We interviewed Sophie Dermaux, Software Engineer at Onfido on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.
What does your job role involve?
I work as a software engineer at Onfido. My team is responsible for developing the technology that identifies fraudulent documents.
What made you choose a career in technology?
I was excited by the chance to learn something new every day. I was looking for a career that requires you to always be on your feet and be open to new ideas and working technology hits the nail on the head.
Did you study IT at university?
I changed from a career in tech PR to becoming a software engineer by joining Le Wagon bootcamp last year. Before joining the bootcamp, I made the most of online courses to make sure that I would enjoy the role before I made the jump.
Did you get an internship or experience before getting this role?
I have been doing summer jobs since I was 14 and gained experience in e-commerce departments and Q&A in the past. However, Onfido is my first proper experience of being a software engineer.
Do you think there is a lack of women in the IT/tech sector?
I feel that is it improving, however the visibility of the women working in the sector isn’t great. Due to stereotypes, from the outside, the industry doesn’t seem to be welcoming. As a result, my friends and I founded DevelopHer to allow women to grow their networks, identify career opportunities and show that there is a role for everyone within the tech industry.
What would entice women to pursue a career in technology?
I feel that the variety of roles within technology is what makes it exciting. Women with varied and unique skills can contribute and be part of a sector that moves very quickly which allows them to always be on the top of their game.
Are there barriers for getting women into tech?
The major barrier in my opinion is that people think that you require a computer science degree to work in the tech sector. When in reality, I feel that the industry is looking for more diverse ways of thinking and different life journeys when growing their teams.
Additionally, people don’t realise how supportive tech teams are. At Onfido, I get the opportunity to have regular catch ups with senior members of the team to help me with my career development and I also get to organise my women in technology events in the office. I feel that engineering departments, are in reality, often environments that allow you to prosper.
How could we encourage more women to have a career in tech?
Highlight the opportunities for learning that there is out there. Many charities, associations and volunteering groups are providing free classes and training. I would love to see them collaborate more closely with schools and universities for young people, who haven’t even considered what they would like to do, to see the tech industry is a fascinating avenue.