We interviewed Evelina Jankauskaite, Mobile Device Team Administrator at British Transport Police on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.
My role is a customer facing role at BTP FHQ Technology department. Besides the administrative duties like dealing with BTP’s mobile network provider Vodafone – bill auditing, tariff changes and liaising with Vodafone customer service team for troubleshooting, I support mobile device engineers in building phones and provide end user training.
I never considered working in technology as I never saw myself as an IT person. I guess I can say that a career in technology chose me. A year ago, I initially applied for a position in BTP’s Learning and Development centre, in the field that I was very comfortable at and had previous experience but I have been offered a position in BTP’s Technology Department instead. I took it as a challenge and soon realised the potential of expanding my skills and knowledge. After learning a lot during the past year, I am starting to apply for more technical engineer positions. BTP always encourages career progression and senior management support their staff with advice in career opportunities.
No, I was always more inclined towards social sciences; history, politics and foreign language being my favourite subjects but I was always interested in technology and always found how exciting the unstoppable progression in technology was.
No, I didn’t have any experience in IT except for at my previous position at a training centre where I had to troubleshoot laptops, printers, projectors and network switches. I was a bit worried when starting but soon learned that most if it is following predefined steps and there’s always someone I can ask for a piece of advice. Some answers can easily be found online, I just need to know what to search for. There are also courses online that BTP encourages their employees to enrol to.
IT is definitely seen as a male sector. Less than a quarter of BTP Technology staff is female which is probably around the national average. In my opinion, IT is perceived as a very dull sector with IT people being unsociable, their eyes constantly fixed on screens and fingers on keyboards programming but it is quite the opposite at BTP Technology department. The place is always buzzing, being there for only a year I developed friendships, we often go out after work.
Yes, I do. The reason being that men are perceived as being more capable in sciences but technology is not always about hardcore computer science. There are other positions in the IT that involve projects, finances, procurement, hardware deployment and maintenance, relationships with suppliers and other.
Breaking stereotypes from an early age through education. Universities should launch campaigns to attract young girls whilst they are still at school and making choices what to study. Technology sector would definitely improve with more women bringing in their own perspectives and ideas.
No, there aren’t any barriers for women to get into technology. It’s more due to our own understanding that technology which for me has always been mistakenly associated with programming is for men.
There has to be a government strategy to encourage young girls to choose studies in IT and it has to start at young age at school with afterschool clubs and work experience within technology.