Celebrating women in tech, and leadership

05 March 2021

Creating a diverse workforce, challenging gender bias and inequality

To celebrate international women’s day, Netpremacy wanted to highlight the rising number of women in tech and to shine a light on some of the great things happening to keep this number growing. 

Every year our teams make a conscious effort to talk about, raise awareness, and celebrate the women in the tech community. There are so many initiatives happening across the country to make tech more accessible for women and with a spike in tech jobs sweeping the nation as we become more digital we wanted to raise awareness of opportunities available to anyone, no matter their gender. 

Last year we joined forces with Google, and local Leeds influencers, to raise awareness of women in tech, how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go. Topics such as how to work your way up in tech and how to celebrate your achievements (an important lesson for everyone to learn) came up. You can see last year’s webinar here.

This year, to continue to raise awareness, we have teamed up with Wellington Place to support the “choose to challenge” campaign. This campaign is to empower people to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

Look out for our team’s faces to be included on the “choose to challenge” collage on their website. 

Leading from the front 

women in tech

As Netpremacy continues to thrive and grow as a business, so do our teams. This month we are very excited to welcome a new member to our leadership team. We are looking forward, as our team expands, to have a female in leadership and to see how this new role will evolve. 

Gillian Sharma, Head of Marketing says:

‘I’m delighted to join the team at Netpremacy and build on the work we’re already doing to encourage women into tech roles. I’ve worked in tech for over a decade and I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with several amazing women who’ve encouraged and inspired me, so I hope I can do the same for others.

‘Tech is such an exciting sector to be in and Leeds is a great place for it, especially as a woman! From inspiring female leaders (Zandra Moore, Anna Sutton and more) to groups (Lean In Leeds, Empowering Women with Technology, WILD), there’s a real sense of community, connection and genuine warmth. Despite the knockbacks we’ve suffered from Covid, I’m hopeful that together we can grow female representation in our sector.’ 

Recruitment at Netpremacy

Netpremacy has a number of roles available to both men and women, and actively encourages applicants to come forward. We celebrate individuality and strive to always work towards becoming a more inclusive workplace. Visit our careers page to unlock your next career step.

15 September 2020

Celebrating women in tech, and how far we have come

Women make up only 16% of IT professionals, a trend that has remained the same for 10 years in a row*.

Here at Netpremacy, we recognise the gap in the stats and are always looking to work on ways in which we can celebrate the women in technology that we have at our HQ. We think it’s important to raise awareness and spread the word, but to also make the technology sector a place that is more inclusive and approachable to women in technology. 

To celebrate how far the industry has come, we are teaming up with some of our very own ladies in the cloud to host an online webinar, celebrating women in technology and how far we have come. The webinar is held in collaboration with the Leeds Digital Festival. Get to know our speakers that will be making an appearance on the webinar, and sign up for the event here. 


 

Bryonie BrignallBryonie Brignall – Marketing, Events & Brand Manager. Bryonie has been working at Netpremacy for 3 years now and will be opening our women in the cloud webinar. “When I first started at Netpremacy I knew little around technology and where to begin. Since starting at Netpremacy 3 years ago I have been given the opportunity to learn about new and emerging technologies. Part of my job is writing content, and organising events on trending topics, so I had to learn on the job around all of the different types of Google technology. It has been a challenge, but one I have found so interesting. I have enjoyed the development that Netpremacy provides and as a result have had the opportunity to learn, grow, and attend interesting events such as Women of Silicon roundabout.  My job keeps me on my toes and is challenging me every single day. Technology is always changing, and as I result I am always learning new things.” 

 


 

frajaFraja Hodges is a Product Manager in our Customer Success Services team. She has been at Netpremacy for 4 years and will be discussing her Cloud journey so far. “As a Product Manager, it is my responsibility to create quality content for our Customer Success Services, so having a good understanding of Google technologies is quite vital to my role. I started out at Netpremacy in change management, but over the years I’ve had lots of opportunities to expand my knowledge of Google Cloud, as well as gain invaluable experiences for my own personal development. With all the encouragement and support I’ve had from the business, I’ve managed to take a number of courses and exams, and even pass the Google Cloud Professional Collaboration Engineer certification. All of this has helped me be more independent, self-reliant, and confident when it comes to creating technically-accurate collateral  for our customers.”

