Iglu – Marina Wright, Head of Delivery

Marina WrightWe recently interviewed Marina Wright, Head of Delivery at Iglu on her thoughts and experience on Women in Tech.

  1. What does your job role involve?

My role involves assuring that the company’s portfolio of programmes and projects supports our business strategies and that our goals and objectives are well thought through and articulated using the OKR framework (Objectives and Key Results).

I am also responsible for leading and overseeing the end-to-end project life cycle (from demand to delivery) and ensuring the right level of governance is in place; in keeping with the way we operate.

At Iglu, we are going through a significant transformation in terms of how we work and as a member of the Leadership team (Ops Board) I am heavily focused on change management and making sure we are working together as a cohesive Leadership team to drive the business forward.

  1. What made you choose a career in technology?

My parents both worked in Technology, and so I was exposed to that as a career path from a young age. After my A-levels, I decided to go straight into work from college rather than go to University and I didn’t seriously consider going down the Technology route until I was in my early 20s.  I knew it would greatly benefit me if I studied an IT-related subject at University and it was at University that I discovered my passion (and strengths) lay in Project Management.

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

When I was in my early 20s, I made the decision to leave my Customer Services job to enrol on an IT degree course at University as (what was considered) a “mature student”.

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

I have now worked the IT/Technology sector for nearly 20 years; starting in Project Support roles and progressing into Project Manager then Programme Manager roles responsible for delivering multi-million pound technology programmes. Have also been responsible for Programme Management Office functions and managed teams of Project and Programme Managers.

My role now doesn’t sit solely in IT/Technology but rather, across all functions, which is appropriate for the size of the organisation and the way in which we operate as a business.

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

IT is typically male-dominated and I do think there is a lack of females within this sector; throughout the layers within organisations but particularly in management and leadership roles.

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

I do think there is still this stereotype, but I think we are slowly seeing a shift in this way of thinking. My own experience is that this stereotype is perpetuated in organisations where a patriarchal culture filters down from “the top” and breeds through organisations.

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

Understanding what career path options there are, depending on the type of course you might study at school/college/university.

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

There shouldn’t be any barriers, but there may be perceived barriers in organisations that are traditionally male-heavy, such as engineering. This can be intimidating, and “rule out” exploring those industries as a career option for some.

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

Having more role models to look up to – having access to women’s stories on their career paths in all types of roles within Technology.

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

First and foremost, don’t let anyone else hamper your drive/ambitions or tell you can’t do something, just because it doesn’t fit the traditional “mould” for that role or industry.

Think about your career path, and where you might want to be in the short, medium and long-term. Research women in the roles you aspire to be in and don’t be afraid to “reach out” to them; it could be women within your current company or indeed elsewhere (LinkedIn is your friend!). Seek out advice/guidance and use that knowledge to apply in the most appropriate way for yourself.