We interviewed Carly Britton, Technical Support/Network Operations Manager at VUALTO Ltd on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.
I have spent the last 6 years working at VUALTO and my role has been quite varied. I joined as a Webcast Engineer and then moved over to Technical Support. I now manage two teams, Technical Support and the Network Operations Centre. It is a very fast paced role and no two days are ever the same. We deal with clients on a global scale across a range of different industries to include: Broadcasters, Sports, Governments, Media & Entertainment, OTT Service Providers and Telecoms & Operators.
I have always had a keen interest in Technology and the Film Industry which led to me studying Media with IT & Computing. I blame watching Back to the Future when I was a kid and the day my parents brought home our first Amstrad PC. I was very lucky to have supportive parents that encouraged me to do anything I wanted to.
I studied BA (Hons) Media Studies with Computing and Information Technology at University. I attended an all-female secondary school and studying IT was not an option, so University was my first opportunity to study tech.
My first industry experience was at Hospital Radio where I presented my own show as well as controlling the mixing desk and other kit. Once I started University I moved over to University Radio. Also, at University I started a computer repair business where I fixed software and hardware issues on PCs. My first graduate job was as a CAD designer for a corrugated board company.
Without a doubt! There should be an equal split of men and women within the tech sector. Gender diversity is good for any company and improves performance across the board.
Yes definitely, which makes no sense considering the first computer programmers were women. The stereotype for programmers or any jobs within the tech industry are male with women stereotyped into doing the more admin-based roles. I think there is a stereotype to be broken on both sides.
Exposure to the opportunities available, a lot of women are not even aware that they could have a tech career or even the types of jobs available. Access to female mentors who already work within the tech sector. Also, female lecturers on University courses and pictures of females on prospectuses for computing faculties. I was the only female on my computing modules at University and there were no female lecturers.
Yes, most definitely. There are personal barriers as well as industry barriers. On a personal level, you are going into a male dominated industry whether that is through studying or in the workplace. The majority, if not all of your peers will be male. On an industry level, when applying for jobs you will be going for the same jobs as your male counterparts and most probably going to be interviewed by males in senior positions for these jobs. I had first-hand experience of this when I went for my very first graduate interview. I interviewed for a Tech Support role at a tech start-up that had 3 male founders. Firstly, I had to complete a tech questionnaire which was straight forward, then I went to the interview stage. The interviewer was not interested in me and tried to get through the interview as quickly as possible. The males at the interview did not get the same treatment.
Job adverts – Good use of language is so important. Words that can make a job appealing to a man can have an opposite effect to a woman. For example, the term ‘Coding Ninja’ which is commonly used within Silicon Valley has been proven to put women off applying. It is important to keep the language inclusive and diverse to appeal to all.
Raising awareness of women in leadership roles within tech is key to encouraging females to start a career in tech. Whenever I attend a tech talk or event, I am always conscious of the male to female ratio on a panel and more often than not, the entire panel is male.