The driving force behind Social Value at Version 1

One of the first people to complete the Dartington College of Arts Choreography programme, Jude McVitty has had a varied career in creative arts, community programme management and customer service. As an avid technophile and graduate of the Women In Business Press Refresh Programme, the Data Analytics and Microsoft Certified Data Analyst was thrilled to receive a recommendation for a role in Version 1: a company ready to bring their core values, professional rigour and expertise to the communities they work in!
 
Find out more about Jude below…
 
What does your typical day look like?
It’s hard to describe a typical day in Social Value as nothing is yet typical.  At the minute I’m spending a lot of my time researching and networking both internally and externally to fully understand how an organisation like Version 1 can measure and deliver Social Value for our team, our clients and for our local communities.
 
What are you currently working on?
One of the programmes I recently initiated here was in response to a request from an organisation in Harrow, ExtraCare.  Working with the Head of Innovation and Wellbeing, Version 1 have been able to leverage their infrastructure and expertise to prepare and deliver a pilot training programme for people over 75 to support them to access the digital world safely within 8 weeks.  Backed up by a package of materials less than two weeks later for ExtraCare to allow them to repeat the workshop internally, Digital Footprints: First Steps Safely is the kind of quick, targeted, legacy building programme that perfectly illustrates the potential of an organisation like Version 1 to bring Social Value to communities.
 
What inspired you to join this company in particular?
Meeting my mentor from the Press Refresh programme, Emma McPeake inspired me to join Version 1.  She was smart, driven, and proud to work for an organisation that lived by their core values.  Alongside the programme of professional qualifications and soft skills that Women in Business offered, mentoring gave me the opportunity to establish a network in the industry and a pathway to make use of the success of the programme.
 
Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?
I’ve worn many hats in my career and in each role I have found a point of pride. I make an amazing cappuccino, ran and delivered programmes with some of the most vulnerable and inspiring people on the planet and written and recorded some pretty good tunes along the way but tech has always been a facilitator, fascination, and occasional frustration that Press Refresh highlighted my aptitude for. 
 
What’s your favourite part about your work?
Trust and guidance.  Version 1 trust their recruitment process to match the right people to the right role and from the minute I arrived I have benefited from a framework of independence alongside guidance from Lorna McAdoo and the team here.  It’s a steep learning curve from community programmes to CSR Mastery and I am blown away by the support, patience and excellence I have access to in the organisation.
 
What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?
It is very exciting to work in an industry where things are developing and moving so quickly, it brings a unique energy to every aspect of working in technology.
 
Who inspired you to work in this field?
Without the Press Refresh programme, I don’t think I would have imagined it was possible to get a role in the industry so I owe a lot to the vision of Roseann Kelly from Women in Business NI.
 
What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?
I think the drive to democratise digital skills and improve access to technology is massively important to maintaining and improving social mobility, protecting the success of large tech organisations and ensuring innovation has access to the best minds and ideas that can only be discovered in diversity.