Anne Maria Imafidon

Computer Scientist and Head Stemette

Anne Marie’s passion for computer science has taken her on an exciting career path from banking to Buckingham Palace. She’s keen to help more girls to get creative with code.

I got into maths and computing by tinkering at home. My parents aren’t from techy backgrounds, but Dad had a computer and he let me play with it. It was really exciting to create stuff like websites and see people use them. I liked taking things apart and putting them back together in a better way.

Get on the Internet, get on social media, and look for all the different resources out there. You can research science and engineering careers in the same way you’d research anything. Work experience showed me that there are so many different roles that use tech and maths skills. An internship led to my first role with Deutsche Bank, where I created social media software for people to use at work.

Careers in technology are as creative as careers in the arts. You start with a blank canvas and use basic pieces to create something new. Your creation might be an app like Instagram. Or it might be something that helps solve a real world problem, like designing seatbelts that save lives.

I was surprised when I found out that there weren’t many women in computer science. I started STEMettes to inspire girls and women to get into science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. We’ve run events for 14,000 girls so far. We’re aiming for 2 million!

It’s a big misconception that tech careers are boring. People imagine that we sit in dark rooms staring at screens – but the offices I’ve worked in are all about glass walls and unlimited chocolate! Studying science and maths leads to all kinds of crazy things. I travel all the time and even met the Queen a couple of years ago.

I don’t know what I’ll be doing in five years time, but it will be cool. I want to keep on solving problems and change lives in my own little way.

Best advice

Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and just do stuff! Following every rule doesn’t lead you anywhere magical.

How do you relax?

Most of my downtime is spent watching TV – anything funny. I probably watch more than you’d expect!