Skip to main content
Home » Insights » There’s never been a better time for women to help shape the future of tech

Victoria Leftwich

Software Engineer, Tesco

A growing number of women are shaping the technology that makes the way we shop a little better every day.

Tesco is tapping into a clever little app of theirs called Inform, which shows whether an item is in stock and where it’s located in-store. Inform is now used daily by no less than 100,000 colleagues. And it was designed and created by their own Labs team, where Victoria Leftwich works as a Software Engineer.

Developing solutions for people

When Victoria left Cardiff University a decade ago and joined the company, she didn’t imagine playing a role in developing an app that would impact so many people.

But after choosing a career in engineering and technology, Victoria finds herself working on a range of innovative projects that will help colleagues and customers alike — from large-scale systems affecting millions of customers to smaller ideas for exciting, new solutions.

Victoria explains, “Other initiatives that the technology teams are working on include drone and robotic shopping delivery projects.”

We’ve been successfully recruiting
more and more female talent.

Finding the right career path

Victoria, now 32, had little interest in technology at school. But during her maths degree, she took a technology module and discovered how much she enjoyed it.

“I went through the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers,” she says. “I grew up in a community where the local shop was Tesco, so I had quite an affinity to it.”

Through their Technology Leadership graduate scheme, Victoria had the chance to experience a range of different roles — from working as an analyst to being a project manager, coder and infrastructure delivery manager, as well as spending time with the Labs team.

Experiencing variety

These experiences and exposure inspired Victoria to become a software engineer. “I realised how much I loved it, and I was lucky there was an opening in the Labs team when I completed the graduate scheme,” adds Victoria.

Based in Welwyn Garden City, Victoria says being part of the Labs team offers a variety of opportunities.

“As an Innovation Engineer, I always get to do something different, and that’s probably why I’m still here. It never gets boring because the projects I work on are fun.”

Feeling at home in tech

Gender, she adds, isn’t an issue at Tesco.

“It is quite common that I’m the only female in a group, but I’ve never felt it matters,” she says. “There’s also some really good work going on in the company, with women in technology, diversity and inclusion groups.”

Circles in Technology is a support network that offers a platform for women to talk about their lives, work and specific issues such as childcare. “I have two children and am about to go off on maternity leave again. The company is really supportive, and the maternity package is amazing,” she says.

Advice for the next generation

When Victoria first moved into engineering, there were few women in tech roles. “But over time,” she says, “We’ve been successfully recruiting more and more female talent. And we’re retaining our fantastic colleagues in the technology team through some great women in tech initiatives.”

So, what’s Victoria’s advice to young women who are interested in a tech career?

“Gender doesn’t matter as long as you have an interest.” And today, there are many more opportunities for women in this field than ever before.

Next article