Here we speak to Kate Morris who after 18 years and having 4 children, returned to the technology industry. Kate got a job opportunity at Deloitte and here she speaks in detail about her return to the sector.
There are great opportunities to return to the tech sector, even after an extended break. One way is through Returnships, which many companies now offer. They focus on helping women re skill in technology and build their confidence through coaching and mentoring. Returnships are often described as high-level paid internships and can last anywhere between 10 weeks to 6 months.
Alternatively, there are third party training companies that offer you the chance to upskill and kickstart your career in technology – and often will help to find you a job after the course has ended. Kate Morris used this route to do just that.
What role do you do at Deloitte?
I am currently a front-end developer, but my experience is primarily back end.
How long were you away from the IT workforce?
18 years, almost to the day!
What made you return to IT?
I wanted to come back for a long time but thought I wouldn’t be able to because I’d been out of the industry for so long. So, it is great to be back.
Do you feel the industry has changed over the years in its attitude to women?
In lots of ways communication across the board is better.
Did you need to re-skill before applying and returning?
Yes, I took a training course at the Makers Academy for 16 weeks to upskill.
What made you apply to Deloitte?
Makers have a relationship with Deloitte and so it was natural to investigate. What I liked was the enthusiasm about tech and the structured career progression, but more importantly I liked the inclusion initiatives including Return to Work and People Like Me.
Did you come across any barriers when trying to get back into tech?
I spoke to recruiters and people in the industry, but no one knew what to do with me and I didn’t know what questions to ask.
How do you maintain a work life balance?
So far it has been fine, it was worse when I ran my own company! (I ran a kitchen design & build company).
How could we encourage more women into tech?
We need to normalise it, women in tech are still considered to be odd/unusual/part male (!). The more visible women there are the better it will be. Girls need to be encouraged. Tech needs to be normalised, women who use spreadsheets balk at databases…. Same logic. Part time work, remote work that sort of thing.
What advice would you give to women today who are looking to enter/return to the tech industry?
Upskill, if nothing else it makes you feel more confident. There will still be tonnes you don’t know so minimise that as much as you can!
If you are in a similar position to Kate Morris and are looking to return to the technology industry, then here are a few tips that can help you: