Expleo are proud supporters of women in technology. Some of our bold thinking women share their unique insights on what it means to be a woman in technology.

Read their stories below and register your interest to attend our exclusive Women in Business event on September 11th in Dublin.

Alison Byrne

Name: Alison Byrne
Job Title: Scrum Master

 

Current Industry: Pharmaceutical

Alison grew up with a love of animals, John Keats and the environment. She was the kid that refused to go to the circus and insisted on paper bags rather than plastic. Most of her teenage years were dressed in black. She is a big fan of logic puzzles and more interested in the method of solution than the answer itself.

What’s your role?

I’m working as a scrum master in the business agility stream, my job is to support technical teams in adopting and working within an Agile mindset. The role is very people focused so I spend a lot of time coaching, motivating and teaching. My role is to influence, serve and motivate, rather than “manage” a team, toward delivering quality, working software. This is often called servant leadership.

What industries have you worked in?

I’ve worked in Insurance, Executive Search and On-line Marketplaces. My current client builds medical software, it’s fascinating and totally different from any previous experience I’ve had.

How did you find yourself working for a technology company?

I fell into it if I’m honest. After all, my degree is in Philosophy and Greco – Roman civilisations! My first grown-up job was in the Customer Services call centre. Over time the role transitioned to a business analyst role where I got lots of exposure to tech. Here I began to understand more about IT and technical delivery and I was a little in awe at how code worked. This seemingly non-sensical language could have a very real-world effect if used properly. It felt like I could control the matrix! Gradually, as Agile got more popular my role changed to product owner, and I felt detached from tech. So I became a scrum master and Agile coach where I get to work closely with all aspects of tech, product and management. It’s not where I would have guessed I’d end up but when I think about it, working in a tech company ticks a lot of my boxes.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

I’d say lack of confidence, brought on by my own, internal gender bias. I never showed a natural talent for mathematics or logic. But I wasn’t a natural at it, so I worried that I would look stupid. When colleagues had offered to show me how to code or at least how to read code, I’d turn them down. Sub consciously, I guess I felt if a woman is going to attempt writing or reading code, she needs to be twice as good as the men because otherwise she’ll embarrass herself and every other female coder. So if I wasn’t already brilliant I shouldn’t even try. Somewhere back in childhood, I told myself that it was ok not to be good at maths or code or logic because I was a girl, and girls aren’t good at that. I’m not proud of thinking like this, but it’s the truth.

Was it difficult being one of the few girls?

I found that as most IT departments were male dominated. There often felt like a “boys’ club” mentality. Being the only woman in an all-male team trying to learn and grow was a daunting prospect, even if my male colleagues were friendly and inclusive, I still worried I stuck out and that they were laughing at me trying to learn code. Although this put me off as a younger person, now I find myself better able to overcome this kind of barrier, although there are still times it gets to me.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

Prior to starting my career, I never even thought about it. It just never occurred to me that my gender and the gender balance of my sector would ever play a part in what I did, how well I progress or how happy I was. This is either a credit to my upbringing or an admission of stunning naivety, you decide! Before starting my career I assumed work would be like college, a mix of all genders. I see it differently now, now I see an imbalance toward males in tech. It’s become part of the job to me now, overcoming the discomfort of being the only women in the room is just one of the things I have to do now.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

It’s a solid sector, as long as you stay up to date with changes in tools and processes etc, you can work in tech for the rest of your career. As tech is skilled work you are well paid and usually have options to progress, upskill and grow yourself and your salary. Tech is never boring, it might get busy and stressful but you won’t be bored. Often concepts, processes and tools we use in tech can be translated into our personal lives, making them better. I use agile all the time in my personal life, for example in Agile we put a high value on responding to change over blindly following a plan. Through my work in tech I’ve seen why this is and I keep to this principle in my personal life. When things change and my plans go out the window, I remind myself to respond to the change and not try to force something that isn’t going to work. This helps me be more productive and helps me feel more relaxed and even tempered.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

I like that my being in tech goes some way to restoring the gender balance of the sector. I feel like I’m making some small difference in that way. Technology is the future and for too long women have been playing catch up to a “future” that men created. Women making their careers in tech now means women standing shoulder to shoulder with their male colleagues creating a more inclusive and diverse future together. I want to be part of that. I believe that women can bring a new and different perspective to any male dominated sector. In tech, I’ve been in the position of being able to see and express different points of view than my colleagues and so have richer, deeper discussions helping everybody work better together and do better work together.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

If you are considering a career in IT, my advice would be to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses for what they are: They are just different aspects of a person, they are not “female” weaknesses or reasons why you shouldn’t try something. They are not “female” strengths or reasons why you should pigeon-hole yourself. Take some time and investigate as many different paths in IT as you can, if you can intern and try them out, even better. Make friends and connections with people in the sector and get a feel for what path might be right for you. Above all else, Have courage to try, fail and learn. Remember you decide your path – not your gender.

What practical steps would you advise?

If you are not thinking of a career in IT, I would still advise getting involved and familiar with IT. Whether your passion is for medicine, art or sport, technology is key. The world has changed and more and more industries and sectors are supported by, or are entirely dependent on technology. Getting comfortable and familiar with technology will make you more confident and give your career options more breath regardless of your chosen path. People and companies that can harness technology set themselves apart. The best example of this is the book distributor that harnessed technology to support their business. Today, Amazon are one of the worlds biggest, most profitable and most innovative companies. Even if tech is not your passion, don’t be afraid or intimidated by it. Learn it and use it to support and further whatever is your passion.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Andrea Delisimunovic

Name: Andrea Delisimunovic
Job Title: Technical Engineer

 

Current Industry: Energy & Utilities

No. of years working for Expleo: 1 year and 9 months

Andrea is originally from Zagreb in Croatia, although she has lived in Dublin for three and a half years now. She described herself as a very curious child with enormous energy and numerous interests that drove her parents crazy. When she wasn’t singing in a school choir, taking art and dancing lessons, she was studying extracurricular math, physics and chemistry classes.

What is your role?

I work as an RPA Developer.

