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When it comes to understanding hedgehog lab’ culture‚ there are few with more experience than Becca Anderton‚ our Head of Engineering.
Over the years Becca has played a key role in developing a diverse and inclusive culture at hedgehog lab. Be it through her role in building our Front-End department‚ or her work enacting PwC’s Tech She Can charter‚ she understands the importance of performance in the business‚ and how to ensure that our culture is well-supported.
We sat down to talk about hedgehog lab growth over recent years‚ and how we’re working to change the makeup of the industry.
How Would You Describe hedgehog lab’ Culture?
Over the past few years‚ hedgehog lab has grown substantially- in fact‚ when I started there were only about 20 people‚ now there are more than 60 of us!
I still remember how immediately I felt welcomed into the team- everybody was super friendly and helped me ease into my role perfectly. Although it’s a little cheesy‚ the team at hedgehog lab really are like an extension of your family‚ because everybody cares about your development and seeing your success.
I think that that’s one of our biggest attributes even today. The business has expanded very quickly‚ and I think there’s always an element of concern that they’re going to turn very corporate and lose that friendly touch- this absolutely hasn’t been the case at hedgehog lab.
We’re absolutely not a business where very top-level management are completely disconnected from executive teams‚ everyone knows everyone and there is no red tape on asking for help or advice.
It’s been so nice to grow with hedgehog lab and see that‚ despite such an impressive growth in sales and staff‚ that friendliness and openness that I experienced joining a small startup business still exists.
hedgehog lab & Tech She Can
PwC did extensive research into the gender imbalance in tech‚ and were able to establish that the issue starts in school. When you ask girls what they want to be when they grow up‚ they often drift away from tech and STEM subjects. This has created a gender gap in the industry‚ where most new roles are filled by young men.
I first learned about the initiative at the Women of Silicon Roundabout conference in 2018‚ just after they launched it. I found the ideas being discussed particularly relevant to the space hedgehog lab operates in‚ so I was quick to offer my support and act as an advocate for the charter.
hedgehog lab were one of the first signatories of the charter‚ within the first 50 businesses to co-sign PwCs mission. We’re extremely proud to continue to support them and the work they do to change the way the tech landscape looks to the talent of tomorrow.
We are part of the “Improve education” workstream – Providing inspiring educational content for teachers‚ careers advisers‚ parents and pupils to bring the technology curriculum to life‚ and show young people (especially girls) the possibilities that a career in technology can bring. This is done through free-to-use lesson plans that are inclusive for both boys and girls‚ to encourage all students into tech space.
The lessons are designed for years five through to eight and have shown some really positive results- particularly through lockdown where their lesson plans were made readily available for home-schooling.
For example‚ in one of the lesson plans‚ students are asked to describe their idea of someone that works in tech. By far the most usual response is a man in a suit carrying a briefcase- your typical‚ boxy‚ corporate figure. By the end of the lesson plans‚ they were drawing tech professionals as men and women‚ without the suit and tie working on exciting computer-based projects.
Although a seemingly simple change in mindset‚ this can have a huge knock-on effect on the industry and the talent we attract in the future.
There is also the opportunity for hedgehog lab staff to become TechWeCan Champions if they want to (something I’m actively working towards!) – Champions are volunteers who can deliver the TechWeCan educational resources to local schools‚ taking a hands-on approach to defining how the future of the industry looks.
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