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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hastings

Transforming Careers and Bridging the Digital Skills Gap with Loral Quinn, CEO of CodeClan

As a tech company founder or CEO, how many resources would you invest in the learning and development of your existing talents? Successful companies understand that investing in their teams' learning and development can lead to increased productivity, employee satisfaction, talent retention, and, ultimately, long-term business success.

I am delighted to share this episode with my special guest, Loral Quinn, as we cover the value of providing learning avenues for your talents. Loral is the CEO of CodeClan, a not-for-profit digital skills academy based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Loral and I discussed how their organization set up intensive learning boot camps to transform people’s careers and address the digital skill gap in Scotland. We also talked about how investing in upskilling of your team members can increase retention, promote gender equality, and bring a positive overall result for your organization.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [02:48] Loral shares how CodeClan is transforming people’s careers.

  • [05:09] How CodeClan engages within their industry.

  • [07:31] Describing the impact - how CodeClan bridges the digital skills gap.

  • [10:30] What inspired Loral to join CodeClan?

  • [13:22] Biggest barriers to attracting more women in the tech sector.

  • [20:13] What is the “On-Demand Program?”

  • [27:34] How to retain your talents: an approach that goes beyond salaries.

  • [32:00] How to reach CodeClan, especially if you are thinking about shifting careers.

Transforming People’s Careers by Immersive Bootcamps

CodeClan is a not-for-profit digital skills academy based in Scotland that offers opportunities for students to find careers in the tech sector. It offers intensive and immersive coding bootcamp programs designed to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge needed for a career in the technology industry, even for those with minimal coding backgrounds.

What is amazing about CodeClan is how they support career transitions into the tech industry by helping students with job placement with their partner companies. Overall, their approach is a win-win not only for the students looking for jobs but also for tech companies in Scotland by addressing the growing skill gap for tech talents.

Overcoming Barriers to Attract More Women in the Tech Sector

CodeClan is an advocate for diversity and gender equality in the tech industry. CodeClan has partnered with The Young Women’s Movement, Scotland’s national organization for young women's leadership and gender equality, and Scotland Women in Technology (SWIT), to help get more women into careers in tech. Loral and I discussed the biggest barriers when it comes to gender equality in the tech sector, especially for women.

Loral shared the research that their organization has undertaken to “Get all the feedback, do the research, understand the barriers, and then produce a program that will enable women to engage.”

A conclusion that Loral shared is that female tech workers value remote, part-time working opportunities, which nudged them to create a part-time on-demand learning program to engage more women. If you are a startup tech company, or even if you are a well-established tech firm that advocates gender equality - CodeClan’s approach and insights on the subject will surely add value to your mission.

Keys to Retaining Your Top Tech Talents

The tech industry is a highly competitive job market. The demand for skilled tech professionals often exceeds the supply. Hence the solution provided by CodeClan to bridge the digital skills gap is really value-adding to the industry.

However, a tech company’s success, especially for startups, is also reliant on retaining its top talents. Given that staff members can always explore better offers, they can switch companies if their employer doesn’t meet their expectations. So I wanted to hear Loral’s insights on retention strategies that go beyond salaries. If there is advice that Loral would give a founder, it is “Understanding what are the [team’s] motivations … and how they treat their staff,” these are the two critical things that founders need to focus on.

The key pointers that Loral mentioned on this topic are:

  • Providing opportunities to learn for team members

  • Building a supportive culture to counter burnout

  • Focus on wellness and diverse talents

  • Clearly, articulated purpose to keep people motivated

About Loral Quinn

Loral is the CEO of CodeClan. She is a strategist, director, innovator, growth marketer, speaker, and board advisor with 30 years of experience in leadership, marketing, digital growth, and innovation. Loral is a sustainability, impact, diversity, and inclusion champion. She has raised investment, created and taken new products and services to market globally in SMEs and large institutions, managed multi-million dollar programs, and led global teams.

Loral is a winner of multiple industry awards for fintech, digital products, marketing, and innovation, including Richard Branson’s Startup of the Year. Contributor to government and industry reviews, including the UK fintech Kalifa Review.

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Connect with Rebecca

Rebecca is the Founder and Director of The Lucent Group. She has extensive talent acquisition and executive search experience supporting digital and technology businesses through complex changes and fast-paced scale-up periods. She works with businesses advising on C-level, technical and commercial appointments, workforce planning, strategic talent management, recruitment processes, and associated technology and employer brand development. She has led and built successful teams, led numerous C-level, VP, Director, and Head-of searches, and designed and implemented outsourced recruitment solutions. In 2019 she helped a FinTech client secure a place in LinkedIn’s Top 25 Start-ups in the UK. Rebecca is a member of the REC (MREC), a qualified career coach, Certified Interviewer (CI), and has professional qualifications in FinTech, HR, Leadership, Digital Marketing, Diversity, Unconscious Bias, and Talent Management.

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