What industries have you worked in?

So far, I worked in Public service, Education, Manufacturing, Telco, Financial (Transfer Agency) and Utilities industries and on a few Expleo internal projects.

What types of experience have you gained?

Besides my professional development, the most important experience for me was that I learned how to work with variety of people who had different levels of education, different interests and different skills and I got the chance to work on my communication skills.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

On my previous job, my responsibilities included setting up the technical infrastructure for the classes and working with different software, including the web site and social networks administration. At one point I realised that I enjoy some of those activities more than the primary ones. Soon after I started to think about moving to Ireland, I researched the possibilities of doing a postgraduate course in IT.

How did you find yourself working for a technology company?

It seemed a logical choice after I passed my exams. I never thought about it before I completed the course.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

Mostly my lack of experience in this area, which I successfully overcome by applying for a graduate position in Expleo. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged me and provided me support.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

Yes, I was aware of the gender balance. I knew I would probably be a part of the minority in the technology sector.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

I’d say that it’s a dynamic job, with excellent learning opportunities and good security of employment.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

To be honest, I don’t consider there are many differences between the benefits for men and women. I would always advise young girls to learn as much as they can, to work on their self-confidence and to not let anyone discourage them. A lot of the encouragement needs to come from the employer too. Firms need to encourage promotions based on skills and ability and not self-promotion, and to establish a mentorship system for all employees, regardless of gender. Subsidised childcare could also make a huge difference.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Ashlene Curran

Name: Ashlene Curran
Job Title: Associate Technical Engineer

 

Current Industry: International Law

Ashlene is from a small town called Portafery in County Down. As a girl, she was keen on Irish dancing, playing the piano and art. That love of music and creativity continued during her studies at Queens University Belfast.

What is your role?

My role within Expleo is an Associate Technical Engineer. Currently I’m on client site at an exciting International Law Firm where I am a QA on a Project for Data Migration. Prior to this role I have previous experience from part-time jobs and an industry placement in banking, energy, technology, hospitality and retail.

How did you find yourself working for a technology company?

When I first started thinking about careers I always wanted to study aerospace engineering. With science not being a strong point of mine, I looked into what careers suited the A-Levels I had chosen. I went on to study software engineering before doing business management for my Master’s Degree. Expleo offered a graduate program where I could use experience from both my degrees, to work as a consultant with diverse clients across various industries.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

It was often labelled that being good at maths and science will help you into an engineering role. And you quickly rule it out if you’re not good at one of them. Within the technology field, not a lot of information was provided to me in school. Only an applied ICT A level was offered and it was a very small class. With little students studying IT, a career in Technology wasn’t promoted.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

When I was in school looking at potential career choices, engineering was often seen and was labelled as a masculine role. It was almost like I was automatically ruling out the industry without realising it. You tell yourself that if other women aren’t doing that I can’t do that either! Even at career fairs, the IT companies always had men in to talk about the careers in technology and engineering. During my course at university, there was a huge gender imbalance. I didn’t see this as a threat as we were all there to learn and study together. It was sometimes seen as an opportunity as some tech industries offered female only mentorship programme, which was great for support and guidance throughout the course. There were many meetup groups promoted within the university which offered further guidance for females studying and working within the sector, such as Women Who Code.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

Benefits include exciting opportunities, which can often challenge you. With technology there is new projects, meaning you can have experience of working in multiple industries. New tools and software constantly being upgraded helps improve your skills and knowledge. By being a women in tech, you can make a positive impact by helping encourage others to consider tech as a career. It is also good to be surrounded by women in the same field.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

There is a huge misconception about roles in technology. A role in technology doesn’t mean you have to be a programmer and have high technical skills and sit at a computer and code all day. This can sometimes deter people from considering this as a career. Other non-technical skills like problem solving, teamwork and creativity can all be applied in a technology role. There are so many streams and opportunities within technology that you often don’t get told about in school and you will be able to find a space within technology that suits you. My best advice is to speak to those who share the same passion as you, whether than be inside or outside of school and to use the resources available to you to help find a mentor. There are loads of local meetups and events for women in tech and by reaching out to women already in the field you will be able to have a better insight into what a role in technology holds.

What should employers do, in your opinion, to attract more women into the tech sector?

A good idea is to trial a mentorship program for women. Women in a senior position could mentor new and current employees and use social media to promote this. New skills can often be learnt from mentors which can be transferable in your future career. By promotion of mentorship on social media, more women may be attracted to the job posts as they see mentorship as a security blanket knowing that there is always someone there to help.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Bríd O’Carroll

Name: Bríd O’Carroll
Job Title: Director – People Services UK, Ireland & South Africa at Expleo

 

Bríd is from Gort in County Galway. She couldn’t get enough of Irish dancing as a girl and went to every féis going. One of her happiest memories was being presented with a ‘real’ dance costume for improving so much. Bríd then progressed to playing the tin whistle and accordion – until secondary school offered different distractions…

What has been your career to date?

I’ve mostly worked in Financial Services and Consulting, for close to 23 years now! I have always stayed within business facing roles and never had a desire to specialise. I love knowing how organisations are run and how one wrong move can change things so quickly. I enjoy finding solutions to business challenges and being front and centre to organisational development.

What is your role?

My role is Director in People Services for the UK, Ireland and South Africa region. I work with both the Engineering and Technology businesses. I am accountable for all People Services activity across the UKISA region, and provide leadership and guidance to the People Services Teams. My role is also to create synergies across the region and to provide strategic HR business partnership support to the senior leadership teams.

What types of experience have you gained?

I’ve gained incredible experience over the past 20 years. This ranges from working with a bank who lost their lending licence and seeing the organisation effectively be controlled and led by unions. It was probably the most challenging time in my career but we eventually turned things around and came through it. I also worked in property/construction just before the recession and seeing the business change in such a short period of time was an eye opener. I’ve worked on a number of TUPE projects both in UK & Ireland as well as working on large scale growth campaigns.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

I honestly didn’t spend long thinking about it. The opportunity came up and I liked what I saw and who I met during the hiring process. Of course the tech sector was booming so there was that initial attraction.