 


 

In addition to this, we are also collaborating with Jordan Winokur, Google. Jordan has worked at Google for the past 14 years, in both the New York and London offices.  She is passionate about growing and nurturing new business lines within Google, driving strategic partnerships across enterprises, and helping customers achieve digital transformation.

Jordan joined Google Cloud two years ago and leads services partnerships for Telco, Media, and Entertainment customers within the UK and Ireland.  Before moving to Google Cloud, Jordan ran the global data and ad technology (now Google Marketing Platform) partnership with one of Google’s largest agency holding company customers.

Jordan is passionate about supporting more women in the STEM industries and is an active mentor and coach for women in technology.  She is a member of Women in Cloud UK and Women at Google.

 


 

Last but not least is Sarah Tulip, founder of WILD (Women in Leeds Digital). Sarah Tulip is an award-winning strategic leader with over 15 years’ experience of Business Operations, Innovation & Change within Technology. She has been part of leading businesses including, AQL, The Test People & Klaxon Technology. She is currently the Digital Director for EY across the North of England where she can help them build the solutions strategies and visions they need to take them on the next stage of their journey.

“I have long been a champion of women and I am passionate about individuality and equality for all, especially within our digital world.  I’m keen to find a way to proactively grow, engage, develop, and retain diverse digital skills and community in Leeds, now the North, I joined forces with Deb Hetherington to co-found WiLD, a community-led organisation aimed at encouraging women and under-represented groups into digital roles, the group now has over 1000 members across the region. Amongst other non-exec roles I am the City Ambassador for Leeds as a digital city and chairs the Leeds Digital Forum I champion the voices of those less represented. I feel that being a gay, working-class, a woman without a degree education, plus a leader within digital that I carry the responsibility to be visible and encourage those who don’t believe they can.”

We are excited to get together with many different personalities and roles within the Tech sector, to celebrate progress and to discuss industry challenges. If this sounds like a webinar that you would be interested in, you can register here. 

*ComputerWeekly.com – Percentage of women in tech remains low at 16%, with little growth in 10 years)

30 March 2020

Passing Google’s Professional Collaboration Engineer certification as a non-techie

Written by Fraja Hodges, CSS Programme Manager, Netpremacy

In January this year I took (and more importantly, passed) Google’s Professional Collaboration Engineer certification. This was a great achievement as I’m not (and never have been) in a technical role, meaning this was a big challenge for me not only from a career standpoint (what new paths would be opened up that I hadn’t considered before) but also a personal perspective (if I can do this, what more could I strive and push myself to do). I’m also lucky that Netpremacy offers so much support for career progression and personal growth, actively encouraging employees to take courses and specialisations. This particular certification taught me that when you really do set your mind to something, you can accomplish anything! So, I thought I’d share my experience with you, from preparing for the exam to where it has taken me since. My aim is to provide other non-techies like myself who have been eyeing up the certification with as much detail and guidance as possible, to build/boost confidence and encourage anyone thinking about it, to just go for it!

Preparing for the exam

Step 1: Equip yourself with 

On their website, Google provides an exam guide that lists all the topics that could come up in the exam. Treat the points as modules in a course, tackling them one at a time. Don’t jump around the exam guide or start with a module halfway through because it looks easier. It’s in this order for a reason and is in a logical flow for learning. I’d recommend maintaining a document that collates all your notes as you make your way through the modules

Most of the points in the guide link to an article from Google’s support platform, so reading through these will equip you with a lot of relevant and useful knowledge. Taking the G Suite Administration Specialisation on Coursera is also a great way to familiarize yourself with the admin console and its features (you can enroll for free and because it’s all online, you can go at your own pace to your own schedule). If you can get admin access in a dummy environment, you can safely explore the admin settings and put your learnings into practice.

One thing I’d say, is don’t just move onto the next point in the exam guide because you’ve read the supporting material. Make sure you actually understand before moving on. If it’s a feature or tool; what purpose does it serve, how do you use it, where can it be found. If it’s an action; how do you perform it, where do you go to do it, what is the outcome. If it’s troubleshooting; what should you look out for, where’s the route cause of the issue, what tool would best serve to find it.

