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The biggest tech community you’ve never heard of could be right under your nose.

by Aviva, on 3 February 2023

Most people already know that Aviva, the massive UK insurer and financial services company, was founded in Norwich and still has a big presence in the city. But what might surprise you is just how big a part technology plays in the company’s operations.

There are over 900 people working in tech teams in Aviva’s Norwich offices, making it one of the largest tech employers in the county.

Like many firms of a similar size, it’s right in the middle of a digital transformation. But the scale of investment in the tech stack and the people at Aviva seem to be quite something. There are teams working with AI, massive datasets to mine for insights and strategies, and as you’d expect, a world class cyber-security operation.

Of course, if you’re like me, you might well think of the insurance industry as classically ‘pale, male and stale’, but a quick glance at their careers website shows a different story. Across the UK, only 17% of technology employees are female. Changing this is a challenge which Aviva has clearly taken up. For starters, they’re the first insurance company to join the Tech Talent Charter, which is working to boost gender diversity in the UK tech industry.

Another example: the company has created a dedicated network, Women in Tech, designed to use networking, coaching and support to give women a career boost. The company even sends female tech ambassadors out to schools, spreading the word that you don’t need to study tech to work in tech.

And you’ll also find a fascinating film about how society helps push into the gendered careers we think we should be doing, rather than the ones that really interest us. You can check that out here.

There’s also a programme specifically for people returning to the workforce after time out of the workplace, called the Tech Returners programme. This is open to you if you’ve been on a career break for more than two years – and it could be a lifesaver if you’re feeling like things have moved on too much while you were away.

Take a look around the website and you’ll find that there are plenty of roles available for graduates: engineers, analysts, developers, architects, project managers and more. But Aviva also seems to be big on apprentices too. Apprenticeships are a great route into a more formalised tech career – particularly for those of us who are less traditionally academic, or who have taught ourselves to code.

And if you think the apprenticeship train has long since departed for you, hope is at hand. Aviva states:

Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers. Our apprentices come from all walks of life and age groups. While some join straight from school or college, many are career changers looking for a fresh challenge, or returning to the workplace after a career break.

From the looks of things, the 2023 graduate roles have just closed, but the apprenticeship programmes are still open for new entries. Could this be the next step on your tech career? You can check the Aviva careers website out here.