Janice Rae: Driving Digital Change

Janice Rae | CEO and Founder | TechTalent Academy
Janice Rae | CEO and Founder | TechTalent Academy

Fascinated with finding innovative ways of solving old problems, Janice Rae taught herself Morse code at eight, later discovering her love for computers and gaming, naturally progressing into learning how to code.

At college, while learning code, she came across the sheer inequality and lack of diversity within tech as she was only the female in the class, making her feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Decades later, when Janice pieced together her experiences, she noticed an opportunity to implement change with real purpose. Addressing the lack of diversity that has plagued the tech industry for too long, being at the sharp end of it, she founded TechTalent Academy to help support underrepresented people into great jobs in the tech industry.

TechTalent Academy strives to change the academy model by offering free opportunities for underrepresented people to upskill while providing the best training levels for tech teams equipped as AWS and Microsoft partners.

As the CEO & Founder, Janice is pleased to disrupt the tech industry, shedding light on the lack of diversity and bringing an end to unconscious bias. The company supports businesses to create diverse, highly skilled tech teams through leading-edge tech training and employment services that directly meet the needs of tech organizations.

The Early Days

Janice started as a consultant, which was a significant achievement in itself. Gradually, she began to look at how she could quantify her knowledge through accomplishments.

Janice developed a love of learning and realized that it was transformational. Learning is just like gaining a superpower.

Taking this newfound love of learning, she fused it with tech and diversity (her other two passions) and launched TechTalent Academy to share the in-demand tech skills that employers are looking for and create career pathways in tech for underrepresented groups.

She reminisces, “I’m a career changer too – I realized I really wanted to gravitate towards the things that made me happy which were tech and diversity. I understand why people want to work in tech, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to learn or sometimes haven’t had the support to open a role in tech, it can lead to a situation where you don’t feel fulfilled or happy in your role.”

Connecting Employers with Tech Talent

TechTalent Academy connects tech employers with aspiring tech talent. It gives individuals and diverse groups the skills, confidence, and opportunities they need to access a career in tech through its industry-leading tech courses backed by its employability services.

The company then connects these talented and certified people with tech employers looking to tackle the lack of diversity within the industry. Its vision is for a fair and fit-for-purpose tech industry where everyone with talent can thrive.

TechTalent is widening and diversifying the tech talent pool, upskilling and training individuals across communities from all backgrounds to place them in tech jobs. It removes unconscious bias from its selection process, ensuring it only attracts the best and most diverse tech talent.

Janice mentions, “We’ve seen first-hand how this benefits tech employers by following our learners’ journey after graduating from TechTalent Academy and successfully gaining employment. Tracking their impact and keeping in touch to measure their progression. We work with incredible employers who create the roles and support our students to flourish in their new careers.”

TechTalent’s vision is for a tech industry where everyone with talent can thrive, closing tech skills gaps, opening up tech opportunities, and bringing more diversity to the tech industry with each learner who passes through its Academy doors. Janice asserts, “These opportunities shouldn’t be limited to whether you went to university or not, where you live, your gender, your ethnicity, or any other cultural biases we’ve been ingrained with. If someone shows promise and talent, they should have access to the skills and opportunities they need to succeed.”

Steering the Wheel

Janice believes that the most challenging part is the hiring process. Hiring great tech talent is difficult; costly recruitment processes, time-consuming administration of hiring, not enough talent with the right tech skills, candidates accepting multiple offers – the list goes on.

This is where TechTalent comes in. The Attract > Train > Deploy Model connects organizations with experienced tech specialists through a highly scalable and innovative hiring solution for organizations looking to access experienced tech talent without traditional overheads. It handles the entire administrative process of recruiting and training individuals, helping reduce the risks and costs faced by organizations that want to grow and improve their technical capabilities rapidly.

What Comes Next?

Janice says, “I’ll be in tech forever or as long as they have me! I have huge plans for TechTalent – we are driven, ambitious, and keen to grow globally. We’re looking to grow tenfold over the next five years, seeing us in a global space. That is super exciting for us and a journey we’re enjoying.”

Bequeathing Brilliance

Janice advises budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the tech sector to learn as much as possible about business beforehand; business coaches are great for learning the fundamentals. “Look for someone who has been on the same path as you. Having a positive mindset is critical; it’s not just hard work; there can be months where you’ll be tested beyond what you think is possible, and being positive will get you through.”

“The key is really to be persistent, consistent, and agile. If you map out your journey, it will change, giving you a roadmap of where you’re going. That will then help you to achieve your goals. It will keep you accountable. Having a business coach will keep you accountable also – all these things are super important. Being agile is non-negotiable – you need to keep ahead of what’s happening and be ready to navigate or change course at the drop of a hat (the pandemic was one of those events!). Positively embracing these areas makes it second nature and not a burden at all,” Janice concludes.