What do you do?
I am Head of Client Partnerships at Fat Beehive.
Why did you start in digital/tech?
I was lucky growing up as I was brought up in a family where we were inspired to get involved in the digital sector and I had role models in technology and female leadership that made me fight for the career that I wanted. My father has worked in IT and open source technology for as long as I remember, focusing on the merits of openness in computing to politicians and legislators across Europe. Therefore, I learnt early about the importance of making technology more accessible. When I lived in Madagascar after university, I taught basic IT skills to communities as they understood how using technology could open up remote locations to many more opportunities, particularly for young people and businesses.
How have you got to where you are?
I started my career working for a software company working on fantastic systems that enabled joined up working and improved client pathways for drug and alcohol treatment agencies and mental health support providers. I could see instantly how using technology had a direct impact on the success of treatment and support services.
I moved to Fat Beehive over five years ago and instantly felt that this was the team I was supposed to work with. Everyone here has the passion for working with charities and not for profit agencies and delivering and implementing digital experiences that will really have an impact to our clients.
As part of the Strategic Management Team, it is my responsibility to work with the teams here to ensure that we not only deliver quality solutions and digital experiences for our clients but that we also take pride in our work and believe in what we do.
I am inspired by the team I work with and it is fantastic to have such a strong female workforce across all teams at Fat Beehive.
What advice would you give your younger self or other young women starting out?
Believe in yourself. The industry is full of opportunities and you just need to find the right route for you. The great thing about the tech sector is that it is dynamic and always changing, work out what your strengths are and look at how you can best use your skills. Remember why it is what you do; keep motivating yourself, what inspires you, how can you work with your team to achieve what you want – make sure you work with people who inspire you!
How do you think tech should change to encourage more women to start out?
There is still a huge disparity in the gender balance of women in tech. We must change how the digital and technology sector is viewed from an early age. Only with early targeted intervention do we have the opportunity to address this imbalance and meet the needs of our sector. This must be for all ages – from education to early employment and career changers.
I feel strongly that the gender stereotyping barriers that girls and young women face at an early age can have a huge detrimental effect on young women progressing into digital and tech careers. This is why I have been so encouraged that tech and coding is being brought into education at an early stage, cultivating that early interest which is so vital.
Girls and young women need to not only be introduced at an early age to technology and its possibilities, but be inspired by female role-models in the sector. Girls and women of all ages must be inspired to know that they have the right to pursue whatever interests they have and for doors to be open to them in the digital (and other STEM) industries.
This is why I am reassured when reading articles and speaking with organisations across the UK about the programmes they are implementing that focus on getting women into technology and leadership roles. By seeing successful women working in the digital sector, these role models can help break the stereotypes and unlock endless possibilities.
I feel we are all responsible for making this change in our sector. We must push for gender parity in STEM from a young age, but also become role models ourselves to counter any negative perceptions of the technology sector.
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