Dominos UK and Ireland LTD – Neha Batra, Head of Business Solutions

We interviewed Neha Batra, Head of Business Solutions at Dominos UK and Ireland LTD on her thoughts and experience on women in tech.

1. What does your job role involve?

As the Head of Business Solutions in Dominos IT, I am responsible for providing innovative vision, strategy, and leadership in all the areas of the back-office technology use. In my role, I collaborate directly with the business stakeholders and decision makers across all departments to identify, recommend, design, and support cost-effective technology solutions for all aspects of the organization supporting to develop the technology roadmap. This role requires me to be both visionary and pragmatic, focusing on the return on investment of technology systems and their business impact.


2. What made you choose a career in technology?

Technology is about innovation and innovation in business is all about doing things differently in order to provide better products and solutions, and an improved service to customers.

I am very passionate about helping business achieve their goals by empowering them with technology.

I believe technology is not just essential for day-to-day business processes, it can also help companies to achieve growth and success when utilised effectively. Successful businesses don’t view technology simply as a way to automate processes, but instead use it to open up new ways of doing business.

It’s a highly flexible and modern industry, where things such as flexible hours, remote work and home office are not rare. The challenges of the tech career are interesting, it can be stressful sometimes, but sometimes I feel like they are puzzles I love to solve. I love my job and would absolutely recommend a career in Technology.


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

I completed my bachelors and post-graduation degree in Computer applications from Mumbai University in India.


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

I come with nearly 20 years of IT experience with a diverse portfolio span across multiple domains like FMCG, Legal, Health and Fitness, Retail, Telecom, Packaging, and Automotive industry. I was very fortunate to get extensive experience in core consulting, technical and business skills gained in Enterprise/Solution architecture, System Integration, Consulting, Product Development and Application support management.


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

Statistics show that only one is 6 tech specialists in the UK are women, only 1 in ten are IT leaders and worse still, despite significant growth in the number of women in technology and IT roles, female representation in the technology sector has stalled over the last 10 years.


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

I come from a very different background where women and men both strive for technology roles. This is partly due to Indians’ predisposition towards math and science from an early age. So the answer does not lie just within the education system, but also the culture and upbringing. Also the Tech industry in India contributes significantly to India’s GDP. However, moving to different parts of the world for work, the Tech industry outside India is highly male dominated and women do have a tough job in the sector, especially when it comes to the gender pay gap (which is by the way a global issue), and there is still along way to go when it comes to stereotypes especially among the younger generations. There is some great female talent coming into the innovation and tech industry at graduate level and also managers coming in from other types of consultancy companies. However, many of the more senior positions tend to be occupied by males as females either drop out of their careers or do not continue in this profession.


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

Recent research show that fewer women are studying technology-based subjects at school and university meaning employers have fewer women to choose from when recruiting. The reason for this can also boil down to the lack of female role models in the tech industry for young girls to follow in their footsteps and study these subjects. It’s clear- the industry needs women in technology! And retain the talent that we have.


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

Indeed there are. It is always associated as a desk job doing coding in a man’s world and has an unjustly ‘boring’ reputation. There is a need for an image change for Tech.

I also think that the field is so vast with automation, artificial intelligence and different technologies so even if someone wants to make a start they don’t know where to begin.

I personally have always struggled to find female peers to learn from, so wherever I go I look to establish a network where we could encourage each other to test the waters.


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

I truly believe that if we can become role models who young women will want to hear and learn from, we can give them the confidence they need to study STEM through to degree level. Giving them practical advice and showing them first-hand that tech roles for women do exist should help to improve perceptions and show that tech can be a natural career path after graduating like it was for me. If we can do this, more women will be inspired to consider careers in the field.


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

Pursuing a successful career in a competitive industry like technology pushes people to their limits, and the path of progression is often littered with many distractions. It’s crucial for young women starting their careers to have clarity on their purpose and goals, then build a game plan mapping out how to develop the necessary skills and expertise to achieve them.