Webinar 27th March 2024 – Economist Careers at Ofcom – Introduction and Q&A

Learn More

Why we’ve partnered with Women in data…

Ofcom’s purpose is to “make communications work for everyone”. To enable this mission, we need to represent the UK in our workforce and understand the diverse needs of consumers across our work. Data and technology expertise is critical to this mission. We have a goal to ensure our overall senior team is gender balanced and whilst proud of the progress we have made, we have more to do. Our partnership with Women in Data helps us attract, support and progress the careers of women in our technology and data teams.


Amy Preston photo
Amy Preston
Programme Manager, Online Safety Research Strategy
Bola Odunlami photo
Bola Odunlami
Project Manager for Connected Nations
Holly Francois
Holly Francois
Principal – Machine Learning
Doris Li photo
Doris Li
Technology Policy Manager
Monica Matta photo
Monica Matta
Data Culture Delivery Partner
Naomi Agwimah photo
Naomi Agwimah
Data Analyst Apprentice
Qiqi photo
Qiqi Su
Machine Learning Engineer

How OFCOM see the data landscape changing in the UK in the next 5 years

We’re delivering vital work that helps keep the UK connected and shapes the future of how we’ll stay connected with each other. As an evidenced-based regulator, data is one of our most valuable assets. But we need to ensure we are keeping up with accelerating innovation in this space and the pace of digital transformation across the sectors we regulate.

We are looking for people of all backgrounds, skill sets and experiences to help us navigate this ever-evolving data landscape – whether this be tackling new public policy challenges (such as making the online world a safer place and regulating AI) or building deep subject matter expertise across the latest advances in computing power and data acquisition techniques. We want to harness the power of data to improve outcomes for people and businesses across the UK. But there is also an urgent need to gain a better understanding of the latest approaches in AI and machine learning if we are to deliver on these ambitions.

We are therefore continuing to collaborate widely and are excited to be developing new partnerships with data experts across government, academia and industry. We are also making significant investments in the data skills and capabilities of our people at Ofcom. This is an essential part of our ambition to put data at the heart of Ofcom’s culture.

about OFCOM

Ofcom is the UK’s independent regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on every day – including TV and radio; broadband and mobile; post and wireless services. We also help to protect people from bad practices in the areas we regulate.

Expertise: Research methods for understanding online safety issues, Microsoft Power BI

Education: BA and MA in English Literature, University of Warwick

Social Media details: LinkedIn

I joined Ofcom via Ofcom’s Graduate scheme, after completing a bachelor’s and masters’ degree in English Literature. My data journey started in Uni when I signed up to a ten week web development course led by Code First Girls. I became motivated by that community that was so dedicated to inspiring young women to embrace data skills and career paths, knowing how valuable this is to help alleviate the gender pay gap and protect opportunities for women in the workplace.

Early on in my career, I sought to develop my technical skills in any way I could, and in particular enjoyed using Microsoft Power BI to identify industry trends and found creative ways to tell a story through data visualisation. There were times I felt such roles weren’t available to me, given I didn’t have a STEM background. Yet looking back I realise how well the skills associated with humanities subjects lend themselves to problem solving, for example; how respect for language and detail helps one with identifying and fixing problems in your code; how analytical skills allow you to spot trends in the data; and how good storytelling skills enable you to a share your interpretation of data with others. Now in my current role at Ofcom I enjoy teaching Power BI skills to others and strive to find ways we can make better use of different data gathering methods. I’m proud and grateful to work with such a talented and supportive community of data experts at Ofcom, who have been instrumental in aiding my growth in this area.

By joining the Women In Data community I hope to inspire other women and girls to recognise their potential in this field, and show how data skills are available to all, including those from arts and humanities background.

Expertise: Data Management, Strategic Planning, Data Protection, Regulatory Compliance, Regulatory Affairs, Statutory Returns, Stakeholder Engagement and Agile Project Management

Education: Master of Art in Applied Research, BA (Hons) Business Economics, Associate Project Management, Associate Project Management and Scrum Master Certified.

Social Media: LinkedIn

I spent my formative years in Nigeria, where my fascination with statistics began as a math teacher’s pet. This passion led me to start my career making sense of rows and columns in strategic planning roles. Over time, I developed a knack for storytelling with data, helping organisations achieve their strategic priorities through the effective use of internal and external datasets. Turning data into actionable insights that boost KPIs is my forte.

Inspired by data visualization pioneers like David McCandless and supported by my academic background in economics and research, I am always mindful of changes in instruments like regulation, taxes, interest rates, and the workforce, and their potential to enhance our economy. This awareness has influenced the employers I work for. Consequently, my career has spanned senior roles in Civil Service, charities, law enforcement, children’s charities, higher and further education, teaching, counter-terrorism, market and social research, and regulation.

In addition to my professional work, I am dedicated to volunteering in my local community. Since 2023, I have served as a trustee with Citizens Advice, contributing to discussions of public interest. I have been a member of the Passenger Panel for local rail since 2015, advocating for issues affecting local commuters. I also volunteer as a newsreader for the Talking Newspaper for the Blind and as a reporter/DJ for my local radio station.

Expertise: Speech and Audio Processing, Expressive Speech Synthesis, Machine Learning, Deep Learning.

