What's the best career advice you've ever received?
That career progression and getting to where you want to be in your career is down to identifying clear and realistic goals and recognising that your personal “brand” and how you market yourself is one of the key influencing factors on achieving those goals.
How did you choose what industry you wanted to work in?
During my first year at university I took guidance and advice to understand what opportunities, career paths and remuneration packages were available for a number of degree specialisms that I was interested in. Computer Science quickly moved to the top of the list with its excellent job prospects and opportunities.
What difference do you believe being a woman has made to your career?
I don’t recognise any key differences in being a women has made to my career with the exception of being in a male dominated industry it has been difficult to identify female role models and mentors.
What have you had to risk/sacrifice to get to the position you have?
I have been very fortunate in that I have not had to make any major risks/sacrifices to get to position I have. It has been hard work at times but I have been lucky in that I have always felt in control and able to positively influence by career path.
What advice would you give to aspiring graduates looking to work in your field?
Never underestimate the importance of building relationships and networking with people within all levels and external contacts from day one when you join an organisation.
What have you struggled most with since starting your career, and do you have any advice on how to overcome it?
As a consultant, expectations are very high with considerable pressure to always deliver above and beyond, at times during my career this has resulted in a poor work-life balance becoming the norm rather than an exception for a short time. To overcome this I advise to regularly review your work life balance and recognise the signs of imbalance. Then communicate with all relevant stakeholders to set clear boundaries and expectations to ensure awareness and agree and implement appropriate changes to improve the situation.
Do you feel diversity is an issue where you work?
As women in a technical industry there is a noticeable difference with more men than women within my field. Having completed a computer science degree with only 2 women out of a class of 100 this is something I quickly became accustomed to and accepted. Recent years have shown that there is gradual change with visibly more women entering the industry.
What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?
As a consultant in the information technology field, I enjoy the diverse business sectors and the breadth of companies I have had the opportunity to work in. Consultancy is a challenging environment and it is that with the ever changing technology that keeps me interested and enjoying this career path choice.