Krystel Richards

Associate Broadcast IT Engineer, Warnermedia CNN

How I came to STEM

Throughout school I always enjoyed STEM subjects, continually trying to understand how I could apply the classroom theory to the world around me. I learnt that many of the traditional sciences played a part in the development of the technology I used every day and this got me hooked on wanting to know what was behind the screen. This was when I decided to study computer science.

Although I continued to enjoy my studies, it was clear that engaging with real-world scenarios was the best way for me to learn. With this in mind, an apprenticeship was the obvious choice – combining a degree with relevant industry experience. Although met with hesitation from many of my teachers and peers as it was not the traditional route into higher education, I was very fortunate to have support from my parents throughout.

I followed my passion to pursue the unconventional route and gained a place on the BBC degree apprenticeship to study broadcast engineering. I have not looked back since.

Why I love what I do

From my first day at Warnermedia as an apprentice four years ago, to an associate broadcast IT engineer today, I can say that each shift has brought something new. In my role I am responsible for supporting a wide range of technical areas within the CNN London bureau, these include: a brand-new production studio, video editing facilities and newsgathering. Every day I have the privilege of working with cutting-edge technology to ensure the best quality content is delivered to audiences around the world.

Constant innovation and determination to improve in the broadcast industry make it an inspiring sector to work within. Although it can be a lot to keep up with, change presents the opportunity for me to explore upcoming industry trends and continue to develop new skills.

Each day I get to collaborate with an outstanding team of engineers who share their wealth of knowledge and experiences to solve any problem that comes our way. It is with their help and support that I was able to receive the Royal Television Society Young Technologist of the Year award, something I never would have thought possible when starting my career in STEM. A true career highlight.

What I’m proud of, & what I’m hoping to achieve through the WYPB

Imagine walking in a classroom or office and not seeing another woman on your team – this was the reality when starting my journey in STEM and is a story far too many can relate to.

Leaving an all-girls school that always encouraged the study of sciences and math, then finding myself in the minority came as a huge shock. After experiencing the gender imbalance first-hand in both an educational setting and the workplace, I feel strongly that this issue needs to be addressed. The next generation of women in STEM must be given the resources they need to succeed.

I hope that my work with the WYPB will contribute to this goal by presenting relatable role models who demonstrate the possible paths that can be taken on a journey into a STEM career.  Furthermore, I aspire to help change the stereotype that all too often comes with the study of STEM and give young girls the confidence to pursue whatever they enjoy.

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