How did you find yourself working for a technology company?

I knew someone in the company that I had worked with in a previous organisation and she made an introduction. The rest is history! It was love at first sight. Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology? No, not really for me, I didn’t feel like there was anything too concerning that I couldn’t get to grips with eventually.

Did anything give you reservations in the beginning?

Possibly the pace and structure. Banking is a very corporate, governance-focused environment, so changing to a quicker pace and adapting in a more relaxed way honestly took time for me to get used to. I loved the ‘suited and booted’ environment with agendas and minutes, and I’ve had to adapt my style/approach in some ways to make it work for me.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

Not particularly. I’ve mostly worked in male dominated environments and I’ve never had an issue. It is still very recent that organisations are starting to look at their Board make-up and their senior teams when it comes to gender balance. I think the gender pay gap and more awareness in general for organisations will help with addressing some of these challenges.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

My initial perception was that it was tech focused so it was going attract more male applicants. This is still true today but we are doing some incredible work on trying to change this. For example, looking at our job descriptions to ensure our language does not appeal more to a specific gender type.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

The innovation and pace of change keeps you focused and allows you to continually learn. I learn most days from my colleagues in Expleo about the latest new innovation or a new client that we are onboarding. This is all down to the deeply skilled workforce that we have at Expleo and the strong collaboration between teams.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

Giving your voice and allowing to be heard. Knowing that other women will support you and have your back on your career ambitions. Giving support to those that are starting off on their careers in tech and need some additional support to get settled.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

My advice would be to do your research. If tech is for you, then don’t be put off for the wrong reasons. Speak to people or contacts that work in the industry to fully inform yourself and have an awareness of how you could progress your career. Study hard! Then apply for a job in Expleo!

What can employers do, in your opinion, to attract more women into the tech sector?

I think we can look at talent pools that are returning to the workforce, such as the Women Returners programme. Many women decide to postpone their careers for a period of time for a variety of reasons and employers should not be put off by cv gaps. Organisations are looking for skills to keep into the future such as leading & managing, strong organisational skills and being more rounded as a professional rather than just being technical. Emotional intelligence is also key for the future and arguably more important that IQ. That’s probably for another discussion! Of course, having the technical skills is paramount for some roles but in some cases, we can hire people who have different types of experience which makes discussions richer, and creates a more diverse workforce by bringing a different type of experience to the table.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Camilla Villano

Name: Camilla Villano
Job Title: Quality Assurance Associate – Graduate Programme

 

Client Site: Expleo Office

Camilla came to Ireland from Italy, where she studied a Bachelor Degree in Milan at Bocconi Univeristy. But not before a stopover for a Masters Degree in The Hague in the Netherlands, at Leiden University. Culture and languages are clearly two passions. Hiking, indie music and solo travelling are three more.

What is your role?

QA Associate, Expleo Graduate Program

What industries have you worked in?

FMCG, NGO, United Nations.

What types of experience have you gained?

Between my Bachelor Degree and Master I did first an internship at the UN in New York for the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations for three months. Then I interned in Brand Development for Unilever at the European Headquarter in Rotterdam, in particular I was working for Skin Cleansing Brands in Mexico and Eastern Europe. While I was writing my MSc Thesis I was project manager support for an NGO in Belgium, where I had the chance to work on a project on the Future of work and on AI and Social impact.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

I’ve always wanted to work within the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, in particular I was interested in the green supply chain aspect of it. However when I started working for CSR Europe (Belgian NGO), on my first day they told me that my main work would be on this new project about the impact of IT on Sustainability, with a focus on AI and Automation. At the beginning I was a bit disappointed, I never thought that IT could have an impact on the sustainability strategy of the business. Then, that same day, my former line manager told me ‘you need to become my Automation and AI expert’. So I started reading many (more then 25) reports on the impact of AI and Automation on the future of work, and I did not only discovered a new side of CSR but also a passion for IT that I never thought I had. Soon I had to go to many conferences and events on Robotics and AI and I found myself really enjoying learning basics of coding and machine learning. I also understood how much IT was key into making companies more ethical and ‘environmental friendly’ thanks to technologies such as Block Chain. From that moment on I understood that IT was a field that I needed to understand and work in if I really wanted to make a positive impact on society.

Did anything give you reservations in the beginning?

I always felt very slow in maths in high school, my Maths and IT Teacher were kind of never supportive, they would always encourage guys that were naturally good at it rather then spend time with people like me that needed a bit more time to understand this kind of things. Although I really enjoyed Computer Science, I never thought this could be a possible career path.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

During interviews and assessment days in IT companies it is a bit intimidating to often be the only girl and also the only person without an IT background or degree. However It also makes you want to perform better because you feel that you need to proof that besides everything you can be just as good as the other people that you are competing with.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

It seems like it’s getting better, it is encouraging to see more women such as Susan Wojcicki (CEO of Youtube) in powerful positions within the tech sector. However there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. For instance, often at AI and Automation Conferences, there are not many women attending or participating.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

It is a sector that is constantly changing and this really keeps you on your toes in a good way. You always need to challenge yourself into learning new things and it makes you push your limits and make you gain skills and knowledge that you could never imagine.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

You have the chance to ‘break the glass ceiling’ and be part of the change, by making this sector more open to women.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

The only limit is in your head, so don’t let the fear of not being good at something stop you from trying new things and go out of your comfort zone.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Emma McGonigle

Name: Emma McGonigle
Job Title: Technical Lead – Automation

 

Current Industry: Insurance

No. of years working for Expleo: 4 Years

Emma grew up in Derry, Northern Ireland, with a number of health complications which meant she spent a large amount of time in hospital. This restricted her interests to sedentary activities such as reading, drawing and hanging out with friends. She has been an avid fan of the Harry Potter books since they were released in 1997. “Hello fellow Ravenclaws!” Times have definitely changed. As much as she still loves reading, Emma will hike, swim, cycle and hit the gym before picking up a good book.

What is your role?

Senior Automation Engineer – automation lead.

