You can't be what you can't see

Posted 11 March 2020

With a talent war looming in the tech world, companies need to recognise the need for diversity to fill key positions. Diversity in business is one of the major key drivers of success.

For women, working in the field of IT is a challenging journey.  Whilst diversity in business is key, it doesn’t solve the problem of ensuring women can get to that position in the first place.

PWC UK has found that the gender gap in technology starts at school and carries on through every stage of girls’ and women’s lives. Only 27% of female students they surveyed say they would consider a career in technology, compared to 61% of males, and only 3% say it is their first choice.

Further only 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women.

A lack of female role models is reinforcing the perception that a technology career isn’t for them. Only 22% of students can name a famous female working in technology. Whereas two thirds can name a famous man working in technology.

We understand that, you can’t be what you can’t see. So, on this International Women’s Day, we want to feature some of the amazing women here at Modis, who are helping pave the way for young women who want to work within the IT industry. Here are their stories.

Read 'Time to close the gender gap' on the PWC website

Glenda Kirkby

I’ve been in IT for a very long time (back in the day it was called computing and I was a programmer) and interestingly in my first job, women outnumbered men in almost all roles.  It has given me such a great career.  It has provided me with a good income that has increased at a greater rate than any other career I could have chosen and back before Wi-Fi and networks, it challenged me to fit massive disk packs into my sports car as I whizzed around town supporting multiple clients! 

It has enabled me to slip easily into jobs overseas and in remote, exciting locations and then when I “settled down” it is a career that allowed me to set up my own consultancy and support business, working from home while the kids were little and then gave me the opportunity to swing straight back into full time work in the city when they reached high school age.

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work across industries as diverse as railway networks, logistics, oil and gas, insurance, banking and legislation. It’s a great career; challenging, demanding, always changing and requiring constant learning.  I would not change my profession for anything.

I cut my first code in 1973, it’s been a long, rewarding journey.

Trish Mowatt

I have worked in IT Services and Software Solutions for over 25 years – and I love it.

My roles have been varied, I have built departments from scratch, led teams of over 20 people and managed local and interstate regions.

It is a fantastic way to work across different sectors. For me I have worked across telecommunications and Internet providers, E-Commerce and supply chain, Complex IT (ERP/ Cloud/software sales ) and now IT recruitment and solutions.

I love the engagement and fast pace that this industry brings along with the cleverness of solving complex business problems for customers. Every role I have had has taught me the value of building strong relationships with people as well as adding value in with every engagement.  It is a great mix of soft skills and technical skills – something I believe women have in spades.

Julie Harris

My path into IT started when I was at school. An inspiring teacher introduced me to the wonderful world of computers. I love the way well-built and implemented IT systems automate routine and repeatable transactional tasks and allow a focus on important human elements of work. Like interacting with individuals, providing quality customer service and engaging with people to help them navigate complex processes in banking, health care, immigration or even online shopping!  I love working for a company that creates business intelligence systems that analyse vast amounts of data and gain insights to improve community outcomes like predicating crime, improving decision making and developing more sustainable services.

In my role as a project and change manager I most enjoy interacting with a vast range of diverse people of all ages, cultures and skills, across many industries. I particularly enjoy translating complex technical design and architectural conversations into “business speak”. Ensuring that frontline users through to executives paying for the system understand what is being built and how it impacts and improves operational processes.

My career in IT has enabled me to work in a broad range of industries and locations. The most fun was travelling each week to the north of WA to implement a new training scheduling system. The most rewarding was in the Education sector, providing a real connection to the community ensuring the safe education of WA children. The most memorable, the implementation of touch screen tablet devices in WA Police cars. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my IT journey so far. The world is changing fast. Driven by innovation and technology. I’m excited to be part of crafting future systems that deliver valuable outcomes for our society.

Josephine Clark

My career within the IT recruitment industry started in the 90’s. Whilst my journey has been on the periphery of this amazing and transformational industry, I have had the opportunity to be involved in the evolution that IT has provided to business.

Initially, I was involved in the outsourcing data centres and then I experienced Y2K, the Internet and the associated changes to our world.  I feel privileged to have been involved in all the major trends within the industry.  It has allowed me the opportunity to work with some amazing people.  It has also assisted to shape my thinking.  I enjoy my role so much as it has allowed me to consistently evolve, as IT is an ever changing dynamic.  The people who work in this space think outside the square, they have shaped the way the world is today.  Their innovation and passion is infectious.

Karyl Treble

If you had asked me when I was in high school what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was going to be a teacher and shape young minds on the joys of Shakespeare. However, after two years of study I packed up my bags and travelled the world. Over several years, I went to many places and worked in a few occupations. However, I then went back to University and spent the next six years studying Addiction, Criminology and Psychology and then added on an extra two years of study to complete my HR degree.

At the age of 40 I took a leap of faith and moved out of my comfort zone and took my first role as a HR Coordinator in the Mining Industry, which then lead to working in HR in the tech industry.

You are never too old to try new things. Upskilling and reskilling are key to your personal and career growth. The experiences you have during your career journey stay with you and influence the decisions you make. So just take that first step and if things end up a tad different from what you expected, well just enjoy it and soak up the experience.

Find out more about our permanent and temporary recruitmentGet in touch with one of our recruitment experts todayContact us
We operate around the world. Would you like to find out more about your local office?Find out about Modis