Things need to change in the predominately male-dominated technology industry. Women account for just 26 per cent of people working in the technical sector, a statistic that has improved over the years, but more needs to be done to improve the gender balance.
We spoke with our first female IT Infrastructure Engineer apprentice Chloe Jones for International Women’s Day about the barriers women face getting into the industry, her experiences so far, and advice for any female wanting a career in tech.
How do you feel about being the first female IT Infrastructure Engineer at Communicate and what has been your experience so far?
“It has worked for the best and is a step in the right direction. Bringing more women into the sector is needed, there are so many job opportunities that lead to a great career. I’d love more women to get involved in tech as it’s a skill that can be taken anywhere.
“I’m not treated differently here at Communicate, and I feel very valued and a part of the team. There have been a few changes since I started, including our workgroup chat that was named ‘Tech Guys’ but the team changed it to ‘Tech Team’.
“One of the worries I had was people not taking me seriously, it’s daunting and isolating at first if you think you are the only woman in the workplace.
“There’s certainly some work to do in changing perceptions, in the main people are great, but there has been a couple of occasions where a male engineer has been requested rather than them speaking to me.”
Did you face any barriers in starting a career in the tech industry?
“One of the main barriers was entering the sector, the pathways into tech aren’t there in secondary education. I have a huge passion for computers, but it wasn’t until I finished college that I chose to turn my passion into a career with an apprenticeship. I remember being in school and pushed to do child development, rather than IT subjects, even though I had a huge love for anything computer related.
What do you think will help get more women into the industry?
“I believe it needs to start within education systems and more inclusive opportunities at school to showcase tech careers. I don’t know many women in the industry or STEM, simply because it’s not shown as a career option in early education.”
What advice would you give to women aspiring for a career in the tech sector?
“If you have passion for the industry, just do it. There’s nothing stopping us. Unfortunately it might be harder but keep trying.
“I hope one day, more women will go into this career.”
If you’re a woman looking for a career in IT and cyber security, and think you’d be an asset to our team, we encourage you to get in touch (not just on International Women’s Day!)- https://communicate.technology/careers/