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BP – Gifty Enright, IT Programme Manager

We interviewed Gifty Enright, IT Programme Manager at BP on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

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  1. What does your job role involve?

Managing IT programmes, which normally covers determining the scope of the programme, the stakeholders, change management and communications, delivery timelines and the budget.

 

  1. What made you choose a career in technology?

I find IT very interesting in the way it looks to automate and simplify business processes. It is also forward looking and looks to innovate. This makes a career in IT challenging and keeps things fresh as they are always changing.

 

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

No, I studied Accountancy but stepped into IT when I had to work on a project as the bridge between the IT people and Finance people.

 

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

Yes I had done several IT projects before this role.

 

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

Yes but this is slowing changing. In IT you get more women in the software side than in the infrastructure side of things. In IT programmes like the ones I work on, you still tend to have the females in the change management, communications and training roles rather than in the core technical side of things which still male dominated.

 

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

In the IT infrastructure side definitely, but on the software side, although that used to be the case, it is changing.

 

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

I believe people should be encouraged to do what they love to do and what they are good at. Unfortunately society tends to push boys towards engineering and IT and the girls towards humanities. Perhaps if we just allow people to naturally gravitate towards what they want to do, that might help. Also career guidance counsellors need to be made aware of their unconscious bias when it comes to counselling girls for their careers.

 

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

Only in perception. For example it is odd to come across a girl who is interesting in gaming as it is seen as a boy thing so perhaps if girls are allowed to get into gaming without feeling like they are breaking rank, then that can also help change attitudes and the stereotyping. So there are no barriers to entry per se, girls just need to be encouraged to explore tech as an option.

 

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

By making them feel it is okay to follow their inclinations and what they enjoy to do rather than what they think is expected of them as a girl.

 

  1. What advice would you give young women today at the start of their career?

Do what lights you up and don’t worry about the stereotypes around it. You will work harder and are bound to be more successful at what you love so do what you love.