Jackie Velcheva from RGU in front of a blue background

Smashing Stereotypes: Jackie Velcheva

By Jackie Velcheva, Lecturer - 11 March 2024

Since my adolescence, I have a profound enthusiasm for mathematics and the artistry of computer graphics. Emerging from a distinctive cultural background, I was fortunate to benefit from the unwavering support of educators and parents who consistently encouraged the pursuit of my aspirations, even though the industry was facing male dominance.

This was due to girls being too scared from believing computing jobs are too hard or are jobs that only guys can do. This trend is still something that is promoted in some schools and I believe that it is time for that to change. With over five years of industry experience, I have observed a gradual increase in the representation of women, however, they still constitute less than 30% of the workforce in computing. 

Having such inspiring people responsible for my career now my goal is to try and return the favour by inspiring the future generations. In my ongoing efforts to challenge and dismantle stereotypes in STEM, I actively engage in various events aimed at promoting women in computing.

My commitment extends to educating young girls, dispelling misconceptions about the perceived intimidation of computing. I seek to inspire them by explaining that perusing careers in computing is very exciting and can help them improve the world and it is not only sitting behind a desk and looking at a code the entire time.

I try to educate young girls that computing is so much more: it is creating a virtual world and getting immersed with the experience; drawing graphics for marketing purposes; animation production for movies and games; data visualization; creating VFX for diverse application; and so much more. 

In my role as a Lecturer, I incorporate these perspectives into my introductory speeches. I firmly believe that by educating emerging professionals, I contribute to inspiring them to disseminate this knowledge among their peers, siblings, and future generations, fostering a collective enthusiasm for computing that mirrors the passion I held as a younger individual.

British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, taking place between 8 - 17 March 2024. This year’s theme is ‘smashing stereotypes’, celebrating the diverse people and careers in STEM.

On RGView, we have featured five leading staff members who have each written about their experience of smashing stereotypes. Read their inspiring stories:

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