A female Ghanaian software engineer has emerged winner of the Innovator Award held in the United Kingdom (UK).
Maureen Biney was presented with the award by EveryWomanUK as recognition for her incredible contributions in the tech industry.
The Innovator Award is presented to a woman designing, developing, researching, implementing or being exceptionally creative with technology in an unconventional and innovative way.
Although a Ghanaian national, she has been living in the UK for some time now and currently works at AMEX.
But before moving to the UK she worked at worked at Ringier on e-commerce and an applicant tracking systems.
In an interview with naaoyooquartey.com, Maureen Biney recounted her journey and how far she has come in the tech industry.
“Outside of my core role at American Express, I volunteer at Code Club at a local school to teach children how to code. We usually do Scratch, and we started using Blender late last year,” she revealed about her day-to-day work activities.
“At work, we usually have our colleagues’ children (between the ages of 7 and 12) come into the office for an all-day programming session. We take them through robotics, html, programming the Arduino and micro: bit.”
“I am also a member of the Women in Tech Colleague network at Amex. As part of that, I organize monthly round-table sessions with Vice-President’s and Senior Vice-Presidents s at work. These are very informal sessions where attendees get to hear about the VPs career journeys and get to ask them questions,” she adds.
At Amex, Maureen Biney works in the field of Financial Technology and is specifically a Java Engineer.
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However, her versatility allows her to also diverge into NET development, Technical Analysis, Product Management and Data Engineering.
Asked about how she found herself in the tech industry, she said it all began when she enrolled at Ashesi University – a decision she describes as the best she ever made.
“I remember I used to love Mavis Beacon and that’s just as far as it went. I loved learning French so much I thought I wanted to learn some more languages and work in the UN. When the time came for university, I knew I wanted to study in Ghana, so I went to Ashesi University (the best decision) I have made in life.
“I was confused about what I wanted to study at Ashesi. There were three degrees at Ashesi when I was there – Computer Science, Management Information Systems and Business Administration. I chose MIS because that gave me an opportunity to choose modules from both Computer Science and Business Admin. My first ever programming module was Visual Basic. And that is how I fell in love with technology. I used one mid-semester break to try all sorts of things with VB – I even built a calculator with it.”
As a mother, Maureen says combining work and home duties hasn’t been easy, but divulges that AMEX have been very supportive.
“The flexibility that comes with working at Amex is great, and I don’t know if I will find that anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, parenting is hard work (very hard work) but there is a level of satisfaction that comes with it that I won’t trade for anything else. I am still learning something new about myself and Aria every day.
“I don’t sleep much, so when my daughter is sleeping and not asking 1 million questions, I use the time to work, or put my feet up,” she adds.
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