Women In Technology

At acrinax, we pride ourselves on our inclusiveness and diversity, recently someone pointed out that over a third of our team are women, for a tech company this is pretty rare.

Microsoft recently revealed that only 18% of its tech staff are women, a far cry from what everyone, including ourselves should be aiming for.. 50/50.

I set out to find out what it is about the tech industry and acrinax that attracted so many awesome women to be part of our journey.

I decided to interview a few from different areas of the business to understand their journey, and to share their experience with any women either new to the industry or considering it as a career. I asked three questions:

a) How they got into tech

b) What they enjoy about the industry

c) Their advice for women aspiring to be apart of the tech industry.

If you’re new or thinking about starting a career in IT, hopefully this will give you the insight and encouragement you may need.

Sam – Service Delivery Manager

“I can honestly say a career in Tech wasn’t quite what I was looking for when leaving University with a Criminology and Law degree, but after temping for 9 months trying to work out what I wanted to do with myself, I got offered a role as a receptionist at Vodafone Unified Communication Group. While there for the original 2 week placement, I took the opportunity to find out about the business and any permanent roles. After being offered 2 positions I decided to try and put my law degree to use and took up a role as a Contracts Administrator.

That was my first experience around telephony and fixed lines technology. Although not particularly technically minded, putting together contracts, reviewing sales documentation and SLA’s gave me a basic understanding of the sometimes intimidating technical jargon. Having worked in call centres as a part time job through university I also understood the impact on our clients, when the technology didn’t work. When Vodafone announced several office closures, I took the opportunity to look for a position that gave me the chance to get in front of the customers, working with them to resolve issues and grow their technologies on a face to face basis as opposed to from behind a desk.

I moved into Service Management at a global IT provider being taken on as a junior Service Delivery Manager. This gave me further exposure to contact centre technology and CRM systems, but also introduced me to the part of the role I still love, the customer interaction and seeing first hand how our clients use and develop the technology we provide. I have been extremely lucky throughout my career so far, having management and mentors that have truly supported me and encouraged my development.

My Advice

My advice for any women looking to get into the industry is never be afraid to speak up, your voice and ideas are just as important as other peoples. More importantly remember to support each other. In an ever changing industry, development and support are crucial to anyone wanting to progress and grow

Emma – Principal Consultant, Service Management

“I started working in IT in 1997, shortly after graduating from my degree in Biology. My first job was on an IT Service Desk for a large service provider whilst waiting for the “right job to turn up”. Quickly I discovered I loved it, after spending several years working on IT ServiceDesks and Desktop Support I followed a more technical infrastructure route.

In 2008, the company I was working for insourced their IT after 10 years of outsourcing and I had the opportunity to set up a brand new Service Desk as their Service Desk Manager. I was really pleased when this Service Desk went on to win a Service Desk Institute (SDI) award in 2014. Following this role I had several Service Management roles in different industries before taking on the challenge of aligning the IT Service Management for Orbis, the largest public sector shared services partnership in the country.

This brought together the IT for two County Councils, one City Council and a Fire Service. The challenge was to align all the processes and procedures and re-design and transform the entire service while also making financial savings. There were some challenges initially but a defined strategy and vision alongside robust Service Improvement Plans led to one team being finalists in the ITSMF Real IT Awards and the other finalist in the UK IT Industry awards in the IT Team of the Year category. I love being a consultant and being able to bring my years of Service Management experience to other companies to help them transform and improve.

I am passionate about Service Improvement and transformation and the joy of consultancy is working with people who are engaged and committed to making this happen. Sometimes it only takes some minor changes to completely turn a service around.

My Advice

Being a woman in tech is very different now to when I first started, there are far greater numbers of women in the industry which is a brilliant thing and no longer seen as different. I would advise any woman to be confident, committed and seize all opportunities. Take any opportunity to build a network with other women in technology, there is some amazing talent out there. Being a woman in the tech industry can be challenging but extremely rewarding.

