Motivational Monday – Women in Blockchain
Class of 2007 alumna Chloe Tartan, is a leading light in the world of sustainability technology and advanced application engineering. She is the Co-Founder of Women in Blockchain and leads an innovative business team at Accenture.
Sixth Former Mira interviewed Chloe for our latest edition of Resplendens magazine.
When did you first become interested in technology and innovation?
I studied Physics at university which really fulfilled my curiosity, helping me to logically understand the way things work. I did a master’s degree in Space Science & Engineering as a pathway into spacecraft technology – I think that was my artistic side being drawn to the beauty of the universe. This was how I got into engineering. What I really liked about engineering was that it brought the laws of Physics into the practical world, so you can innovate something that people can use. I merged my creative side with my Physics background and the rest is history! I get really excited when I’m at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.
What challenges do you think women face in male-dominated industries such as technology, and why did you decide to start Women in Blockchain?
It’s a systemic issue. Everyone needs to make the effort to ensure there is equality. There are so many challenges in the workplace. When studying at Imperial, I was one of twenty women in a class of three hundred. I think that puts off a lot of people from pursuing careers in male-dominated industries.
I set up Women in Blockchain for any minority group, to ensure we had a voice and were empowered. We all have unconscious biases, but the best thing we can do is bring discussions about these to life. I started Women in Blockchain to empower others to use their voices and to help bring this conversation to the table and educate others.
What is your advice to women who want to join the field of technology?
There is no such thing as a stupid question. Don’t be shy to grow your network and leverage professional connections. When I was at Oxford, we had a talk from the head of Houston at NASA and, after the talk, I went to ask her if I could visit them in the US. A few months later, NASA invited me to give a seminar on my research – I was ecstatic! It was one of the most incredible days of my life and it literally happened because I asked.
What inspired you to follow this career?
They say your teachers influence your career path. And, I am no exception to the rule. Dr Walgate, my physics and form tutor at South Hampstead, was my inspiration. Both a parent figure and a role model – she encouraged me to expand my knowledge as wide as I could, and study everything from Physics to English to Art.
Chloe spoke movingly about her experience as a bursary student at South Hampstead at our Opening Doors Bursary Dinner and you can read more about the dinner here and the full interview with Chloe in the latest edition of Resplendens.