Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am currently working in a business development role which is intellectually stimulating. I enjoy being able to leverage my accounting, banking, consulting, transformation and account management skills to come up with solutions to help address the business and operational challenges of my clients.

I don’t have a technical background, but technology has always been the enabler in all my roles – either to manage large data sets, drive productivity improvements or provide new functionality.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

In my early days I had a very clear career plan; qualify as an accountant, work in investment banking and then move into management consulting all with the aim to give me a springboard into a broader business leadership role. After that there has been no plan, my career has evolved through the roles on offer with the companies I’ve been with.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Yes, many times when younger. When I was a young female consultant in male dominated technical industries, I felt I had to be far more dedicated and technically knowledgeable than my (male) peers to gain the credibility of my clients.  This drove me to make sure sure I was on top of the latest thinking and development, so I was able to bring something new to my clients.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

There have been many achievements. The one that stands out the most was leading the team taking on a new client’s IT infrastructure and transitioning their services on time and on budget.

At Kyndryl, being part of the Carbon Literacy Initiative has also been very important to me. I have been able to share the knowledge I have acquired during the programme, both in my role at Kyndryl as a trustee at my local hospice – educating on the ways we as individuals have the power to impact our carbon footprint. I am proud that I work for an organisation committed to ESG, and have the opportunity to really make a difference to the wider environmental landscape. Every day, I feel inspired to work proactively with clients, and in my personal life, to reduce carbon emissions and be part of significant change.

And the truth is, I feel my biggest achievement is yet to come. We work in an inspiring and ever evolving industry where opportunities are there to create and drive forward. Kyndryl is focused on being the heart of progress, and we employees have the propensity to live this message of progress in our every-day actions.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Being very disciplined; ensuring I’ve delivered exactly what my client asked for and demonstrating the business value. Also, making sure my client is aware of all potential options so they can make a fully informed decision.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Make sure you can demonstrate how the technology you are proposing drives the business forward – either in taking the business into new markets/directions or by improving the current performance. You need to be able to articulate the benefits in simple and unambiguous terms. There are very few instances where you can propose new technology where you don’t know (yet) the business value.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Unfortunately, there are still barriers for women working in tech. There are still too many cases of unconscious bias (especially when women are at key points in their careers) which means they are not pushed forward for those stretch or promotion roles. We need to get better at identifying these key moments in people’s careers and making sure these unconscious biases are eliminated. In the meantime, I encourage women to be vocal about their career aspirations to their managers, coaches, mentors and sponsors and actively push their own careers forwards in their organisations.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Companies need to focus on ensuring women are equally represented at all levels in their organisation (analyse the data minutely for patterns and trends!). They should regularly ask men and women what they think is happening and, most importantly, design promotion and career opportunities to proactively address any potential unconscious bias.

At Kyndryl, we have a culture of continuously learning. The company is invested in upskilling and ensuring employees have access to the best opportunities. This inclusive mentality is incredibly beneficial for women working in tech who want to develop new skills and progress their careers in supportive, but still challenging, environments.

There is currently only 15% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

This is a really difficult question. We need to show women that careers in tech are not boring or that you need to have a technical background. There are roles for everyone in tech whatever your background, we need diversity of thought and experience to develop solutions that really make a difference to societies.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Become involved in external organisations, work with charities and other groups to improve your confidence and advisory skills. Use opportunities to speak or present at events to grow your network and professional eminence.