What types of experience have you gained?

I’ve gained software development lifecycle experience in all of my roles to date. From Expleo, I have gained much more consultative skills, client facing skills, problem solving skills and working together in teams.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

I always had an interest in computers growing up. I was keen to learn how a computer could be used to help everyday life, despite having no further responsibilities than my own homework. I later did a double vocational A Level in Information Communication Technology, and then naturally moved to study computing science in the University of Ulster. This was the first time I properly got exposure to programming and computer code, and a much deeper view of the opportunities of technology.

How did you get into QA?

During this degree, I did an internship as a QA engineer for functional test team in AOL. This was a great insight to the behind the screens work that happens before a project is delivered to the public. However, I felt stifled and wanted to do more technical work. The team leads there agreed that I should move towards a developer role rather than manual test.

What happened next?

After graduation, the roles I applied for were for software development. Whilst I loved the more technical experience, I missed the teamwork and people facing aspects that I experienced in QA. For a while I was torn and felt like I needed to decide between the interpersonal work I experienced in QA or the technical work I carried out in Dev. This is where I discovered QE and test automation. It was an ideal mix of both of my major career goals to date. Expleo has been the first consultative role I have ever worked on, and this has really helped push out my comfort zone on technical and interpersonal roles. I get to investigate new technologies and carry out proof of concepts to see what would work best, but I also learned how best to advise clients and help them shape their QE decisions.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

Whilst my gender definitely made me a minority in my college course, I was mainly treated the same as the lads. Coursework and exams were submitted with a college number, rather than a name so gender was masked. For me, accessing college could have potentially been the biggest barrier. I was the first in my family to pursue higher education, I didn’t come from a culture of higher education so I had to forge my own path before I even entered a workplace that had any gender imbalance. Third level education brought with it the obvious costs. However, the UK college grants and loans system was definitely beneficial and enabled my enrolment to the University of Ulster, without this help I would have never have been able to succeed in my educational goals and reach the level of success that I have today.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

As I moved my career to more technical fields, my gender became more pronounced. Even though the incidents where a male colleague would treat me differently based on my gender were limited, these were difficult to shake off. This made me feel that there wasn’t the same level of help available for myself that there was for male colleagues at the same level. The men could easily ask for assistance and guidance, where any assistance I requested was often faced with comments such as “women developers” and a rolling of the eyes. I had to learn to be resourceful by myself, find the right answers without raising my hand for help from my team.

Is this different now?

As I have grown, so has the technology industry. I particularly noticed this shift when I moved to Expleo. Collaboration and sharing has always been encouraged and praised. Colleagues have repeatedly helped each other and are open to helping everyone at all different levels.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

The software industry is becoming more and more diverse, and the gender balance is getting better. However, as a member of the QE stream, I feel there is still a large gap here in the gender balance.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

You get to enjoy technically challenging projects with positive colleagues, employment opportunities and flexible working environments.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

As a woman I have found this sector to be very much a male dominated domain. But with more women entering the fold and more women becoming empowered in higher level positions, there is more diverse exchange of ideas. This has resulted in an exceptionally more improved sector where ideas are being given air to grow and no idea is instantly dismissed on the basis of gender.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

The vast range of roles available in the industry can seem daunting, but it means there are roles to suit all types of personalities. In the tech industry (specifically in the automation and QE areas), it can seem like it’s male dominated, however this is constantly changing, and this is a section for women to develop and gain new knowledge and skills that, at present, are mostly male driven. The vast range of roles available in the industry can seem overwhelming, but it means there are roles to suit all types of personalities. The idea that you would sit all day at a computer typing in code in a dark room is very dated idea. This is not how the industry works anymore. It is now much more diverse, and there are roles and positions to fit any person’s personality. I would advise to do some research into the different areas, talk to some career counsellors. It can be exciting and rewarding. I’ve been in this industry for the last 13 years and I am really happy to be in this area. I’d really encourage others to look hard into and research these roles to find the position that best suits them.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Helen Nicholson

Name: Helen Nicholson
Job Title: Senior Developer

 

Current Industry: Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI)

Helen describes her life so far in seven words: “Belfast. Born. School. Uni. Work. Never left.” As a kid she loved listening to music and going out with friends. “Nothing out of the ordinary,” she says. Let’s see if she’s special after all…

What is your role?

Senior Developer in Technologies and Platforms, Digital Labs team.

What industries have you worked in?

I spent nearly seven years in machine learning research as part of the Artificial Intelligence Research Cluster at Queens University Belfast (QUB). Then I spent 7 years as a software developer and project lead at the Council for Curriculum Examination & Assessment (CCEA), Northern Ireland’s exams board. 10 months ago I came to work for SQS, now Expleo, in Belfast as part of the Digital Labs (DL) team. DL is an R&D team so most of our time is spent in the office. Most of my experience so far has been with clients in the BFSI sector.

What types of experience have you gained?

At QUB I was part of the AI research cluster. I had the opportunity to attend research conferences and present at seminars. I also worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant.

What’s the coolest project you’ve ever worked on?

At CCEA I worked as a full stack Java developer building web applications and a BI engineer building a data warehouse for data reporting and analysis. I had the opportunity to work directly with the CEO on a key digital modernisation project. This gave me a chance to present to the Department of Education and Head Teachers, and run workshops with internal and external stakeholders. In Expleo I’ve been on client site at a leading insurance provider, which was my first experience as a consultant. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to go to Milan (on my own!) to present our products to a senior team.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

I started thinking about it at school. I’ve always been more interested in STEM subjects and that’s where my focus was. I liked programming and I was always good at computing (that was the name of my A-Level course). At that time software development and coding wasn’t something most of the people around me knew much about. Most people didn’t consider computing to be an academic subject. Computing was just word processing and using spreadsheets, right? At school the career choices were basically medicine, pharmacy, law or teaching. I was actually supposed to study medicine but when it came to it I withdrew and went to Queen’s to study Computer Science. I don’t really know why. My main Computing teacher was a woman with a PhD in Physics who had worked for tech companies in the US before coming home to Belfast to teach. I suppose she proved that it was a worthy subject with good opportunities and that encouraged me. Part of it was probably sheer bloody mindedness – I did my best never to do what was expected of me!

