Sogeti UK – Dee Talat, HR Business Partner

We interviewed Dee Talat, HR Business Partner at Sogeti UK on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

1. What does your job role involve?

As an HR business partner, my role is anything and everything HR, people strategy and projects related.
A lot of my focus is dedicated to developing and retaining our talent, promoting career development, and accelerating the progression of our top talent.

We tend to heavily leverage data to drive the strategy to support our People priorities and enhance the overall employee experience.
At Sogeti and Capgemini, we also place a significant focus on Active Inclusion. Together with our leadership team, we drive initiatives that help us create an inclusive workplace and deliver tangible improvements in diversity, particularly in our gender and ethnicity balance and employee health and wellbeing.


2. What made you choose a career in technology?

I am a problem solver at heart, so technology always interested me on a personal level. I was superbly lucky to attend a school that encouraged everyone to learn how to code in HTML and exposed us to various ICT subjects. This certainly ignited my curiosity for automated processes and gave me a fantastic foundation to gain a deeper understanding of the technology world.

After graduating and starting my career, I began to comprehend just how of a mammoth impact technology was and is continuing to have on everyone’s personal and professional lives. Therefore, working for a tech company brings me a tad bit closer to impacting those lives. Even if it’s indirectly through supporting and building our consultants’ and technologists’ skills and knowledge to become their best!


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

No, I chose Business Management for my bachelor’s studies and progressed into master’s in Human Resources.


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

Thinking over my various roles in finance and human resources, I was always indirectly involved with technology/IT. More so from an internal customer’s point of view and their UX – be it implementing new HR or finance systems or developing suitable platforms for employee engagement.


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

It truly depends which area of IT and tech we are look at but the short answer – yes.


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

I believe this stereotype is disappearing rapidly however careers within tech are not being made as attractive as they could be to the girls and women alike. We have recently attended our son’s GCSE options evening and have not met one girl in the ICT/Computer science class. It would be fantastic to see ICT or similar subjects not only as an option for GCSE but also as a requirement considering the fast-moving pace of technology advancements.


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

Showcasing the variety of potential career options, starting at schools, followed by universities and colleges. Encouraging a more vocational approach to learning tech qualifications – university is not the only way to enter the tech world.

When we think tech – we largely think of programming and IT support. There is so much more to it, we simply need to have more visible female role models demonstrating diverse roles within tech.


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

It is a complicated question, very much dependent on which part of the world it is posed to, however, if we think about the UK market then I would lean towards ‘not really’. We are heavily underrepresented, and companies should do much more in ensuring women who enter tech stay in tech, but I don’t believe there are bigger barriers for women to enter tech world than men.

Current day barriers tend are based on perception – a lot of thinking around tech being a masculine, dry working environment that offers no flexibility and long hours. This potentially stems from a lack of exposure, female tech mentors and understanding of how varied the tech world can be.


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

First and foremost, removing the fear of competing in a male-dominated industry by building female confidence and telling them they are remarkable and just as capable.

Likewise, by actively promoting various pathways to get into it and removing stigma when it comes to career change at any point in life.


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

Be confident, bold and do not wait for the “perfect” moment. Because more likely than not, the things will not fall flawlessly into place, and you will not be 100% ready or qualified to allow for the perfect move.

So just apply for that role you are interested in, go for that promotion opportunity, ask for that salary increase, complete that certification…

Also, do not assume that leadership or senior management see your achievements. Never diminish your accomplishments, neither to yourself nor others, and be valiant talking about how talented you are.