Step 2: Book your exam

Once you have gone through every module of the exam guide and have a plethora of notes, you should register for the exam and get it scheduled in your diary. The reason I’d suggest getting the exam booked before you dive into revision is because this gives you a deadline to work towards. When you have committed to date, you are more likely to set aside time to revise and take study seriously as it becomes more of a priority and doesn’t just sit on the backburner (you will always have other work to do instead, so unless you actively make time for it, you will never get around to doing it). Don’t worry, if something crops up or you feel you need more time, you can cancel or reschedule at any point up to 72hrs beforehand (this is free and very simple to do). I booked mine two months in advance over the Christmas break so I knew I wouldn’t be too busy workwise.

Step 3: Revise, revise, revise

Now that you have booked your exam, you should look at getting time blocked out in your calendar to revise. Be sure to stick to your study schedule as this will avoid any unnecessary cramming the night before and give plenty of time for your new-found knowledge to sink in. Remember what you were taught back in school for exam preparation, try techniques like creating images and diagrams or explaining to others the steps for performing a certain admin task. I created revision cards broken down per topic and printed off the admin console homepage listing underneath each ‘header’ what settings could be found in it (ie. Security > Investigation Tool

Then, I’d recommend taking the practice exam, which is just in a Google Forms format, and gives you a flavour of the types of questions you can expect on the day. From memory, there were around 20 practice questions and you are advised to limit yourself to 45mins. Once you submit, you can go back through your answers and read through the explanations from Google as to why an answer was right or wrong. This will give you an understanding of what result you could expect and which topics you need to revise more. 

Taking the exam

First of all, you should ensure you are properly prepared for the day. Have you got everything you need? You are required to bring with you two forms of ID; one primary (such as your driver’s license or passport) and one secondary (like a bank card). Do you know how you are getting to the exam centre? You may need to arrange public transport ahead of time. Are you allowing yourself enough time on the day? I made sure I booked a train that got me there with lots of time to spare (and glad I did as my train got cancelled so I had to take an alternate (and longer) route) so I could grab a coffee and some food before the exam (no-one wants a rumbling stomach in a dead silent exam room). Have you read up on what to expect during the exam? The last thing you want is surprises on the day that throw you off

The exam itself is 2hrs long and has around 50 multiple-choice questions. You will be guided to your designated computer (there may be others taking exams in the same room), which will be set up for you, you’ll need to fill in some details and accept the T&Cs before commencing. The exam format is very simple, you can navigate through the questions easily and you can flag questions that you’d like to review or revisit later. You have plenty of time to properly think about your answers and to review every single question again in the 2hrs you’re given, so don’t worry about taking your time. You’ll also be happy to know that you are given your provisional result upon submitting your exam (so you don’t have to wait weeks on end to know how you did). This is marked as “provisional” as it has to be reviewed by Google first, but I haven’t come across anyone getting a different result to their provisional one (based on roughly 10 people I know who have taken this exam).

After the exam and beyond

After a couple of days, you will receive an email confirming your result (this can take up to 10 days, but mine took 2). Hopefully, you will get something along the lines of “Congratulations: You are Google Cloud Certified”. In this email, you will get access to your digital certification (that looks a little like this) that you can add to LinkedIn and make public on the Google Cloud Certified Directory. This comes with a badge that you can add to your email signature. You will also get a voucher code to claim some free merchandise from the Certification Perks Webstore (mine was a choice between a Patagonia jumper or a blanket and portable coffee mug). Being Google Cloud Certified comes with it’s perks such as access to exclusive online communities and certified-only areas at Google events. 

Aside from the free swag, passing the certification really gave me a confidence boost in the Google world. I found as the non-techie in my team I could now actually follow in-depth technical discussions and even provide food for thought and valid, relevant contributions on an admin level. It made me want to exploit all my new-found knowledge and confidence as much as possible, so I went on a mini certification rampage, taking the Chrome OS IT Admin exam and the G Suite certification only a few weeks later. I also plan to take a stab at the G Suite Deployment Services Specialist exam at some point. As well as learning progression, my career took a new path; I became the first Google Cloud Certified female in Netpremacy and my role within the company has now moved from that of a Programme Manager into Product Management. So, taking on this challenge, although tough and uncertain, really did pay off and I’m really proud that I didn’t quit at the thought of failure.  

I hope this blog has been useful and you now feel reassured, encouraged and confident that you’ll nail the Professional Collaboration Engineer certification. If you’re still hungry for information, the FAQ’s are a great resource.

