We interviewed Tahera Malik, Application SME at Direct Line Group on her thoughts and experiences on women in tech.
During my AS Levels, I thought about my future and what I wanted to be. I thought I could be an IT Teacher in a secondary school. Whilst studying, I realised this will be handy for my future as IT is a fundamental pillar in so many industries.
I studied Information Technology at AS and A-Level, and Information Technology Systems (ITS) as the University of Sussex
I graduated in 2008, during this time there was a recession. I found myself applying for work experience to get through the door. I worked at a company called Epic (now called Leo Learning) in Brighton. I started off by adding data to stock images, followed by IT support for e-Learning. I also helped with e-Learning videos using paper animations.
I think there’s a lot of diversity these days. Direct Line Group is a great company to work for where they look after you no matter what your background. There’s a good mix of men and women. In my previous roles, yes there has been a lack of women, but I think that’s all changed.
When I was younger, yes, I may have thought that. But whilst growing up and learning more on what I can do, I felt more confident regardless of being a woman.
I don’t think I can say as the world has changed so much. We have constant changes in technology. This is everywhere for example, on TV and social media platforms. It’s a choice needed from the individual. I guess I realise how lucky I am to have a job during the world crisis and being able to work from home (WFH). Maybe that could entice you 😊 knowing you can do your job in an office as well as at home.
I don’t think so. During my career, I have usually felt somewhat shy and embarrassed. At 35, I now feel more confident than ever. During the pandemic and WFH, I have used this time to not shy away from what I can do and want to say. I have a voice and people listen. I feel empowered to do a great job. I am forever grateful for my failures and successes as each one has brought me here.
Do your research when it comes to interviews. Know the company, know what their vision is and what you can bring to the table. Once you know this, you will feel more confident during the interviews. Ask questions such as how the company works with 3rd parties and how they work as a team in the fast pace world. Ask what technologies they use and how they could improve to work more efficiently and save money.
To feel empowered. You can do this, without trying you will never know. Push yourself to learn more and arrive to interviews with your understanding of the job you have applied for. If you are corrected, well that’s ok. It shows your enthusiasm to learn and pick up and learn more. It shows you can thrive and adapt to what’s ahead. Keep your doors open and don’t feel down if something doesn’t go your way, pick up what you learnt from this and move on. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask. Easier said than done but try and imagine that you are talking to a friend. Nobody wants to see others fail, and if they do, well that’s their insecurity – not yours. There’s always going to be chances and choices, so be wise and confident and go in with a big heart 😊