Atos IT Services UK Ltd – Sara Alasadi, Account Manager

We interviewed Sara Alasadi, Account Manager at Atos IT Services UK Ltd on her thoughts and experiences on women in tech.

1. What does your job role involve?

My job involves managing key client relationships in the public sector and bringing forward innovative technology business opportunities wherever possible.

2. What made you choose a career in technology?

The fact that it’s a fast-growing market – the everchanging nature of it was especially appealing to me

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

No – I studied art-based subjects at A-level, Law at undergraduate level, and now I am simultaneously completing a master’s in Law and Technology, around my day job!

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

Before joining Atos as a graduate, I had completed a year-long internship at Atos as well – that first step was what struck the interest in the technology industry, and what edged me towards studying Technology as well. Other than that, I had no experience in tech

5. Do you think there is a lack of females in the IT and tech sector? Do you find there is a stereotype that a career in IT or technology is just for men?

Absolutely – I think it’s still moving away from historically being a male dominated industry and that starts from a young age – all statistics indicate that females don’t tend to go for STEM subjects in school and so it’s already more difficult to get into a field without the necessary background. I think it can also be quite a domineering industry (as with most industries at the corporate level) so can be off-putting or women may not feel the drive to progress into more senior positions. Raising awareness early on and encouraging equal opportunities is the way to combat this.

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

Inclusivity, not feeling like ‘the only girl in the class’, meeting women who have followed that path and become successful in later careers. Educating pupils and teachers about moving away from stereotypes, such as girls being better at the arts… just a few ways of providing a level playing field.

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

Potentially in the sense that they’re less likely to have followed the necessary educational path. But I don’t think there is from a recruitment perspective. Companies are aware of the issue and some may have quotas and targets for female representation in the workplace. It’s just making sure that women can get to that position by doing relevant degrees, having experience opportunities, etc.

8. How could we encourage more women to start a career in tech?

Career fairs at Universities, promote inclusive and supportive company cultures

9. What advice would you give to young women at the start of their career?

Don’t compromise yourself because you think that you can’t do something or you will be outnumbered, or under qualified. The different perspective is often the most valuable and people will appreciate this. Don’t deter yourself from a company or role because you’re intimidated by its technicality – I‘m not technically well-versed myself but I throw myself whole-heartedly into my job and learn something new every single day. Be confident and bold!