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Investing in our female technologists

A new pilot programme which focuses on mentoring women in technology across RELX Group and its businesses launched in London, UK in October 2016.

“Investing in technology talent is key for the success of our business,” says David Wigfield, Talent Management Leader at RELX Group. “We know gender diversity improves innovation and financial performance, so we have strong recruiting efforts in place to attract female technologists - a function where there are typically fewer women than men. We have launched several initiatives that make technology a great place for talent - both men and women - to develop and grow their careers.”

The Women in Technology Mentoring Programme is led by David and Helen Sheppard, Corporate Responsibility Coordinator at RELX Group. It is designed to further strengthen female talent in technology within the company and next year, the initiative will be extended to other geographies and areas beyond technology.

“In total, 16 female mentees from across all our businesses have been paired with 16 male and female mentors. All the partnerships are cross-business, reflecting the collaborative nature of the programme,” says Helen.

The mentoring programme will help people form relationships across the business, with more experienced colleagues using their knowledge and understanding to support the development of others. The mentees will gain new perspectives and a greater understanding of RELX Group and an insight into the different departments and areas of the business.

Measures are in place to track the success of the programme and they include assessing how participants’ objectives are met, the frequency of meetings between mentors and mentees, and career development as a result of the programme.

The programme was launched on 18 October at RELX Group’s office in London. David and Márcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group, opened the day’s event. Jeff Reihl, Chief Technology Officer of LexisNexis Legal & Professional, joined by video conference to show the support of the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) Forum for the initiative.

“Technology continues to take on increasing importance to RELX Group, as part of our strategy to deliver more decision support tools and analytics solutions. Having the right technology talent has never been more important and having strong female leaders is a key part of our overall talent strategy. This mentoring programme is designed to assist in the development of these leaders and it has the full support of the CTOs across the RELX businesses,” notes Jeff.

"Although we’ve only just started the pilot programme I already feel part of a wider and welcoming community,” says Nicole Ray, Portfolio Management Office Manager at Reed Exhibitions, and a mentee in the Programme. “I’m very happy with my mentor match and look forward to all that’s in store for us in the coming year including friendship, new thinking patterns and positive changes. I expect this programme will exceed my expectations and I’m looking forward to the learning. I’ve experienced a genuine connection with my peers on this programme and I expect I will learn much from them also."

"I am lucky enough to have a fulfilling career in the tech industry, and support from experienced people, both women and men, has played a big part in making that possible,” says Catherine Walker, Head of Development in ScienceDirect Technology at Elsevier, and a mentor in the programme. “For me the beauty of tech is dealing with problems that have many possible solutions, and frequently brushing up against the unknown. I am delighted to have the chance to support and encourage other women as they navigate that exciting world."

In addition to the Women in Technology Mentoring Programme, RELX Group has employee resource groups which provide powerful forums for women to network and develop. These include ‘Women Connected’, which is a growing resource across the business.

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