Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Jude Mcvitty


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  • Name:  Jude Mcvitty

    Role: Social Value Manager at Version 1

    Bio: A graduate of the Dartington College of Arts Choreography programme, Jude has had a varied career in creative arts, community programme management and customer service.  An avid technophile, graduate of the first cohort of the Women in Business NI Press Refresh Data Analytics programme, and Returner of the Year at the Women in Tech awards 2022, she recently celebrated her anniversary as Social Value Manager at Version 1.

    What does your typical day look like?

    A day in Social Value usually involves customer and community partner meetings to push forward initiatives, liaising with the rest of the Environmental Social Governance team at Version 1 to track and deliver against our Key Value Indicators, and drafting proposals for our community partners, customers, and potential customers to help them understand what we can offer their communities.

    What are you currently working on?

    In Northern Ireland, we recently partnered with two amazing organisations to deliver digital skills for employability. With Cedar Foundation, on behalf of the Department of Finance NI we are investigating accessibility: creating a new programme of workshops, assignments, and a placement project to help both the participants and our organisation understand what support they need to be able to join an organisation like Version 1. We are also launching Insights Foundations with Voice of Young People in Care for Land and Property Services NI over April and May this year, equipping 6-8 care leavers with essential employability skills for the digital age.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    Meeting my mentor from the Press Refresh programme, Emma McPeake inspired me to join Version 1. She was smart, driven, and proud to work for an organisation that lived by their core values.  All through the interview process, as my amazing recruiter sent me more resources about the company, I was more and more excited to join the team. There’s a culture of authenticity here that is very empowering, it is a very inclusive environment.

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    I am first and foremost a failed artist (I fully endorse failing – both educational and liberating) so I did not expect to be working in technology other than possibly writing soundtracks for the next wave of VR gaming. I am both surprised and exhilarated every day by how much I am enjoying myself here, and how much of my skillset is applicable.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    My customers want what I want – to do something meaningful that will genuinely help people who need a bit of support or understanding to level the playing field.  Add to that the crazy amount of knowledge I have access to from the 2,200+ team at Version 1, the freedom I get to experiment provided by our leadership, and the specialist insight that we get from our community partners; all working together to make life slightly better for everybody. It feels good.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    It’s an exciting time to be working in tech because everything is growing and changing so rapidly. Your’ time, insight, and ambition are valued, and the perks are mighty!

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    I came into Tech through a digital academy programme designed for women returners: Press Refresh. I will always be grateful to the vision of Rosanne Kelly from Women in Business NI for her vision and the Department for the Economy NI for funding the initiative.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    The democratisation of digital skills is absolutely vital, including the need for infrastructure and financially accessible equipment. As digital literacy becomes more and more essential to participate in employment, leisure, and social interactions, local and central governments will need to prioritise and innovate to ensure their communities are not left behind.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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