STUDENTS got a glimpse of life in the silicon roundabout fast lane.

Dozens of youngsters from schools and colleges across England descended on Nationwide’s Pipers Way headquarters on Thursday to find out more about careers in technology.

Students at the event, held on a global day to celebrate pioneering Victorian mathematician Ada Lovelace, got to see behind the scenes of Nationwide’s innovation centre.

Tech whizzes at the centre are responsible for developing the building society’s digital products, like their banking app.

Rowena Harwar, Nationwide’s head of architecture development, said: “We use Ada Lovelace Day as a way of promoting to predominantly female students roles for women in technology.”

She said that social media had made the technology sector, which has a stereotype as being male dominated, more attractive to girls.

However, Rowena added: “There are definitely still schoolgirls who say it seems ‘geeky’. There’s a barrier that needs to be broken down.

“If you have teams where there are only people from one gender or group, you miss something massive about your customers.”

Her advice to would-be tech developers of the future was clear: “We need people who are open minded and creative – who have a grounding in science based subjects.

“That doesn’t mean that if you haven’t got that you can’t be successful.”

Rowena added that being able to apply maths skills and logic to real-world situations was a key skill.

Ellie Belcher, 16, was visiting the Nationwide HQ from Swindon’s New College. She said: “I want to get information about careers. I definitely want to go to university and study computer science, but I don’t know what I want to do after that. Hopefully, it will be something computer science related.”

Friend Harper Green, 16, was similarly a fan of the subject: “It’s fun and I understand the logic behind it.”