Being able to have female mentors within work is really important and this network helps us link up. We have a number of really strong role models within the business.
I have had a career in technology for six years, five of those being with UKFast. I started at UKFast as a Junior Linux Engineer and have worked my way up to helping manage a team of 19 engineers.
I'm very fortunate to have worked exclusively in environments that have been incredibly supportive and massive proponents to my progression and success. I know that my experience is not the same for all women working in a career in STEM, which is mainly due to a perception that women do not belong or have the capabilities for this industry, and a misunderstanding on what a career in STEM actually comprises of.
To change this perception it's key that we are actively taking steps to encourage young women that they do have the skills and qualities required to succeed in these kind of roles. At UKFast we work with 60,000 students around the local area to bring them to the business so they can see exactly the type of work that we perform.
It's important for people to see the kind of work that we do on day-to-day basis. People often think my job role will involve sitting in a dark corner typing away, however the biggest aspect of my job is communicating to people - customers, account managers and other engineers. Whilst it is technical, most of the issues we have to resolve are like solving big puzzles. It's incredibly satisfying each day to work through these and resolve them, and see the impact it has for our customers and their businesses.
By having regular work experience students coming in and seeing the work we do, hopefully they get a real sense of what their days could consist of in the future and open their eyes to different opportunities within the tech industry they didn’t know existed.
Lastly it's really important to ensure we continue helping to progress the women that have made the decision to enter into STEM. We have started a Women in Tech group to allow us to regularly meet and provide support, as well as discuss new technology.
Being able to have female mentors within work is really important and this network helps us link up. We have a number of really strong role models within the business for us to look up to, including Gail as Managing Director and females across all technical departments of the business. I hope for the new wave of women entering the business, I can be just as influential for them as others have been for me!