To keep up to date on product announcements, updates, and events subscribe to our newsletter.

03 July 2019

A day with Ahead Partnership & Wellington Place

Inspiring women of the future

We joined Ahead Partnership on the 18th June to sit down and spend a morning getting to know some female students from around Leeds. Ahead Partnership helps to provide partnerships between educators, communities, and employers. They help to inspire students on how to kick start their careers. Netpremacy were more than happy to support such Netpremacy women in techa fantastic organisation.

The aim of the event was to inspire young women to look further into the future, to consider what they want to do when they finish school, and raise their aspirations.

We had 3 volunteers from the Netpremacy team: Project Manager Ashley Parker, Head of Support Kara Gresty and Senior Marketing Executive Bryonie Brignall. Each with a very different role at Netpremacy, the team were able to give students a comprehensive insight into working in different areas of technology. 

The morning was kicked off with some simple ice breakers, designed to help the volunteers and students to get to know each other. 

There were also stations where students were encouraged to answer statements such as “What makes job satisfaction” by writing down their answers and a “wall of positivity” filled with words of motivation from the volunteers.

The large group was then split up into 2, the first group was taken to have a tour around Wellington Place. The students were taken around a number of businesses, the Netpremacy office being one of the pit stops along the way. The group was impressed by our hammock and space ship meeting room, and even had a go at table football. This helped to change the students perception of what a “typical office environment” should look like. 

Who am I?

Next on the agenda – “who am I”. The teams were given a diagram where they were encouraged to write good points, bad points, and areas they would like to improve on. Volunteers worked with the girls to focus and help students see what skills they do have, instead of focusing on what they couldn’t do, but also a chance to gain advice from the volunteers on how they can work on those development areas.

Lightbulb moments 

Volunteers stood up and spoke about how they reached that “lightbulb moment” and realised what career path they made the decision to go down and how. This brought to light that not everyone knows what they want to do straight away, and many had to go down different paths before they came to a career they are in now. 

Bryonie found her “lightbulb moment” when working in a pub at university, she realised that marketing was the path she wanted to go down after helping out with the companies social media and design work. This realisation has led to Bryonie to delivering strategic marketing campaigns for Netpremacy, alongside one of the world’s leading tech companies, Google.

 

Having done her degree, work experience and finding a job in HR, Ashley made a career change and decided that she wanted to work more closely with clients, moving into an Account Manager role. However, this was where Ashley actually had her “lightbulb moment”. She found that she was able to understand technical solutions that were being put forward by the development teams, communicate them in an understandable way for customers, and then worked with the customers and development teams to bring these to fruition. This inspired Ashley to move into the world of projects as a Business Analyst, and find an innovative company where she could build on these skills. That was when she found Netpremacy, a company that partnered with customers to help them implement the latest Google technology, where Ashley is now responsible for delivering those projects as a Project Manager.

Kara’s “lightbulb moment” came to her in a previous role when she stepped in as emergency cover for her boss. This made her realise she loved being able to support her team to ensure they got the most out of the day. She then decided to start training towards team leading instead of just technical. This then lead on to Kara running the entire support team at Netpremacy. 

Hopes and dreams 

Next, we paired up and sat down in small groups to discuss the students goals for the future and how they might overcome any obstacles. We discussed what they would like to achieve and made drawings from it so the students could take this as a reminder and something to look back on. This was a great exercise to tap into what the girls saw their futures looking like! 

Our morning with Ahead Partnership was a fantastic opportunity to connect with girls who may be unsure of what direction they want to go in when they leave school and really encourage them to believe in themselves. Sitting down with the students allowed us to speak about Netpremacy office culture, and how it differs from a typical “office” stereotype. The session also let us speak about how employee well-being is important and plays a big role in our culture at Netpremacy. A big thank you to MEPC who organised and funded the whole event, we look forward to many more in the future! You can read more about the day, and view more pictures here.

Discover Netpremacy’s career opportunities here. We’re always looking for talented, ambitious, and passionate people to join our fast-paced, friendly team.

Watch the video summary of the day here.

To keep up to date with product announcements, updates, and events subscribe to our newsletter.

27 June 2019

Netpremacy’s Highlights: Women of Silicon Roundabout

At Netpremacy we’re committed to enabling the continual learning and development of our team. This week we attended the annual Women of Silicon Roundabout event with the intention to gain insight on emerging technology trends such as Machine Learning, AI and much more. 

