IWD2021, womxnintech, skull mountain...
How can we proactively make a change to achieve equality and inclusion in tech? It's International Women's Day in March and Orbis are dedicating the entire month to celebrating the womxn of Tech and Design. If we want more womxn in tech, we have to do more than want. Our team felt we needed to share stories from the industry, told by voices with first-hand experience. All of the exposure International Women's Day kicks up is critical, not just for our own education as a business, but also to support the exposure of gender equality and inclusion in tech. These stories are not told by a company or PR, or any other bias perspective. These are the real womxn of tech shaking up the industry.
In a few sentences, what is your personal career journey into the tech industry?
Previous to 2017 I worked in a few different industries which has really helped me understand different client requirements and challenges
In 2017, I officially started my career in tech as a Business Analyst for a company that provided data and tech services for the pharmaceutical industry. After that, I worked for a local tech company as a Business Analyst and Project Manager before redundancy.
I currently work at Skull Mountain as a Producer, where we provide fast-moving clients with exceptional Digital Product Transformation, through our straight-talking consultancy and innovative Digital Product Framework.
On a day to day basis, I help clients with product management, working on our new product management framework offering, Diversity & Inclusion and much more!
What do you think leaders could do to help support gender equality within their teams?
I would definitely recommend becoming a member of GEC.org, they have great resources you can use to make your workplace a more welcoming, diverse and inclusive place to work.
Originally I was going to sign up just the company I work for (Skull Mountain) but decided it would be great to involve our wider Rokker Network as we are vastly growing.
Since then I’ve started working with Sophie & Jim at Rokker to make it an even more inclusive place to work. We have been fully supported and encouraged by our leaders and our Network Chairman, Andy which is great!
Widening that point, what could businesses do to accommodate women in tech and retain female talent?
Following on from my previous answer, making a workplace welcoming, diverse and inclusive in the first place. A lot of local tech communities are close-knit so word will soon get around if a company is a great place to work or not.
As Jim, our Head of People Consulting at Rokker has pointed out even little things can make for a more welcoming and accommodating workplace. This includes mentioning in the initial Job Spec/ application, the different gender equality and diversity schemes the workplace promotes (such as the GEC)
One thing we noticed through our consultancy work at Skull Mountain is the more diverse your workplace the higher variety of solutions you can find and offer your customers. Making sure all your employees are heard makes them feel respected and creates a happier workplace.
What are your top 3 tips for women looking to break into tech or progress from their current position into a tech role?
1. Learn new skills in your spare time to see what you enjoy doing and add them to your CV. This could include; learning to code, Business Analyst skills, Project Management, Cybersecurity, UX design etc. There are some amazing resources online to suit all time restraints and budgets.
2. Networking! Pre covid I used to go to my local Norfolk developers networking events and dinners. The first time I went I was unbelievably nervous being so new to the Tech industry but everyone was so lovely and welcoming. I even was on the staff at the last Norfolk Developers Conference which was great fun!
At the moment there are plenty of great online events and ways to network online including connecting with like minded people on LinkedIn.
3. No matter what age or point you are in your career it’s never too late to make a change. Always tailor your covering letter & CV to the role you are applying to. Also, consider your previous experience and how you can apply that to the tech role you’re applying for. Maybe you’ve been used to being incredibly organized in an admin role that could benefit you as a future PM or you have a proven eye for detail that would make you a great QA Tester.
In tribute to IWD’s 2021 campaign, what do you choose to challenge?
For my Choose to Challenge I choose to recognise how much value people from a diverse range of backgrounds can add to a company's growth.
Fancy joining the discussion?
Orbis Connect are hosting various events dedicated to IWD and womxn in tech across March 2021.
Please join us.
Sign up here