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 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.”
Fraja 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)
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.