Women of Silicon Roundabout

Ashley, Bryonie and Francesca from the Netpremacy team joined the 6,000 strong community of Women in Tech at ExCel, London to attend workshops, keynotes, seminars and networking events. This was to explore the cutting edge of technology and what it means for the future and in particular, what it means for women in the industry. It was fantastic to see so many like minded women in technology coming together under one roof. 

The morning of keynotes was introduced by Shephali Silitoe. There was a definite buzz in the busy keynote session as Shephali spoke about new roles that are actively changing the future and how we are now working towards “empowerment, action and change”.

The team thoroughly enjoyed the conference, below are just a few of the many highlights and inspiration that we took from the 2 days. 

Karren Brady  

Karren Brady NetpremacyThe first speaker of the day was the inspirational Karren Brady, who is well known for becoming the Managing Director of Birmingham City football club at the age of just 23 and embarking on a successful career in sport, media and politics. She is now seen on popular TV programme The Apprentice. Karren broke the rules and became one of the first female football bosses in history.

Karren went on to describe how she transformed the club from insolvency to financially robust in just a few short years without the assistance of day-to-day technologies that we all benefit from today. She spoke about how to run an effective business and said that “nothing is achieved alone, you have to work together”. 

 

Karren gave the audience 6 key ingredients to focus on to get the career that you want, these were; leadership, ambition, determination, attitude, direction, and to be positive.  

Machine Learning for Startups 

Machine LearningThis seminar brought to light how many businesses are developing machine learning processes into their infrastructure. Milly Leadley, a data scientist at Ravelin explained the two different ways that Machine Learning is commonly used.

Machine Learning is used in many B2C businesses for personalisation and usability for consumers, specifically in the health and wellbeing sector. A fantastic example of ML being used for health is Flo, an AI-powered health app for women,  that “learns” to become more accurate day by day, providing personalised daily health insights.

This is a great example of how ML is used to help improve the quality of life but is by no means relied on 100% for results or accuracy.

However Machine Learning in B2B businesses is different, people are paying for a service, and rely on the service to deliver security and accuracy. Machine Learning can be used to predict possible spammers on sites such as Deliveroo. This functionality is becoming more advanced and accurate with each use, trusted and more advanced, and is therefore sold as a business-critical service to businesses such as Deliveroo. 

This seminar was a great opportunity to see the two very different sides to Machine Learning, focusing on the consumer and the business. 

How are we preparing our businesses for jobs that don’t exist yet? 

Women of silicon roundabout Dayne Turbitt spoke about how collaborative AI is allowing us to move at a faster scale, and as a result businesses are adapting and changing so fast, that we need to make sure that we keep up. An example of this is AI chatbots, taking away the menial jobs from the humans so that we can focus more on being creative. 

Women of silicon roundabout gen z

We now have “the internet of things” which is allowing us to use data in ways that we have never used it before. 5G is an exciting technology that can be combined with innovations suc

h as autonomous cars which will change the future of transportation for humans, goods and more.

One question was raised. “Are we ready for Gen Z?” Young adults of today have grown up as digital natives from birth, living with technology as a touch point throughout their entire lives. They expect technology to be a seamless experience in every aspect. An interesting thought to consider…

Digital transformation in your organisation

Jo Hannaford from Goldman Sachs discussed how she was given the task to push digital transformation in her workplace over the short space of 9 months. 

Ashley ParkerShe spoke about how she did this successfully and how technology has evolved massively over the 25 years that she has been working for the business.

She described the agile processes they took up to make the digital transformation successful, and had to completely change the company’s mindset about working. She spoke about what digital transformation looks like when working at a bank and how they have to think about the data and processes in depth before beginning. 

This was not an easy project and took a lot of engineering and collaboration. But that is has created a place that has flexible and a more collaborative way of working. Jo mentioned that she does not focus on when people come and go, or if they work from home, and that the quality of the work matters more. This has become possible since moving to the cloud and undergoing a massive digital transformation. 

A great insight into how moving into the cloud is helping businesses from all over the globe to work in a more collaborative and successful environment. 

Digital transformation & the future of energy 

This was an eye opening and inspiring keynote that took place at the beginning of day 2. 

