7 Mar 2018 12:16pm

As I see it: Beverley Tew

Former BBC group finance director Beverley Tew talks about her role as a non-executive director of TeenTech, which helps to inspire the next generation of scientists

Caption: Photography: Felicity McCabe
I WAS A NUMBERS GIRL and training to be a chartered accountant felt like a natural progression. I like to think I am creative as well. My dream job would be to invent something really useful that would change lives.

MY FIRST PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE was arriving at the BBC and realising I was a team of one with a big job to do and a new team to recruit.

I KNEW I WANTED TO WORK FOR AN ORGNISATION that made something. It had to be in an industry I cared about and I was lucky to land a great role at the BBC; I stayed for 18 years and became group finance director. I qualified at EY, which I loved for the rigour and training it instilled in me, and for the great friends I made. I loved the BBC because it was exciting, glamorous and challenging but important and worthwhile too.

TEENTECH IS ABOUT INSPIRING TOMORROW'S INNOVATORS, and finding the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs. [The community interest company was founded by former Tomorrow’s World science presenter Maggie Philbin.]

It has never been more important for the UK to be at the forefront of innovation as we approach Brexit.

I was asked to join the TeenTech board by a BBC colleague because it needed financial and business skills. But in a small organisation you lend your hand where it is needed, from fundraising to judging awards.

THE UK GOVERNMENT'S INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY launched last year and is focusing on investment in healthcare and medicine, clean and flexible energy storage, robotics and artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, manufacturing and materials of the future, and satellites and space technology. The ambition is that research and innovation in these, combined with business, can unlock markets and industries in which the UK can become world-leading. Our challenge is the pipeline of talent. We need our young people to see technology and applied sciences as a future they can help create as well as benefit from and enjoy.