Amy Golding

Inspirational Woman: Amy Golding | CEO, Opus Talent Solutions & Founder, _nology

Amy Golding

I run Opus Talent Solutions. We exist to solve big problems in the talent space.

We help companies build their teams in future-focused, hard to find skills, specifically Tech & Digital and Renewable Energy. We both find experienced people new opportunities, and run retraining programmes to give people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to enter the tech space.

We now have eight global offices and place thousands of people a year in tech across 50 countries.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Ha. Absolutely. I wanted to be a Lawyer. And then a football commentator. And then a journalist. And then a yoga teacher…. And now I run a tech training and recruitment company!

I did an English literature degree and was a sports fanatic in my spare time. The word “Tech” terrified me. It was like an alien landscape. The unexpected twists my career has taken is what has inspired me to launch a business showing people that you can get into tech from ANY walk of life.

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

Massive challenges. Huge ups and downs, both personal and professional. I lost all my savings in my first business, and then built a bigger one! You’ve got to stay positive and commit to the choices you’ve made and your belief in yourself.

A corporate career can offer you security. You know that every year you will earn a little bit more, and all the other employee benefits, but then you can’t complain about everything else that comes with the “9-5”.

If you want an entrepreneurial career, you have to think about it more like the stock market. You know that some days you will lose money and some days you’ll make money. But you hope that over five years, you’ll make a better return than keeping it in the bank, where you know it’s safe and can only go (very slowly!) in one direction.

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What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

We got our first big Private Equity backing last year, which felt like a real milestone. It’s nice to get approval every now and again that you’re on the right track! It also means that we now have endless opportunities to achieve our goals to reshape the tech talent landscape.

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

Working hard. Caring a lot. And feeling like I can be “myself” in business as I am in any other setting.

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

Put as much effort into every task and every interaction as you can. You never know where the next important opportunity will come from. So never act like any task is below you or any person isn’t important.

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

There are still barriers to being a woman in any walk of life (both in work and not). But I don’t think tech is particularly stand out in this regard.

In fact, the shortage of female talent in tech can actually give you an edge if you have the confidence to really push forward in a male dominated environment. Tech companies are desperate for diversity of thought to make their products more innovative, so there is a huge opportunity out there for women in tech to make themselves heard.

There are currently only 17 per cent 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?

We have over 1,000 clients that rely on us for helping them find tech talent. One of my big frustrations is that so many of them say that supporting women (and any kind of diversity) is top of their agenda… so please can we find them a ready-made, experienced female developer for their team…. The fact of the matter is, very few exist. And if we find you one, we are literally just taking them off someone else. The tech community is no better off. Women are no better off.

We launched our _nology initiative to actually bring more women into tech careers that did not see it as a pathway that was open to them previously. If a company really cares about investing in female talent, then you’ve got to use programmes like this where you are bringing new talent through, not just using up the small pool that already exists.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

If you are working in tech, understanding what your company CEOs/founders are trying to achieve will always help you get more perspective and be better at your job. The Masters of Scale podcast series is great for this. As are the Tim Ferriss interviews.

I think over the next decade, we will start to see a lot more people that came through tech-pathways becoming CEOs. And any really talented technical women that also understand business will be pretty formidable.