Sheffield woman sets sights on getting more young women to consider technology careers

A woman from Sheffield has switched her job in the tech industry for teaching as she aims to inspire more young women to consider technology as a career choice.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 11:33 am

Sowmya Mony, 33, from Sheffield is using her background as a software developer to inspire more young women into STEM as she trades tech for teaching, supported by Transition to Teach.

Transition to Teach is a Department for Education funded initiative that enables eligible career changers, those at risk of redundancy and early retirees to train for new teaching careers – recruitment for the 2021 programme beginning in September is now underway across the Yorkshire region.

Using what is called the Hogan Personality Assessment, Transition to Teach identify participant strengths and help to support with potential challenges participants may face in teaching.

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Sowmya Mony made the move to teaching in 2020 supported by Transition to Teach.

Analysis of data from the Hogan Personality Inventory has revealed that the main motivation for candidates to move into teaching is the desire for a career where they feel they are helping and supporting others or adding to the greater good of society.

Sowmya said: “Some people might have the perception that only boys like gaming and computing, and I hope to use my role as a teacher and my past industry experience to encourage more girls into STEM subjects.

"In my old career, I used to volunteer for projects to encourage women into tech, helping them to code, so this will be similar in that way."

For Sowmya, it was her tech role and becoming a parent that helped her see the difference she could make as a teacher.

She said: “Becoming a mother myself, and my child growing up and going off to school, also developed my interest in teaching as a career. I could see first-hand the passion that teachers have for their profession and the difference they make to a child’s life.

“In 2020, the time was right for me to move into teaching. My application at Sheffield Hallam was accepted just as the pandemic hit, so there was already a lot of change in my life, moving to home working and both my husband and child at home. Lots of people dropped out of the course due to the uncertainty, but I almost used the uncertainty to my advantage. Everything was changing anyway, so changing my career suddenly didn’t seem like such a big jump.

“The transferable skills I will take into teaching include professionalism, collaboration and the ability to come up with creative ideas. But, training as a teacher has also helped me develop new skills, like resilience and adaptability. As a parent, you often feel guilty about how much time you’re giving your child. Having support and workarounds helps hugely. The one thing I’ve learnt is that you don’t have to be perfect, just efficient.

Further insight from the HPI data found that as well as being motivated to help others, candidates moving into teaching are motivated to work with the latest research, data and technology, enjoying creativity and innovation.

Once she is qualified she will be teaching computer science at secondary level and believes that her industry subject knowledge will help.

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