We interviewed Elise Andrews, IT Service Partner at Serco on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.
I am accountable for all of the MYTechnology IT services that are consumed by Health and Transport Business Unit. Working in partnership with the Business Operational Teams, we want to ensure they are receiving the best possible service and service disruption is minimal by identifying IT risks / improvements. I represent the H&T Business unit into MyTech am the conduit for providing IT information out to the Business unit and ensuring H&T are considered in the design of any future products / services.
I fell into IT rather than it being a career choice. I started working at weekends with my Dad, in IT relocation to earn some additional money. Large corporations moving offices would need all their IT equipment disconnected and packed up and then set up again in the new location. We did 10 hour shifts and anything over 10 hours was double time!! The money was definitely attractive.
The company I worked for had an engineering side and they approached me to see if I would be interested in training as an engineer and I thought why not?
I was the only girl engineer in the company. I enjoyed taking things apart and seeing how they fitted together. I also found that by fixing things, I was actually helping people and making people happy….it was really rewarding. I also liked the fact that most people were surprised to see a “Girl” carrying a screwdriver and actually being able to problem solve and fix something….I have always liked proving people wrong!
No, I only have GCSE’s and studied Languages….you could say IT is a language too? I did however do a number of technical exams once working.
Only the relocation – how to unplug / plug in a computer and to troubleshoot if they didn’t turn on, for example changing power lead, checking the plug is switched on etc.
Yes and that IT is perceived as uncool / geeky.
Understanding how fundamental IT is to companies….and how important a role you could play in an organisation. You can combine something you are interested in and technology to get perks (e.g. travel). Understanding that IT is just another language that if you live it / breathe it everyday, it becomes second nature. IT can be flexible – working from home / flexible hours. Speaking to people who work in the industry, and understanding that the stereotype is not reality.
There can be, unconscious bias can play a part and can be influence the outcome of the interview. (i.e. It depends on the interviewer and how comfortable they feel employing / managing a woman and time off for maternity / childcare can play a part.)
Open days / roadshows / attending career days at Schools and Colleges and sharing our stories? Finding out why they wouldn’t normally contemplate a career in tech – ask them to collate their view?
Take every opportunity with both hands ….you can do it! Know your worth and be heard – if you can’t do it for you, do for those who don’t have the opportunity.