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

Not really. I suppose because I didn’t know anyone who was a software developer and most of the people around me didn’t either, it was very much an unknown. This meant having to explain and defend my choice quite a lot around the time of A-Levels and uni. But other than the odd moment of self-doubt, which I’m sure I would’ve experienced whatever I was doing, I didn’t really have any reservations.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

IT was, and still is, a male dominated industry. That’s always been obvious to me but I honestly didn’t see it as a barrier early on. At school I was one of very few who took Computing seriously as a subject. From this point of view I was always on my own. When I went to Uni that just continued. I don’t know the exact figures but maybe 10% of people on my course were girls, 15% at most. Girls were definitely not considered in the same league as the boys. That didn’t bother me. Yes, there were occasions when you got fed up and frustrated because you weren’t taken seriously, but it didn’t scar me for life. I’m not competitive in the sense of needing to beat you to the finish line every time but I’m competitive in the sense of being quietly determined to beat you in the long run. And, I’m confident enough to stand my ground if I have to, even if that’s in direct opposition to someone. I think these traits have helped me over the years to be resilient and get on with things.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

Variety and opportunity. There are so many different working environments, industry verticals, technical job roles, management roles, people, backgrounds, you can travel, you can work from home… the opportunities are endless. The sector is booming and there are lots of jobs out there.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

No queue for the loo…It’s a challenging and rewarding industry, and when you’re the only female on the project or at the meeting you can’t help but stand out from the crowd. So if you want to make a name for yourself you might find you’re in a good position. There are also plenty of options to chop and change along the way. If you find that you don’t love the company you work for or your day-to-day work there is plenty of scope to find something that does suit you.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

If you have an interest in tech, go for it! The opportunities are there for the taking. You can literally make your career what you want. I don’t know of many industries that offer the same diversity of opportunity. NEVER think you’re less capable than a man at anything EVER. Because you’re not.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Lorraine Donnelly

Name: Lorraine Donnelly
Job Title: Senior Business Analyst

 

Current Industry: Public Sector

Lorraine hails from Finglas in Dublin, where she was something of an ace sportswoman. She played the stick game camogie at Primary School level and had the pleasure of playing a final in the national stadium Croke Park. During her teenage years, she was involved in a majorette club and won a UK/Ireland championship as part of a team. She was a proud member of the “Finglas Fire Flyers”, although they were twirling batons and fire…

What is your role?

My current role is Senior Business Analyst which I really enjoy as there’s so much variety in the role.

How long have you been in this role?

I’ve been in this role with Expleo for 2 years and prior to that worked as a Professional Services Consultant for 7 years. So far in my career, I’ve worked in the commercial, retail, banking and services industries.

What types of experience have you gained?

A lot of my roles have been client facing so I’ve gained experience in communication, collaboration and stakeholder management. At a young age I managed a team of 12 which gave me experience in people skills, management and leadership.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

While working as an accounts manager I looked to expand my horizons and technology seemed to be the area that could open up a lot of opportunity. I began studying Information Technology in the evenings with the hope of becoming a software developer.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

I found it difficult to enter into the software sector without any previous experience and as a result took a different path and joined Siemens as a customising engineer. This was back in the day when a lot of the functionality wasn’t integrated into the motherboard so we would take large orders from clients and customise their desktops by adding sound cards, network cards etc and loading software. In the following years I continued studying software development and successfully entered the software sector. You could say I was determined to make it happen.

Did anything give you reservations in the beginning?

No, this was just around the time when people were starting to use the internet for the first time and I was excited about moving into the technology sector with the potential opportunities it could bring.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

When I entered the technology sector it was particularly male dominated but this didn’t prevent me from wanting to start a career in technology. When I started my first job in technology I was the only girl in the building for many years. Even the receptionist was male. However, it was a very positive experience. I found my male colleagues to be very supportive and enjoyed working with them.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

There are so many interesting areas that you can work in, the possibilities are endless. The cultural diversity in the industry gives you the opportunity to work alongside many different nationalities.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

Over the years my roles have changed and evolved to better suit my skills and strengths. I feel as a woman I have a lot to contribute in terms of what I can bring to the role.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

The world is evolving rapidly and the pace of change is accelerating. This brings with it opportunity to get involved and map out an exciting career ahead.

What can Expleo do, in your opinion, to attract more women into the tech sector?

I feel that Expleo is already playing an active part via the JAI programme but think it would be even better if Expleo could visit girls schools to talk about the opportunities within the sector. We have some bright female talent in the company that could be an inspiration to young girls.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Marian Flanagan

Name: Marian Flanagan
Job Title: Project Coordinator

 

Current Industry: Aircraft Leasing

Marian is originally from County Waterford, but has lived in Dublin for the past 9 years. Her interests are cooking and baking, reading, crime documentaries, playing video games and taking her dog for walks. She still enjoys playing video games, especially on the X-box or Nintendo Switch.

What is your role?

I have recently moved into the Programme & Project Management stream within Expleo as a Project Coordinator. Prior to this, I joined Expleo as part of the Graduate Programme intake in November 2017 and worked as a Quality Assurance Associate and then as a Quality Assurance Analyst.

Which fields have you worked in?

Plenty. In my HR career, I gained experience in hospitality, insurance, tech, drinks distribution and the public sector to name a few. At Expleo, I’ve worked in retail, utilities and aircraft leasing. Throughout each project that I have worked on, I have developed my technical knowledge and skillset by working with a variety of systems and tools such as Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix server migrations and Aircraft Leasing operations to name a few. I’ve also learned that it is just as important to have strong interpersonal, communication and stakeholder management skills.

How have you enjoyed the leadership aspect to your role?

Recently, I took the lead role in executing a regression pack for new changes that were developed for the upcoming release for a major flagship project. As part of the role, I was responsible in providing progress updates to the Project Manager, Business Analyst and Test Manager in addition to my daily tasks of test execution and triage. This has provided invaluable experience from a personal development point of view.