Women of silicon roundabout

BP’s global footprint is vast, supplying energy and fuel to over 72 countries around the world. This means that the company is working on a massive scale, and therefore needs to use powerful tools such as Machine Learning and Big Data to learn and develop in such a fast paced industry.

Claire Dickinson explained how BP are working towards one of the worlds biggest problems, climate change. She spoke around the enormous transformation our planet is going under. Dickinson said “You don’t get a bigger challenge than climate change” and went on to explain how BP are incorporating Big Data into locating the optimum areas for charging points for electric cars. This helps with reducing global warming. 

This session was a fantastic opportunity to see how AI and Big Data are helping to make the world a better place on such a large scale. 

Digital is democratic

In this incredibly personal and engaging keynote, Alison Clark spoke about wanting to deliver a positive human future – for everyone. She explained that “digital will make the world of work more democratic” 

Women of silicon roundabout

She mentioned all of the fantastic advancing technologies that are being built and used in today’s society, but how we now need to start looking at making these more accessible to everyone. This means people who may have visual or physical impairments. 

This was a great point, and is something that the industry should look towards next, making technology accessible to everyone. The inspiration for some of this drive, came directly from Alison’s personal life, as she has a young daughter with cerebral palsy. 

Data for good 

This seminar was one that really opened our eyes to the massive impact for good that data can be used for. 

The seminar began with an introduction into Machine Learning, how it works and how it is used to determine which plane you will be booked onto when you are booking a flight online. 

The seminar then took a more serious turn and began explaining money laundering, and how we are trying to track it today. There is usually always crime associated with money laundering to ‘clean’ the money and get it back into the banks. One of these ways is through human trafficking. 

We now have systems that when people are signing up for a bank that can check peoples records, see their connections and make the assumption on whether they should be allowed to bank. This does not completely stop the crimes taking place, but is a beginning to helping towards fighting money laundering and the crimes taking place because of it.

Women of silicon roundabout

At Netpremacy, we can’t put enough emphasis on the value of sharing insights and learning from our peers in such a fast-paced, competitive industry as technology is. We hope that our highlights of the incredible event ‘Women of Silicon Roundabout’ has provided valuable insight into the changing world of technology and the exciting opportunities it’s presenting for not only women, but everyone who is exploring the exciting world of technology. There’s no better time than now. 

To keep up to date with product announcements, updates, and events subscribe to our newsletter.

22 May 2018

Managing Resistance to Change

 

In this blog post, I would like to underline how to go about managing resistance to change. As a trainer and therefore, the person on the ground during a change initiative, I am usually a prime target for directing resistance. Having experienced this in the past, I aim to highlight the methods and approaches Netpremacy use when dealing with resistance in a project.

It is important to have a plan of action for managing resistance. This will help to mitigate the impact of resistance on a business change and ensure a smooth transition between the old and new processes. Resistance is a natural human reaction that stems from the fear of moving into an unknown future state. It is, therefore, the role of a change manager to identify and address resistance, as well as get the right people involved in managing this on a personal and individual level. Poor change management can directly influence resistance, so in order to avoid these change management activities need to be at the heart of a project.

 

Resistance management and change management come hand-in-hand

Proactive change management is key to dealing with resistance. Training and communications activities are essential for many reasons:

To communicate the need for change, the effect it may have on people and the benefits it will bring in the future.

To expect certain obstacles and tackle them head-on in advance of the switch (for example, by creating MythBusters, FAQ’s, custom use cases, and many more).

To ensure people have all the knowledge they need to feel comfortable and confident with the new way of working.

Motivating and engaging employees through visible executive sponsorship and general support from management serves to create a burning platform and encourage positive emotion towards the change (see blog post on the importance of executive sponsorship). This can then be captured and leveraged to further spread the excitement and purpose.

Another aspect of change management is to expect resistance and empathise with the difficulty to adapt to new ways of working. There will always be a strong tendency to revert back to old ways, especially with deadlines and time constraints. It is normal for people to “quickly do something the old way” because it’s easier and they don’t have to think about it. Making yourself do something alien or unnatural and sticking to it is very hard so it is up to the change manager to facilitate the new processes and communicate the short and long-term advantages.

