Happy thoughtful young businesswoman with digital tablet in hand smiling and looking away in front of colleague at background

How to break into the tech industry as a woman with little experience

Happy thoughtful young businesswoman with digital tablet in hand smiling and looking away in front of colleague at background

By Frankie Malpass, Senior Product Manager, Goodlord

According to a study from PwC, women value making a difference in the world with half of those surveyed stating that feeling like the work they do makes the world a better place is the most important factor when deciding their future career, and I would have to agree.

But when you consider the small number of women in the tech industry – arguably the most significant sector in shaping our world today – it becomes alarmingly clear that more needs to be done to close the existing gender gap.

Whether it be down to the belief that the industry is too male dominated, the lack of visible female role models, or simply a lack of encouragement at education level, women are missing out on the opportunity to pursue a career in tech. But the industry needs women for a multitude of reasons: to ensure a diverse and talented workforce, to prevent biases in the sector, to narrow the gender pay gap and to provide role models to other aspiring women.

Personally, tech was the last industry I thought I’d end up working in. From avoiding IT class at school, to just generally being somewhat of a technophobe, I’d say it was a stroke of serendipity that got me to where I am today…

My journey

Starting any new career can be daunting, especially for the many people who finish education not knowing exactly what the future holds career-wise. Influenced by my friends, I joined a graduate scheme at the rental tech start-up, Goodlord. From what I’d witnessed from my friends’ experiences, start-ups seemed to offer the type of working environment I was looking for – innovative, fast-paced and creative.

A graduate scheme also sounded ideal as you would get the opportunity to rotate between many different sectors and learn which area of a company you could really enjoy and excel in. While this was my intended plan, I started in the tech support team at Goodlord and loved it so much I never left! Being exposed to the everyday problems faced by the customers inspired me to stick with tech, as being able to contribute to solutions and seeing the impact in the real world was especially rewarding.

During my scheme, an opportunity to join the product team cropped up and naturally, I didn’t want to miss out. Joining the product team enabled me to work alongside engineers to come up with tech solutions to problems unaddressed by previous innovators in the ‘PropTech scene’. Whilst it was initially very challenging, constantly feeling out of the loop and failing to understand various tech jargon, I couldn’t be more pleased that I persevered and finally managed to overcome any feelings of imposter syndrome. Being immersed in an environment of passionate and intelligent colleagues and having a mentor to look up to for support really enabled me to grow in both confidence and knowledge.

I am now a senior product manager, which involves developing and leading long-term strategic roadmaps, negotiating with stakeholders to ensure the most impactful work is prioritised and helping teams to consistently meet their objectives. The thing I love most about my job is the autonomy and creative licence it grants.

Top tips for women breaking into the tech landscape

  • You won’t know unless you try – If you’re considering a career in tech my best piece of advice would be to just go for it. Worst case scenario, it’s not for you and you move on to try something else. But you’ll be able to do so without being haunted by thoughts of ‘what if’.
  •  Imposter syndrome is natural – Everyone, whether they care to admit it or not, has probably experienced the feeling of being inadequate and unfortunately, this can be common for women in the workplace, namely due to a lack of females in similar roles, especially as you go higher up the ladder. Don’t let this become a barrier. Recognising your limitations and having confidence in your abilities can really help you to overcome this common phenomenon.
  •  Have the courage to ask questions – In my experience, the people that ask the most questions are the ones that go on to be really successful. After all, asking questions signals your willingness to learn and demonstrates receptiveness to new information – a skill that will be invaluable for career progression.

Today, it’s great to see more and more women deciding to pursue a career in technology and it’s easy to understand why it appeals to so many. A career in tech can truly empower an individual to implement real difference in the world. Working on the edge of innovation with like-minded people can also provide incredible job satisfaction and the scope of possibilities in tech is enormous– a career in technology is boundless. See for yourself and give it a go.

About the author

Frankie Malpass is senior product manager at RentTech company Goodlord. Since joining the company in 2016, Frankie has developed a great knowledge of the core tech platform and is a key driver of business growth.