Have you found the rapid progression exciting or terrifying?

During each project, I have always been challenged to go out of my comfort zone and learn new systems and business processes. This has not only increased my knowledge and skills, but it has also helped to increase my confidence in my ability as a woman in Tech. Although I am currently the only female team member on my current client site, the team I am working with are very welcoming, helpful and supportive. I do hope that I can use my experience to inspire other women to take the risk and pursue a career in Tech.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

I was working as a HR Administrator within a Tech company, and started to reflect on my career. I realised I was very unhappy with my role and where my career was going. However, I was encouraged by my manager to return to college to pursue a technical course. I completed a diploma in Mobile Application Development in 2016/2017.

Was this a risk?

At the time, it felt like it. The course was technically demanding and I left my fulltime HR position in December of 2016 in order to focus primarily on my studies. On graduation, a friend and former colleague informed me about the Graduate Programme with Expleo. Thankfully I was successful during the interview process and the rest is history. I will admit that I was concerned that my professional background wasn’t technical but I am happy that I took the risk and the position.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

The only potential barrier that I realised was that my background wasn’t fully technical. After completing a conversion course in Mobile Application Development, I did feel that companies would not take me seriously in comparison to other candidates who were just out of college with a 4-year degree in IT. Additionally, as I was that little bit older that some of the other candidates, I felt that this might go against me.

Why Expleo?

Having researched the company and speaking with staff during the interview process, I knew that many companies were more open to female tech candidates. They were aware of the benefits of having mixed teams from a problem solving and creativity point of view.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

I saw it as an opportunity to prove myself that no matter the role, a woman can do it just as well as a man. Also that it was a risk definitely worth taking in terms of not only changing career, but also changing my way of thinking. My perception was that it was slowly improving but there was still some stigma out there especially with more technical roles. However, a lot of work needs to be done to encourage more women to move into more technical roles.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

You work with very creative and intelligent people. Having your opinion/advice taken on board is a big plus. As are the range of opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills. No question is a stupid question – people appreciate questions. They are also willing to help, advise and teach you. I’d add too the variety of technical meetups and conferences available to attend to learn and also network with other like-minded individuals. And the range of opportunities to grow and progress in your career. Everyday there is something new to learn or a problem to solve.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

Working in collaborative teams. Meeting other women in tech and having a community that you can rely on. Your point of view is taken seriously. Making a positive impact. Encouraging other women to join. More appreciation for your contribution. There’s a lot.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

Don’t be afraid to take some online technical classes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ask questions. I have learned that there is never a stupid question to ask. Seek out a coach or mentor in the Tech industry that can offer you guidance or advice – male or female. Never doubt your own ability and intellect. Research some female leaders and female coders to follow. If you are passionate about coding and want to pursue a course in tech, go for it. Take the risk and don’t be intimidated.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

MaryRose Crotty

Name: MaryRose Crotty
Job Title: Project Manager

 

Current Industry: Banking, Financial Services and Insurance

If you ask MaryRose where she comes from, she struggles to answer. She started life at a disputed county border in Kilkenny/Waterford. She then moved at age 12 to Dundalk, but was only there for the 5 years of Secondary School. She is now putting down roots in Dublin. Growing up, she was musical, with a passion for the piano and singing. As the eldest of six children, she had a lot of minding and helping around the house – including memories of ironing and polishing silver and brass. All good training for the challenges of technology?

What is your role?

I work in project management in the IT Infrastructure Team at a leading financial organisation in Ireland.

What industries have you worked in?

Software and Software as a Service from procurement and opportunity management to payment management, and everything in between.

What types of experience have you gained?

My career has had three phases. 1. Over 20 years in a tech multinational first in operations moving up the ranks to Snr Ops Manager for EMEA. 2. I moved away from Ops to a global role in Program and Project Management. 3. That’s now with Expleo.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

I fell into it – I had spent a year teaching in Argentina and came back to Ireland to take a job managing Spanish and Portuguese software distributors. Just lucky, I guess.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

No focus on technology at school or in college choices.

Did anything give you reservations in the beginning?

No it has always felt natural to me.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

No – my teams were always mixed. It was never an issue.

Did you see it as a threat/opportunity?

An opportunity I suppose – I didn’t think about it too much, if I’m honest.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

I didn’t think about it – there was a mix that felt natural. But maybe I was conditioned to think that? Now, there’s an interesting thought!

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

It’s fast moving and mostly positive in intent.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

I work in the Project Management stream in Expleo. We are roughly 50-50 women to men, so I guess I don’t differentiate the benefits of working in the sector between male and female

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

Software is everywhere. There will always be work as a result. There are different roles within technology and it does not mean wholly writing and testing code.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Melanie Byrne

Name: Melanie Byrne
Job Title: Director of Business Analysis and Business Process Management

 

Melanie was brought up in Dun Laoghaire on the coast of County Dublin. As a child, she was a stone’s throw from the beach, with the iconic Teddy’s ice cream shop on her doorstep, which has served the same creamy vanilla soft serve for nearly 70 years. Music and movies were a big part of growing up, just as they are today.

What is your role?

I’m Director of Business Analysis and Business Process Management, looking after the people and services for BA and BPM. Over the years, I have worked in BSFI, utilities, telecommunications, travel, online retail and online sports media to name a few.

What types of experience have you gained?

I guess my career has been a journey, I started out as a tester moving to test lead in QA, then as a business analyst and moving on through to a BA manager. Since joining Expleo I’ve learnt so much about management, leadership and how to run a business. Having the technical and analysis background has really helped me in this role, I’ve learnt a lot, but there’s still a lot to learn.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

I guess I followed my siblings into technology, I could see there was a strong future there with secure jobs, so I decided I was going to be a developer. My school wanted me to be an accountant but I could see that wasn’t for me. Of course, I quickly found out that development wasn’t really for me either, but I got a role as a software tester with a consultancy, and from there I ended up naturally gravitating towards business analysis. You could say I haven’t looked back since!

Did anything give you reservations in the beginning?