 

Addressing resistance

There are 3 steps to formally addressing resistance:

1. Identifying the resistors

2. Give them a part to play

3. Understand why they resist

The types of resistors that you frequently encounter are people who either have a strict routine for certain processes, are the ones who put the old processes in place, or already have heavy workloads and anticipate even more work as a result of the change. For example, in a typical G Suite deployment, those who are usually resistant to the transition are typically heavy spreadsheet users such as the finance department and PA’s because they have a unique way of working (with mail and calendar delegation).

Initial communications, such as a scoping survey that gauges how people currently work and what attitudes they have towards the project, are normally the first means of targeting resistance. In the first instance, you should pick out the people who are in favour of the change as these will help to spread excitement and positive energy around the organisation. Then, identify those who raise concerns about the change and get them involved in the project. Doing this will make them feel more in-control of the change and therefore, it will seem less scary because they are driving it. Taking this proactive (rather than reactive) approach to resistance management will help to reduce risks to the project rollout.

There is also a trend in the root causes of resistance that should be taken into consideration when understanding certain user groups objections.

Firstly, a common reason for resistance would be the lack of awareness. This is where clear and concise communications are vital to ensure complete transparency of why the change is happening, how it will be rolled out and when each stage is going to take place (see blog post on impactful communications).

Secondly, people are often afraid of the effects to their current and future job role. Employees sometimes feel that they may become less efficient at their work after the change, leading to the fear of job loss. Effective and engaging training gives these people the knowledge and ability to continue with daily operations, and floor walking allows trainers to provide one-on-one support to those still struggling (see blog post on effective and engaging training).

Lastly, another reason for resistance could be bad experiences in the past. As mentioned above, implementing change into an organisation requires visible support and commitment from managers. Without this, there are no apparent advocates of the change and so no-one pushing the project on the inside.

Assign resistance managers

Getting the right people involved from the start to combat resistance will facilitate the change management process. These people will be well respected to help push positivity and influence innovation.

Senior leaders are in the perfect position to enforce the need for change. If they devote time to the project to demonstrate their commitment, employees will value their input and opinion.

Middle managers represent leadership within the organisation already and are the closest figures of authority to employees. Being openly supportive and advocating for the change will motivate employees to follow suit.

Appointing these resistance manager roles can not only reduce negativity towards the project but also minimise ongoing resistance once the project has come to an end.

In summary

Having a plan for managing resistance is an important aspect of the change management process. From the early stages of a project, there are many factors to consider for managing resistant user groups in a proactive manner.

First of all, standard change management activities should be as strong as ever, especially if there are already high signs of resistance.

Then, an understanding of who is resisting and why is required to address resistance upfront by making them a part of the change.

Lastly, resistance managers from inside the organisation drive the positive need for change during the project and the increasing desire for innovation in the future.

Click here, for more information on how Netpremacy can help with change management for your business.

fraja change and training coordinator at Netpremacy

 

Fraja Hodges

Training and Change Coordinator

06 March 2018

Netpremacy women in tech

Featured above, some of the female team at Netpremacy

 

Celebrating women and minorities in technology.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, on the 100th anniversary of voting rights for women being passed, it is important that we still acknowledge areas where women and other minorities are still fighting for equality and acceptance.

Let’s get straight into this! My name is Francesca Clarke, I am a Training and Change Co-ordinator for Netpremacy Ltd, a Premier Partner of Google Cloud. 2 years ago, I made the move from working in finance to technology. It was the best decision I ever made however, sadly I am part of a minority. Of those working in tech industries, only 17% of the UK technology workforce are women.

It is clear that there is an obvious divide between sexes within the technology sector, however, it appears that the gap is closing! Over the 2 years that I have been working for Netpremacy, we have doubled the female workforce, and have found talented women who are eager to learn and grow within the business.

For all genders, I believe that there is a common misconception that you need to be a technical genius in order to gain employment within the technology industries. Nevertheless, there are many career options that keep businesses such as ours flourishing worldwide.

Aren’t the only jobs on offer for programmers and developers?

Tech companies are like any other, they need all the relevant cogs to keep the machine working. These roles include personnel in the obvious roles of Technical, Support Engineers, and Developers. But also include divisions such as Marketing, Accounting, Change Management, Training, Business Analyst, Project Management, Sales and more.

You could already have experience in one of these roles or be looking into changing career path into one of these fields. Moving into a different industry can provide the motivation you are craving, and as the saying goes ‘a change is as good as a rest’.