Chanel – Service Desk Engineer

“My first experience within the tech world was as an IT help-desk agent. And being completely honest, at this time I had no genuine interest working in tech. I did enjoy working with the team and fixing problems. I went on to work on a Cruise ship, in an office administration role and then into airport security, where I was the training security officer, which couldn’t have been more different. However, one day we had a briefing on Cyber Security, this involved huge discussions and research on security threats worldwide, UK threat levels and staying compliant.

I was hooked,I knew there was an urgent demand for security and IT, as the new evolution of businesses operating worldwide is now happening on the internet. I decided in May 2018 to learn more about IT and IT security specifically and I started online training with Comptia A+, Comptia Networking and MCSA Windows Server 2016. This allowed me to get up-to scratch to gain a deeper knowledge on PC operational services (software & hardware), networking systems and cyber security.

By December 2018 I started looking for entry level IT jobs to demonstrate my knowledge and give me a challenge and that’s where I became a Service Desk Engineer for acrinax. My main challenge was to enhance my knowledge and skills within IT platforms I have never used, which pushed me to the level of assurance. Fast forward to today, I have manoeuvred into different projects and workloads now involving IT Service Management. And I love it, learning something new every day and getting to work with an amazing team of people.

My Advice

My advice is to have great passion for change and success, to genuinely have some interest in technology, and to be prepared to take risks. While I was working full-time as a trainer in airports, I dedicated my free time to my online IT training courses. Women working in STEM’s is a great change to the fundamental institutions of society, and we believe gender parity is excellent for society!

Yemi – Project Manager

I have 7 years project management experience. I have been working predominantly on IT projects for over 4 years now. Initially I worked on a variety of projects in different sectors ranging from housing, construction and service delivery. I focused on IT projects due to the flexibility and agility that exist in the industry.

There is always room to learn new things as technology evolves. Learning new things motivates me. My Advice My advice for other females is to believe in themselves, be focused and hardworking. Yes, it is daunting due to it still being an industry dominated by males, but look hard and you’ll find companies like acrinax who employ on merit, and if i can do it, anyone can.

“The past seven years I have been working as a project manager, although I have been working on IT projects for over four years now. Initially I worked on a variety of projects, covering many different sectors such as; Housing, Construction & Service Delivery. I began to focus on IT projects because of the flexibility and agility that exists in the industry. Technology is constantly evolving, making a lot of room to learn and I am motivated to continuously develop my understanding.

My Advice

My advice for other females is to believe in yourselves, be focused and hardworking. Yes, it is daunting due to it still being an industry dominated by males, but look hard and you’ll find companies like acrinax who employ on merit, and if I can do it, anyone can.

Lorraine – Business Administration and Finance

Having spent 20 years in the catering industry, I needed a change and a fantastic opportunity came up with acrinax. I was told what they valued at the interview stage was my attention to detail, trustworthiness, capability and experience dealing with customers every single day, especially, understanding how to deliver a great experience to them.

I do truly enjoy this industry, every day I am stepping outside of my comfort zone, dealing with new suppliers and technologies (recently organising the commercials for a network spanning two contact centres in Manchester and Kuala Lumpur, looking after 49 countries and 37 languages isn’t what I was expecting).

I always feel fully supported by the management team and fully empowered to make decisions that affect the whole company. To date I have managed the migration of our expense management system, I am currently in the process of migrating our finance system to another solution and the team here supports me when I need it, but leave me to, (as Nike would say) ‘ just do it’.

My Advice

To other Women moving into IT I would say just go for it, there are so many opportunities, so many different roles and hundreds of different career directions you could take in an industry which is growing so fast.. Find an organisation that values you as an individual and recognises your skillset, approach them if you have to. Be a little bold. acrinax is extremely devoted in delivering best in class technology, consultation, IT deployment & 24/7 technical support when creating engaging customer experiences with its clients. From start to finish & beyond, we support your business with training & developing your platform until you become self sufficient in managing your Contact Centre software.

With over 200 built Contact Centres we have supported clients such as; AO.com, Ovo Energy, MetroBank, Domestic & General, MyPolicy & Weetabix with specialist consultation & transformation projects.

If you want to know more about cloud contact centres, artificial intelligence, contact centre analytics, consultations or you would like to give feedback on this article please contact richard.bird@acrinax.com or call him on +44 (0) 7960 285 338.

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