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Technojobs – Atiqa Ashraf – Front End Web Developer / Designer

Women in IT case studyWe interviewed Atiqa Ashraf, a Front end Developer/ Web Designer at Technojobs on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

  1. What does your job role involve?

My day to day job includes:

  • Maintenance and Development of company websites
  • Client Emails and Newsletters
  • Producing Marketing Material
  • Uploading / Resizing Client Advertising Campaigns
  • Ad-hoc projects
  1. What made you choose a career in technology?

I’ve always had an interest in Technology and the challenges it comes with. Technology allows you to solve almost every problem people encounter, and even offer new options for things you would never think need fixing. Technology is part of everyday life, from the cars we drive, the smart phones in our pockets, the movies we watch to the ways businesses operate.  I think it’s also down to my teachers at school that encouraged me during my 2 years of A Levels which helped me select my course for university.

  1. Did you study an IT or technology related subject at A-Level or University?

Yes, I studied Double IT for A levels and took on single IT as an AS in my second year.

  1. Did you get any work experience in IT or technology before this role?

Before this job, I was working for a watch retail company as a web developer/designer. This job exposed me to so many new things; I was managing things that I didn’t even know I could do nor had any past experience in. There is a never ending learning cycle with technology, there’s always something more you can do. It was my job at the watch source that helped me get the experience I needed to get my current job with Technojobs.

  1. Do you think there are a lack of females in the IT and tech sector?

Yes definitely, in both of my jobs I have been the only girl in the IT department. Even with my course there was only a few of us girls in the course, majority were male.

  1. Do you find there is a stereotype that a career in IT or technology is just for men?

Yes, when people ask me about my job, a lot of the time they are surprised and I’ve had someone say to me once how I don’t look like the type that would be in this sector, I should have studied fashion or something.

  1. What would entice women to study technology related courses?

Women need to be exposed to the amazing opportunities this sector can offer them. Technology is here to stay and the future opportunities are without boundaries. It offers many types of rewarding careers, regardless of where you are, there will always be a job for you.

  1. Are there barriers when it comes to women getting into tech?

I’ve not experienced any barriers when it came to getting a job within the IT sector.  Both of my employers have been very welcoming so I have been very lucky. However I have heard of females that felt uncomfortable during their interviews and were almost made to feel like they are not capable of doing this job, it’s more of “mans” job attitude.

  1. How could we encourage more women to get into a career in tech?

I think it needs to start from school; they need to get rid of the stereotype of only men are capable of doing IT so they should not choose IT as their subjects. There are so many different opportunities with in Tech and it’s very flexible, you can work from office or home. When I was at school I had no idea how broad this sector is, it was only in sixth form when I started playing around with code and designing sites that I realised this is what I want to do so I dropped out of Textiles and took on another IT A level.

Schools and Universities need to encourage more girls to study tech subjects and expose them to the exciting career pathways it could bring.