see his daughter excel in a field often uncharted by women in her family and village. At university, she pursued computer science, becoming the first woman engineer from her village – testament to her determination and her father's unwavering support.

Challenges: Soumya explained that her primary challenge stemmed from her status as a newcomer to the tech industry. She commented, “As a woman I had to work harder than my male counterparts to constantly prove that I could solve intricate problems that arose.”

Success story: Soumya’s determination and unwavering support of her team played a crucial role in overcoming these doubts. Today, as a Senior Software Engineer, Soumya continues to inspire and lead by example, breaking barriers and setting new benchmarks in her profession.

Her advice to future women in engineering: "As an engineer, it's crucial to understand the current system, identify potential problems, and ensure new requirements are implemented without breaking old functionalities." 

Komal Parikh, Director of Program Management, Technical

Last but not the least, meet Komal Parikh from Baroda, India, whose unique journey into the engineering world was ignited by her inquisitive nature, always questioning the norms, and seeking scientific rationale behind every-day phenomena. At OneAdvanced, Komal started as a Senior QA. But quickly proving her capability, Komal transitioned into project leadership within months.

Challenges: One of the main challenges Komal faced was the need for exceptional resilience. Komal remarked, “As a female engineer, I had to work harder to prove my competence and establish credibility among my peers.”

Success Story: Komal has constantly demonstrated considerable perseverance and competence. Her rise from a senior QA position to becoming the first female director in the company in Baroda location is a testament to her determination and skill. Today, at OneAdvanced, Komal oversees the suite of products within the Services Engineering portfolio, ensuring strategic prioritisation, efficient backlog management, and seamless execution, while her team handles the technical intricate details required for successful delivery.

Her advice to upcoming women in engineering: “Don't let anything stop you from what you can be and what you want to be. There will always be challenges that you will have to face. It is just, take it one day at a time. Face that challenge, work through, take support, and move on.”

OneAdvanced’s support to women in engineering

At OneAdvanced, we strongly emphasise promoting gender balance and encouraging women in engineering. We believe that a diverse workforce not only generates fresh perspectives and ideas but also fosters innovation and drives economic growth. And therefore, over the past 12 months, we have started several initiatives to boost gender balance and support women in engineering department:

  • Active Women's Network: Our Women's Network is one of the most dynamic and engaged diversity groups within the company. The network meets regularly to address challenges faced by women in the workplace and provides strong support through initiatives like our Endometriosis Friendly Company accreditation. Additionally, we collaborate with BMET colleges to encourage and increase the presence of women in engineering fields.
  • Working hard to remove the gender pay gap: Currently our mean gender pay gap is 0.9%, significantly lower than the industry average of over 15%.
  • Workforce Diversity: 41% of our top career band are women (compared to a 5% average across the industry) and women comprise 60% of all career starters.
  • Training and Mentorship: We have launched a career development program for women in engineering, providing training, mentorship, and support to help them achieve their full potential.


We are proud at OneAdvanced, to have made substantial progress in cultivating a diverse workforce and encourage women in engineering. By sharing stories of our female engineers, who established themselves as successful professionals, and role models we hope to inspire and encourage more women to enter and excel in engineering roles. Join us at OneAdvanced and take the next step in your engineering career.