No, I don’t believe so. Looking back even in my early years in tech, I guess I’ve always worked in environments that were more male dominated, but it never struck me that this should be a concern or that it should hold me back. I saw that my brother had a number of female developer co-workers so I didn’t realise there was an imbalance. Well, that was until I got into college, then the ratio in my college class for male to female was about 6:1.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

To be honest, I saw myself and my colleagues as being equal, and I believe they saw the same. Unfortunately I believe it’s a cycle that the current imbalance does put future females off the industry, but really I’ve never encountered or foresee any reason why females can’t be in tech.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

Tech touches everything in business today. Even if you aren’t an industry that is traditionally seen as ‘tech’ related, there is still digital elements that will impact you along the way, so being tech-ready and keeping up to date prepares you for everything, even elements of your personal life! Tech is ever-evolving too, so certainly there is no reason for the sector to go stale for you, there is always something new to learn.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

Here, I shall use a quote I recently used in my presentation on International Women’s Day, by the American physicist Dr Shirley Ann Jackson: “Do not let others define who you are. Define yourself. Do not be limited by what others expect of you, but reach confidently for the stars” – I really can’t say it any more eloquently than that!

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Michelle Hart

Name: Michelle Hart
Job Title: Senior Technical Engineer

 

Current Industry: Banking, Financial Services and Insurance

Michelle is from Dublin (Clondalkin to be precise), and spent some years in Portlaoise before and during college. Growing up, she was into any and all sports, although basketball was the main focus. She was always interested in how things work – pulling them apart and fixing them back again – which naturally led to a career in engineering.

What is your role?

My role varies slightly from site to site. I am a senior technical engineer with my main focus being automation.

What industries have you worked in?

I’m currently in finance. Before, I’ve worked in healthcare, travel/airline (whatever Ryanair falls under) and utilities.

What types of experience have you gained?

All sorts! I’ve worked with lots of different types of people in all walks of life, worked in different types of domains with simple applications to deeply complex systems.

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

When I think back, I don’t think I ever said I want to work in technology but indirectly that is definitely the road I was going to go down. I knew I would study engineering of some sort. As a kid I was always interested in how things work, taking them apart and putting them back together. I think I was seven when I discovered how the flushing mechanism in a toilet worked! The hoover was dismantled several times – my mother was not so pleased. I recall soldering remote controls with my dad and fixing/breaking Christmas lights. I studied software engineering so technology was the career for me after college. Expleo was one of the first places I applied for after college, incidentally, as I was looking for a role in quality and development.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

Not really, it was difficult to know what roles to apply for, as I wasn’t sure which part of the industry I wanted to get in to. I guess that’s why I got on to the graduate programme to get some experience. I knew that the Expleo graduate programme involved four weeks in South Africa followed by experience in a broad range of industries and areas of technology – so it was the perfect fit.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

It would have been in the back of my mind that being a female would give me an advantage in the sense that companies will be screaming out for female engineer. But I don’t feel that would ever be the only reason I would get a job. I don’t think I gave other aspects of gender balance much thought early in my career.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

My whole way through college I was always surrounded by boys. I figured that’s just the way it is. There’s not as many women interested in software engineering/computer science/electronic engineering. This was 10 years ago, so I’m not certain if that has changed. I’m very used to being amongst mostly men if not the only girl. Only yesterday I counted 13 men and me in a meeting. I guess that was my perception and my experience more or less. The technical roles are usually men. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be, but that’s the way it is.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

It’s fun! You’re kept up to date with new technology and the latest gadgets just from talking to people around you and being in the industry. I’m not saying every day is different but things do change and things are kept interesting. Working on a development team is great, I love teams (I guess this comes from basketball days) but I love when a group of people just get together and get stuff done and figure out the issues. The work-life benefits are great, and always improving when it comes to paid leave, health insurance, pension etc. I think the main reason for this is the growing competition.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

For one, doors are always held open for me. Chivalry is not dead! Joking aside, women bring a different dynamic to meetings and teams. Women can give a different perspective on things and usually stop boys being boys and help keep things professional. I don’t know what benefits there are being a woman in tech compared to a man in tech but I would say being able to dress semi casual is a benefit for me. When everyone is comfortable I think it’s a better environment to work in. I learn literally every day. I may think I know loads about something then someone will show me something new. That’s awesome. Some days are exhausting!

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

Knowing how technology has changed over the last 10 years and knowing what crazy ideas are on the horizon with AI and machine learning means that the more you can understand about coding and technology in general the better. I would have said as a kid I never want a job where I sit in an office all day… it’s not quite the way I imagined it as a child. There are so many different roles, departments, sectors you can work in and generally it is easy to move around and find the sector that suits you in the industry once you are in it.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Niamh Wall

Name: Niamh Wall
Job Title: Senior QA Manager

 

Current Industry: Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI)

Niamh comes from Knockaderry in County Limerick. Growing up on a farm, she was an animal lover and kept herself busy playing camogie with the local club. In this robust environment, she learnt to look after herself and get stuck in.

What is your role?

I’m a Senior QA Manager at Expleo.

What industries have you worked in?

Telecommunications, airline and banking.

What types of experience have you gained?

I have gained a broad range of experience in Expleo, having started as a test analyst in the telecoms sector in 2007. My main achievements have been managing the test delivery of LTE with Eir in 2013 where we were first to market with the 4G mobile network. I worked in an Agile environment at Ryanair helping to launch the Mobile App and Website in 2015. Since joining Bank of Ireland as Programme Test Manager in very risk adverse payments area I have been involved in Test Delivery across multiple programmes and releases ranging from compliance to “Business as usual” to major transformation programmes.

How did you find yourself working for a technology company?

Technology was something I only started thinking about in my leaving cert year and I ended up putting it on my CAO form. I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about it, it wasn’t easily accessible to me at the time but I was hearing good things and wanted to learn more. I have a degree from University of Limerick in IT & Telecommunications which was a broad enough course to allow me to dip my toes in multiple facets of technology and figure out what I wanted to do from there. I still didn’t know what I wanted to focus on after leaving University and having started my career in Change Management I then fell into QA when I returned from a year abroad in 2007. I wanted to try something new and there were many opportunities available in that area. I’m still here 13 years later so that says a lot!