It is your employer’s duty to provide you with the information and skills you need to flourish. Although don’t forget it’s down to the individual to take an active role in their own independent learning in order to be successful.

Learning new skills is an area where women can often outshine men.

A study by the University of Georgia suggests that women of all ages have a better approach to learning. It is believed this happens because of the way that women learn goes far beyond the realm of cognitive learning. Instead, a woman’s attitude and enthusiasm towards learning can far exceed expectations.*

In the past women have been pigeonholed by their ‘maternal instincts’ and an ability to ‘nurture’, meaning they have often been restricted by society and most importantly themselves when seeking employment. Instead, we should look at these characteristics and what they can bring to a role. As equal opportunities in the workplace have become standard practice we now have to focus on the main barrier preventing women from covering new career ground, the mental barrier of ‘it’s no place for me’.

I am a woman in a male-dominated industry and I personally find it brilliant! Every workplace has it’s pros and cons but as more women are coming into the technology industry there have been major improvements from what some might call ‘a woman’s touch’. We are still outnumbered but women are rising up to the highly ranked positions and the only thing holding us back is our own perception of what is possible.

Don’t just take it from me, I asked one of my colleagues about what it is like as a woman working in the tech industry…

“All my positions in tech companies have been people facing.  I have found that women usually tend to work in people facing roles. I guess we have a tendency to be people oriented rather than working with ‘things’.

In theory, more women in tech could change the direction of the industry by creating more choice & demand for solutions by approaching projects from a different perspective.

To be honest, if I’ve been treated differently for being female I haven’t noticed.”
– Bernice MacAndrew, Technical Account Manager, Netpremacy Ltd

Bernice touches on a common theme that can deter women from entering unfamiliar industries… the fear of being singled out or treated differently. When moving into a new company, there will always be nerves and hesitation as there is with any change, but I am in complete agreement with this statement, I have never been professionally singled out due to my gender. I am instead a firm believer that if I maintain to break ground at work and keep my standards high I will stand out for this reason alone.

I asked the CEO of Netpremacy what his views on this subject were.

‘As a tech startup in 2000, Netpremacy’s core values were to change a predominantly male tech industry. As we have grown as a company so has our female workforce and as a result, we have seen increased communication (both internally and with customers), fresh perspectives on business problems and a large increase in company harmonisation. In today’s industry, our employees are evaluated on their value to the company and not their gender.’
– Michael Carter, CEO, Netpremacy Ltd

Understanding how a person, regardless of their gender or upbringing, can bring vital attributes to a role, is about understanding that individuals should be seen for their personal and professional qualities.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This is a question that every child has been asked at some point. I can easily say that I never responded with “a Training and Change Co-ordinator for a UK Premier Partner of Google  Cloud”. In fact, if I had been told as a teenager that I would end up working in IT I would have laughed.

At that point in my life, I didn’t have much of an interest in IT, and most importantly even though I was confident using computers I would never have labeled myself as overly skilled on them either.

I made my career move to technology with my self-taught computer skills and built on my existing strengths and experience from previous employment. Almost instantly I had my eyes opened to new tools and through some basic training, a spark was lit that turned into a fire! I went out of my way to learn everything I could about this new area of work and whats more I was enjoying going to work every day for the first time in my working life.

Now, some may say this is a little dramatic, however, my role has helped me travel the world and have experiences I’d never even dreamt of.

I think like a lot of my peers, growing up I was never actively encouraged to learn more about technology. My parents were from a generation that associated ‘playing’ with mud, footballs, climbing trees and generally being outside. Nowadays playing on a games console, computer or mobile phone has redefined the definition of ‘playing’ for present and future generations.

Children are now being taught coding in the first few years of their education. Making IT an accessible future career for all no matter their gender or background.

Tablets are now becoming a common fixture in a child’s school bag and tech of all kinds is replacing paper and pen. Our dependency on technology is something that has to impact the ratio of men to women in tech, but like any advancement, it may just take a little time.

Is the industry that speaks binary soon to become non-binary? We certainly think so!

If you are interested in a career at Netpremacy head to our careers page to find out more.

 

* “New UGA research helps explain why girls do better in school – UGA ….” 2 Jan. 2013, https://news.uga.edu/why-girls-do-better-in-school-010212/. Accessed 6 Mar. 2018.