woman in a meeting with her laptop, woman in a technical role

Article provided by Ellie Barrett, Global Alliances Manager, Natterbox

Like many other women, I fell into a career in technology rather than being encouraged into it.

I started in a recruitment role, and it was only then that I had a first glimpse into all of the opportunities available in the technology and engineering industries – ones that I had never heard of before.

Although excited at the prospect of finding out about this new technology world, I also became frustrated at the lack of education I had received about it from a younger age, at an important time in my life when it was expected that I decide what subjects I’d like to take and which career I might venture into.

What I wish I’d known then

Now I know that, despite stereotypes, you don’t have to be an overly technical person to work in technology and engineering – there’s a potential role for everybody. My role is in fact more revolved around relationship building with partners and customers and running exciting events to make that possible. Recently, I ran our first virtual music event which was great fun!

For me it’s important that other people get the opportunity to learn about technology at an earlier stage in their life alongside other industries and career opportunities. This needs to start with educational organisations and the careers advice offered to students. But it’s not just about women. This is about exposing all children to all of the opportunities that are available to them. We need to educate the younger generations on how exciting technology truly is. It powers the world around us and the things that we interreact with most every day, from our mobile phones, to contactless credit cards – all the things that we take for granted.

Paving the way for change

Businesses also have a key role to play in offering diversity initiatives and specifically ‘Women in Technology’ meet ups, initiatives and groups. I have been lucky enough to see a change in these kinds of events from only women attending, to also seeing male allies attending and supporting diversity in the industry. I am also proud to work for a company that has a larger than average proportion of women working in technical roles.

But examples like this are still way too few and far between. Seeing women in technical roles shouldn’t be unusual, and it’s on us to make sure it becomes the norm. That’s why days like International Women in Engineering Day are so important for providing an opportunity for us to reflect on the issue of diversity in STEM.

Ellie BarrettAbout the author

Ellie Barrett is the Global Alliances Manager at Natterbox where she’s been working in the alliances team for just under four years. Previous to her role at Natterbox, she held positions at Autotask Corp. and worked as a consultant at JDX Consulting.

Ellie holds a degree in Social Psychology from Loughborough University.

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