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International Women's Day- Women In The Technology Industry

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and increasing female representation in male-dominated sectors and in leadership roles.

In the UK, there has been decades of work to progress towards equality in the workplace, however women are still vastly underrepresented in the UK’s technology workforce. Currently, only 19% of the UK technology workforce are women and only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women.

In this short interview we spoke to our Managing Partner and Digital PMO Director, Amy to discuss what it is like to work in the technology sector as a woman.

Amy is an experienced Consultant with proven expertise in large-scale IT transformation projects, outsourcing, PMO design and implementation, contract negotiation, dispute resolution and target operating model (TOM) design. She has a wide range of industry experience, including banking, insurance and retail sectors supporting top tier clients on projects in the UK, US and Africa. Most recently Amy has been designing and implementing a digital PMO capability in a tech start-up in the finance sector.

How did you start your career in the technology industry?

I read law at university but knew early on in my degree that I wanted to broaden my experience and work in the corporate sector. After university I started my career in a very small boutique consulting company who advised boards of directors. After a couple of years I decided to move into management consulting and joined a firm who specialised in finance and technology. I was fortunate enough to do a lot of international projects and got to work in South Africa, San Francisco, and Atlanta, as well as completing numerous London-based projects. I loved the way the technology sector was evolving so rapidly, which meant there was a wealth of opportunity to support customers in embracing new working practices, adjusting the structure of their organisations and support their move from legacy infrastructure to cloud-based solutions.

Would you encourage more women to take the step into the technology industry?

Absolutely. The tech sector is growing rapidly – in the past year alone tech investment grew by 2.3 times, which represents nearly £30 billion of investment in just one year. With that investment comes a wealth of job opportunities in the sector and seeing more women apply for those roles and ultimately secure them would be fantastic. It is crucial that women are able to benefit from the rapid growth of this sector, and exploit the opportunities that it offers.
Employers are increasing understanding the value of greater gender diversity in their workforce, not only to their profits, but to the diversity of thought and approach that they can bring that can improve ways of working and customer engagement.

Currently only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women, how can we change this?

Firstly, it is important that more young women are encouraged to study STEM subjects in school and university and to clearly promote the benefits of a career in tech so that we see a more diverse pool of candidates leaving education and applying to roles in the tech sector.

The women currently holding leadership positions in tech are important role models for those wanting to start a career in the sector, and need to actively promote and support other women moving into leadership wherever possible. I also think it is incredibly important for junior colleagues to see a more diverse group of women working as senior leaders, representing a variety of backgrounds and lifestyles, role modelling what can be achieved.

However, ultimately change needs to be driven by the whole organisation and leadership team, so gender diversity needs to be on the agenda, bought into by everyone and prioritised so that we can see the positive changes required to narrow the gap.

What are your top tips for women wanting to start a career in technology?

  1. Back yourself – No one expects you to have all the answers, that comes with experience, but what you do need is a strong work ethic, an interest to learn and willingness to work hard.
  2. You don’t need a technical background to work in tech – You can learn on the job.
  3.  Find a mentor to work with – Finding a mentor to coach you and provide guidance can be invaluable when entering a new sector. As a graduate this might be someone you’re connected with via university, a family friend or someone you have connected with through networking.

If you would like to find out more about what is like to be a women in the technology sector or interested in starting a career in the sector please feel free to reach out to Amy at; Info@newworldtech.io

Sources: 
  1. https://www.pwc.co.uk/who-we-are/women-in-technology/time-to-close-the-gender-gap.html
  2. https://technation.io/insights/diversity-and-inclusion-in-uk-tech-companies/
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-tech-sector-achieves-best-year-ever-as-success-feeds-cities-outside-london

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