Education: MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Surrey (1995) PhD “Continuous, Speaker Independent, Speech Recognition for a Speech to Viseme Translator” University of Surrey (1999)

Social Media: LinkedIn

As a Principal in the Data Innovation Hub at Ofcom, I lead a diverse and talented team working on Machine Learning for Online Safety. This includes capability building to develop our expertise, consultancy on various aspects of algorithms for policy colleagues and using Machine Learning to create internal tools to assist with tasks such as document ingestion and processing.

My previous roles at Samsung and Motorola involved developing algorithms and working in international standardisation in ETSI, ITU-T and 3GPP. My research topics included speech recognition, microphone arrays, speech enhancement, codec development, speech quality, audio restoration and multi-talker expressive speech synthesis. I have also lectured at Surrey, Imperial, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (Singapore).

I joined Ofcom in November 2021 and before that I never really thought of myself as working in “Data”. Even though I’ve been engaged in research and development using Deep Learning since 2017, for the past 25+ years I would have labelled myself as a Speech/Audio Engineer! That being said, my pre-Ofcom career was heavily involved data in its many and varied forms so if I think about it, “data” has been part of my career history since the very beginning!

Expertise: Trust & Safety, Policy, Product Operations

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College

Social Media: Linkedin

As someone who’s spent my career in policy and operations environments, I didn’t initially categorise myself as a “data” person. However, the truth is that so much of what I do relies on robust evidence-gathering processes, which include crunching the numbers to drive projects or make decisions. I started my career in Product and Regulatory Operations at Meta, where every major decision we made about creating, operationalising, and responding to violations of product policies was based on a thorough analysis of user-generated data and success metrics. I’ve also worked on machine learning projects to automate content moderation workflows, where data played an integral role in determining the effectiveness of the final products. In my current role as a Tech Policy Manager in Ofcom’s Online Safety Group, I rely on data about user behaviours, online harms, and safety mitigations to analyse the impact of our regulatory work. Although I don’t have a formal education in data, I’m grateful to colleagues, friends, and short-term courses that’ve helped me bolster my data skills over the years, in order to better understand the world and my impact within it. During my time with Women in Data, I hope to bring visibility to the importance of data in interdisciplinary environments and connect with others who have non-traditional data backgrounds!

Expertise: Fact-finding, Project Management, Data Interpretation and Storytelling, Impact Analysis, Qualitative Research

Education: MSc in Research for International Development, Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Human Resources

Social Media details: LinkedIn
My interest in the field of data started as an interest in gathering evidence to answer questions and solve problems. As a bachelor’s student, I was presented with an opportunity to do research in the field of Social Psychology alongside the head of the university’s psychology department. This introduced me to empirical research, sparked my interest in data gathering, analysis, and presentation. It was also the first time I could really apply my passion for fact-finding in a formal setting. I decided later on to pursue a master’s degree in Research for International Development where I learned in a more structured manner about (qualitative and quantitative) research and data analysis.

Upon graduation, I worked as the Research and Data Manager in a small charity where I got to put into practice data analysis and management skills. At Ofcom, I work within the Data Culture team where I get to use and build on the data skills I have formally learnt and pair them with interpersonal and versatile skills that I have accumulated throughout my education and career. It’s exciting to be in a position where I am a bridge between “data” and “non-data” people and to realise just how much we all now use data every day.”

Expertise: Data processing, machine learning, data visualisation, programming

Education: Alevels, L4 Economics, L4 Data Apprenticeship

Social Media: LinkedIn

I am an Apprentice, nearing the end of the course, in the early stages of my data career. I completed my first year studying economics where I discovered my aptitude for coding and interest in data analytics. I pivoted onto the apprenticeship in 2022 as I could see the value of on the job learning and was intrigued by the valuable work that Ofcom is doing – especially in Online Safety regulation.

My apprenticeship covered the fundamentals of data analytics, such as data cleaning, processing and visualisation, while also allowing me to develop soft skills such as presentation and time management. During my work I am given the autonomy to build upon these skills on real projects and I have especially found a love for using my creativity in Power BI to create insightful visualisations.

While being the only woman in my apprenticeship cohort I am keen to inspire younger girls to look at the opportunities that data has to offer. I helped with Ofcom’s recruitment process by going into schools and encouraging more girls to apply to the apprenticeship program. With the help of the Girls in Data initiative I hope to deliver the curriculum to local schools in future and bridge the gap of women in data roles.

Expertise: Explainable AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning

Education: PhD in Explainable AI, MSc in Data Science, BSc in Mathematics

Social Media: LinkedIn, GitHub

When I graduated from my bachelor in maths, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had always wanted to get into coding, and use things I have learned in my maths degree to solve more real-world problems. So, I decided to do a master in data science. When I started my master’s degree, I had zero coding experience, and I remember how excited I was when I could do a “Hello World”. Then I gradually fell in love with data, and the power of machine learning for tackling complicated, real problems.

So, when my dissertation supervisor recommended me to continue to do a PhD, I took the chance. My PhD is in Explainable AI, as the name suggests, it aims to explain complex models, so we (humans) can understand the decisions made by complex models. If we can look into these black boxes and gain some understanding into why the model made certain decisions, then we can build trust, diagnose errors,  and promote the use of AI in sensitive domains.

Then I joined Ofcom in January 2024 in the algorithmic assessment team for Online Safety. My job focuses on how we can assess the algorithms behind social media platforms, to ensure people and mainly children, will not encounter harmful content so we can all have a safer online experience. This role really allowed me to use everything I have learned, and most importantly, use them for the good of the society and that would make an impact in the future!