Just 17% of employees in the UK Tech sector are women and I am one of them. Your first question is likely to be what does it feel like to work in such a male dominated sector? My honest answer is I don’t always notice I am a woman. I tend to think it’s just coincidental that I’m female, what’s more important is I am capable and confident.
My journey in tech started in the 90’s when I switched my University degree course from one including Physics and Chemistry to do Computer Science and Maths. It was partly because I didn’t totally ‘get’ degree level Physics and I was allergic to everything in the Chemistry labs. Quite funny when I look back at that time. I’ve since worked in several roles in IT ranging from Network Account Executive, Software Tester, Service Desk 2nd/3rd line to Technical Consultant and a few in between. All these varied roles have given me a 360 degree view of the technology field and I routinely draw on past experiences when faced with customer challenges.
My passion for technology grew the more I worked in tech roles. I’ve always seen technology as a game changer and something that could be used for good. To this end I’ve started a charitable initiative called Pocket Angel, which is an app to help the general public gift homeless people essential items such as food and accommodation. It is set to launch in autumn 2019 in Brighton, UK and I’m very excited to see it grow and be used in other parts of the country and the world.
As a woman in tech I am aware that not all jobs for women provide the benefits I enjoy by virtue of working in a tech savvy company. My employer has embraced the advantages of working from home; provided me with access to online training for continuous learning; allowed me to use state of the art technology which helps me be more efficient, productive and achieve work life balance. I want other women to benefit from working in a tech company. To help promote tech roles to those outside the industry I volunteer at work as a board member for the Tech Women program across Europe. The program encourages women to consider a technical career path and get to talk to women already working in those roles.
I would recommend that more women make that first step to get to know more about the tech sector and explore the various options to get into tech roles. I did a lot of self-study courses in the evenings when my children were young to refresh and skill up myself in preparation for the time when they would be in full time school. I sat the exams and invested in my future. In the end it paid off and I am now a Technical Consultant in a large tech company. So as you probably realise now, I am in my dream job and I hope if this starts you thinking about making a change to a tech job that you too will land your dream job in tech.