WeLink CEO stars in Edinburgh art trail celebrating female pioneers

WeLink CEO stars in Edinburgh art trail celebrating female pioneers

Pioneering women from the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths have featured in a series of public artworks in Edinburgh – including our CEO Natalie Duffield. The Women in STEM Street Art Trail, organised by the Edinburgh Science Festival, celebrates the achievements of nine individuals and showcases the work of local artists Shona Hardie and Kerry Wilson.

The murals feature Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman OBE, equality campaigner Talat Yaqoob, 92-year-old dementia researcher Lorna Prendergast, molecular ecologist Dr Aline Finger, international conservationist Dr Helen Senn, NASA spacewalker Dr Kathy Sullivan, climate campaigner Zarina Ahmad and computer science prodigy Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon.

Edinburgh Science said: “Following a personal tragedy when she was just 13, Natalie decided that she didn’t want to go to university but instead wanted to work and earn. At the time Natalie started work, it was the middle of a recession, so finding a job was challenging. She started in temporary, junior roles, in male-dominated IT companies.

“After convincing those higher up to give her a start in sales, a traditionally male career route, Natalie succeeded in building new business relationships. Through her determination and by defying gender expectations, she grew the sales function. From this, she progressed became the CEO of Intechnology SmartCities, which provides free WiFi in central Edinburgh.

“Now she is striving for digital innovation whilst inspiring young women to follow non-traditional careers. Natalie wants to see more courses that are attractive to women and a work culture that implies women can learn technology. She wants all women to know that they can train to do any role.”

Natalie has worked at the cutting edge of the technology industry for the last 25 years and has

played a leading role in the successful introduction of new technologies to the UK, including cloud-computing, software as a service and 5G-ready digital infrastructure. She was elected vice chair of Tech UK’s Local Public Services Committee in 2019 and used the position to help improve engagement between local government and the UK tech industry and promote the vital role of technology in delivering local services during the pandemic.

Natalie said: “I feel truly humbled to be included in this celebration of female achievement and empowerment. Hopefully these artworks can inspire more women to follow their dreams and fulfil their potential, whatever their age or background.”

The mural by Shona Hardie can be seen at North Edinburgh Arts in Pennywell Rd. Many thanks to John Preece for supplying the image.