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

No. I have been lucky enough to have been able to make decisions based on what I wanted to do.

Did anything give you reservations in the beginning?

Yes, I didn’t have everyday access to technology. It wasn’t as accessible in the 1990’s! It was a risk for me to go into something I didn’t know much about but one that has paid off and left me with no regrets.

Did you consider the gender balance of the sector prior to starting your career?

No. I was aware it was a more male dominated area but it wasn’t something that stopped me going for it.

Did you see it as a threat/opportunity?

I was aware from university that there was a much larger number of males in the course but it was never something I felt threatened me or my opportunities. When we were weathering the IT recession in 2001/2002 I still got a work placement role based on my ability and not my gender.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

Again, I knew that it was going to be a more male dominated sector for a while but always knew (or at least hoped) that would change through more females like myself making the jump to technology.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

It’s a very diverse sector and it is relatively easy to transition to different industries and to try different things. For me personally, and I’ll be honest here, I’m not a book worm and much prefer getting my hands dirty on the job. My degree was recognised and ready to use straight out of University when some of my friends were studying for years after before they were fully qualified.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

Women bring a different dimension to tech. We think differently to men and can bring a lot to the table. What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology? If it’s something you are considering then you should try it, no harm in trying and if it isn’t for you it can be a box ticked as having at least tried it! The tech world is so diverse with so many different elements to it that you can succeed in one area where you might not in another so try it before you disregard it.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.

Pat McGuire

Name: Patricia McGuire
Job Title: Head of Expleo Academy, Ireland

 

Growing up, Pat was always into sport, particularly swimming. At one point, she was good enough to be considered as Olympic qualification material. She was captain of her school hockey team and basketball team, and loved most sports. In her area, there were very few openings for girls in sport. There was a GAA and Soccer club but they did not take girl members at the time. This was annoying, but helped to build her determination. Aside from sport, Pat has always played the piano and guitar, and loves reading and cooking.

What is your role?

I run the commercial Training business at Expleo in Ireland so I am responsible for sales, marketing, operations, i.e. anything that needs to be done to grow and manage the training business.

What industries have you worked in?

Across the board really. Banking and finance, insurance, utilities, technology, public sector, pharma, scientific, telco. You name it, I’ve worked in it. I’ve gained a massive amount of experience over 28 years, where the only constant is change!

When did you start to think about a career in technology?

After qualifying as a primary school teacher, I taught in a primary school in Dublin for 5 years (interrupted by a year living in Grenoble France). I soon realised that, at the time, promotion and reward in teaching was not based on performance or merit, but was based on number of years’ tenure. This did not sit well with me as there was no basis for recognition for doing a great job, or going the extra mile in terms of remuneration or promotion. I come from a long line of teachers so I did know what was involved but I soon realised I wanted a change.

What did you do next?

I moved to London where I got a job in a computer recruitment consultancy – which gave me very valuable sales and computer experience. I was put in charge of a new division focussing on computer trainers which was getting a lot of traction at the time. While I was working there I was also going through the application process to become Aer Lingus pilot and had taken flying lessons ground school etc. I loved the technology side of flying. But also I had figured out from job specs in my recruitment role that I was processing in my day job that Oracle were looking for a number of computer trainers across a large number of sites in the UK. I reckoned it was worth trying as it looked like an interesting company. So I sent 12 copies of my CVs to different sites in Oracle around the UK. Fortunately for me, all 12 CVs landed on one manager’s desk and she was so intrigued she called me to interview.

How did you find yourself working for a technology company?

I was successful in the interview and aptitude and SQL test recruitment process at Oracle (having never seen a programming language in my life). Oracle trained me to teach initially SQL and End User Reporting tools and I started teaching about two months after starting – in my first year I became the highest utilised trainer in Oracle. I really enjoyed it. But I became more interested in Business Development and sales. I was with Oracle for 18 years and moved from training into business development, while still training and eventually transferred back to Ireland with Oracle and became Country Manager for Oracle University in Ireland.

Were there any potential barriers to entry for you to start your career in technology?

Yes, I do remember sitting in recruitment company offices where the recruiter was on the phone to potential employers, singing my praises and trying to set interviews up and a few of them were not keen on taking ex teachers on. Apparently because they were stuck in their ways and inflexible! That happened a few times. But I got around it eventually.

Did anything give you reservations in the beginning?

No, it was exciting, and a big challenge for me with no computing or development background.

Did you consider the gender balance as a threat or opportunity?

To be honest, neither. It wasn’t really a consideration.

What was your perception of the sector in terms of gender balance?

I did notice that the majority of my students as a trainer at that time were male and as I moved into Bus Dev, it was clear also that most of my business contacts were also male.

What are the benefits of working in the tech sector?

It is constantly reinventing itself, which is exciting and challenging. New developments open up great opportunities for my business.

What are the benefits of being a woman in tech?

Women in Tech bring a balance and a reasoned assessment to any meeting, decision making process and/or strategy. Having just testosterone in the board room or Senior Management meeting will result in one-sided non-balanced decisions being made. I don’t mean just gender related issues but any decision that needs to be discussed and made will not have a well-rounded basis without women on board.

What advice would you give to young girls who may or may not be considering a career in technology?

Technology is such a huge part of our overall life that the opportunities are vast. It offers hugely interesting opportunities, whether you are a developer or entrepreneur or anything in between! Girls tend to undersell themselves in a lot of scenarios like technology, in comparison to men. Know your worth, do your research, build your network and find the job that you really like. It may take a while and you may have to move around but the experience you get as you go will stand to you. Don’t stay in a job you don’t like, for whatever reason. Life is too short and you will become demotivated, disinterested and unhappy. Money should not be the main driver, but merit will find a way of remunerating appropriately as you go along. Make sure you know your worth irrespective of gender. Be prepared to fight your corner, but not in an aggressive manner.

Want to know more about Expleo, contact us today.