Embracing diversity in the workplace has been repeatedly shown to result in greater revenue for organisations. In fact, a report by Cebr back in 2014 highlighted that “increasing the number of women in the IT sector alone could generate an additional £2.6 billion in annual revenue for the UK economy”. Other studies have found that companies with higher gender diversity have outperformed less diverse companies over the past five years, with a McKinsey report stating that such companies are 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability. These findings underscore the value and importance of diversity in the workplace.
However, despite these benefits, the proportion of women in the technology industry is not increasing rapidly enough. According to PwC, only 5% of leadership positions in the IT sector are held by women and just 16% of women have been encouraged to pursue a career in technology. This lack of representation starts early, as women and girls are not provided with enough information about what working in the sector entails and are not presented with it as a viable career option.
Our Director of Delivery remembers “Walking into a quiet office, meeting colleagues in roles I didn’t know existed, from developers to infrastructure analysts. It was incredibly exciting and daunting in equal measures. Nonetheless, it gave me the opportunity to learn how to interact with different people, how to decipher and replay ‘tech speak’ and it also raised my profile gaining wider business exposure.”
That initial interaction sparked her career in tech and with the support of her employer led to industry recognised qualifications and the incredible leader we’re fortunate enough to have among our ranks.
This International Women’s Day in the theme of #EmbracingEquity we’ve enlisted the help of our female employees to provide some words of wisdom they would love to share with their 18-year-old self. Alongside some additional advice from those in leadership positions.
A.Hartwell – Office & Admin Assistant
“Stop doubting your own abilities and shying away from new challenges. Have the confidence to try something new which takes you out of your comfort zone. You never know, you may actually shine bright and succeed at something that you never imagined possible.”
A.Roythome – HR Business Partner
“The main thing I’d share with my 18yr old self is to have confidence. Be bold enough to make changes in your career. Don’t feel because you started out in one direction you must stick to that path. If life takes you elsewhere then make the most of the opportunity and build on it. Don’t worry about what other people think…it’s easy to get bogged down by this when you are young! Ultimately, your happiness and feeling valued is the most important thing.”
A.Yau – Client Success Manager
“Don’t try to fit in, be proud of standing out.”
B.Jewell-Smitham – Client Engagement Manager
”You don’t need to play masculine to progress in a male-dominated industry. Being a woman in business is a strength in itself, you already stand out from the crowd. Be your most authentic self, there’s room for everyone.”
B.Thomas – Finance and Admin Assistant
“I’d tell my younger self that it’s easier to build your future foundation when you’re younger.
Also, to follow your dreams but keep a sensible head as your choices will affect you for years to come.
C.Camara – Account Executive
“You’ll never imagine how many different, unplanned & marvellous things you can achieve in your life, provided you maintain having a good attitude. Be flexible, work hard, and don’t give up, whatever the obstacle you meet ( be that in your private life or professional one). “
C.George – Information Security Governance Analyst
“Don’t let concerns about equal treatment hold you back; you cannot control how others treat you, only how you respond to them. By treating everyone with compassion and empathy, especially those who struggle to return it, you invite others to respond in kind.”
C.Ghita – Engagement Project Manager
“I would tell 18yr old me 2 things: It’s OK to fail; sometimes failure is the only way to achieve great things. And try not to stay in your comfort zone too long, when it starts feeling warm and fuzzy, it’s time to move onto the next challenge.”
E.Roberts – Delivery Director
“You’re 18, don’t under value how important it is to love your job, after all you spend at least 1/3 of your time doing it! Find something you’re passionate about. If you’re not enthusiastic about your role it’s time to change it. Have the confidence to do something about it, try something new.”
L.Williams – Head of Client Delivery
“Focus on self-awareness and learn to trust and love yourself. Know that your ideas and opinions are important”
R.Burton – Financial Controller
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support, you won’t be an expert overnight and no-one will expect you to be! Build your skills with varied training, mentoring and new challenges to guide you towards your overall goals.”
S.Evans – Delivery Coordinator
“Everything happens for a reason, good or bad! They are steppingstones to a life that’s right for you. So don’t dwell on the bad and really enjoy and make the most of the good.”
T.Kemp – HR Director
“As an 18-year-old starting out, remember to take ownership of your actions, be confident, and embrace every opportunity that comes your way. Remember that comparison is the destroyer of joy. You’ll have some negative experiences, but you can turn them into positives, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Embrace your uniqueness and be yourself because you are beautiful inside, funny, clever, influential, powerful, and witty, and people trust you for who you are.”
The importance of representation is undeniable, and we hope that these quotes and the following insights from our Women Leaders at Vizolution will serve as inspiration for those considering a career in technology.
Vizolution’s Women Leaders:
“I began my IT career on a bit of a whim, with no technical background, qualifications, or experience. I was working as a customer advisor in a call centre, eager for a new opportunity. An internal job in IT became available and I felt I had the right personality fit. Now, more than 10 years on, I love being an IT leader. With 2 small children, I think IT can be an incredibly flexible industry, with lots of opportunities to learn, develop and further your career. My advice to any women thinking of a career in tech, is back yourself, don’t be afraid to take a chance or a risk – your talent, skillset and identity are your best assets and can be applied to an IT role.”
“Having strong female leadership at Vizolution, we can inspire a future generation of women, to be the change you want to see in the world. Female representation in all areas of the business, including higher management, creates a more collaborative and less competitive environment. Equality is an issue which affects everyone, not just the minority, we need to stand together to create a diverse environment where everyone’s voice is listened to and respected.’
“Equality, diversity and inclusion is important in both leadership positions and throughout the workplace to create an environment with varied perspectives, new and different ideas and fresh approaches. Women in leadership in technology specifically and businesses generally is statistically low – but why? To help change this for the future we all have a responsibility to set an example for younger audiences. Let’s continue to build diverse teams who can strive for the same goal but to do so, are supported individually and as a company we will see the benefits along the way in happier employees, enhanced collaboration and increased productivity.”
“Being a woman leader in a tech business can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. You need to own your accomplishments as well as your mistakes and stay confident in the knowledge you’ve acquired. Embracing failure as a learning experience, while trusting your instincts is a skill I’ve developed, as well as learning to say “no” respectfully and challenge the norm. It’s extremely important as a leader to be truthful, treat everyone with respect, and let your voice be heard. As a woman leader in tech, I’m comforted knowing I have the power to make a difference.”