Avanade – Joanna Barraclough, Senior Consultant

We interviewed Joanna Barraclough, Senior Consultant at Avanade on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

1. What does your job role involve?

As a consultant within the CRM Talent Community, I work on Avanade led and Accenture led UK projects of various sizes and lengths of time implementing Microsoft technologies. I collaborate with both client and internal teams to deliver a solution that meets or exceeds the clients expectations.


2. What made you choose a career in technology?

I spent my degree placement year at Hewlett Packard. I was invited back to HP as a graduate and continued in the IT industry moving to PwC, SAP and now Avanade, after taking a career break to bring up my children. The technology industry is exciting, well-paid and diverse enough to keep building on skills learnt.


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

No, I studied an Industrial Management (Engineering & Business) Degree. My A-levels were Maths, Physics, Chemistry


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

My career journey has focused on the IT industry but not in technical roles. These have been Marketing and Operational focused.


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

The balance is getting better. I guess it might vary by role/level but I have always had opportunities in the companies I have worked for. In Avanade our CEO Pam Maynard is a true role model for this and the whole company is focusing on Female representation in new hires and in senior positions.


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

No I don’t feel this. In fact returning to work after my career break I feel a big positive shift change in IT companies wanting to recruit Women.


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

Anyone with a Maths bias would be suitable. The opportunities now for more flexible/hybrid work locations would also suit women.


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

No, I don’t feel there are. Just be open to learning new skills and have a growth mindset.


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

More case studies and role models showing successful outcomes.


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

Make sure you choose something you enjoy, in a company that supports women and establish a great network to help you along your exciting journey.