Ultima are proud to be supporting International Women’s Day on 8th March. Creating a diverse workforce and encouraging women in technology is instrumental in driving the industry forward. Read about some of the experiences and advice from women across Ultima.
Why is equality important and how can we play a role in this?
"Having a cross section of diverse people creates new thought and creativity which gives the industry opportunity to continuously adapt, grow and reboot itself. The way to deliver growth is to engage talent and for this to be real, they need to be able to identify with the workforce. Ensuring that a business creates equal opportunities for a diverse group of people is a fundamental belief of mine, as this presents a way forward into emerging tech and encourages the next generation as well as women returning to work to be more involved.
3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice
78% of students can't name a famous female working in technology
5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women.
We have an opportunity at Ultima to highlight how our technology is a force of good and that what we do is making our world a better place."
Tamsin Ashmore, Chief Finance Officer
What's your experience of being a woman in technology?
"I have been working in the IT Channel for almost 15 years. IT is such a dynamic and fast paced industry which is starting to grow in momentum and provide equal opportunities for women in the workplace. The IT industry is becoming increasingly exciting with technology moving at such a fast pace. Choosing this career path gave me the opportunity as a single parent to retrain into a new role with a young baby whilst earning enough to cover child care costs in the early years of my career.
There are a number of opportunities for progression across the industry including sales, management, service delivery, project management, relationship management to mention a few. As an Account Director, I am fortunate to be in a role that offers continual self development, whilst getting job satisfaction through helping my clients improve the quality of service they are able to provide to their staff and end users through the engagement and support of working with Ultima. Technology will always be relevant and this is a fantastic industry to be a part of."
Diana Yeates, Account Director
"I am a Product Specialist focused in networking, I work alongside the sales team engaging with customers to provide them with advice and solutions. Since I started in the technology industry 4 years ago, there has been a substantial change for women. When I started as a First Line Engineer, I was the only woman in the role- now I have progressed to becoming a Product Specialist, working in collaboration with other teams and partners.
Recently, I have been instrumental in elevating Ultima to becoming a Cisco Customer Experience partner and opportunities like this for women to lead the way are becoming more frequent. Women who are looking to begin a career in tech need to be bold and unafraid, they need to be willing to cause waves and become a disruptor. They need to be confident in sharing their point of view."
Harriet Webb, Product Specialist- Networking
"I started in tech over 15 years ago, selling what can only be described as a piece of paper to license a user/device so they were compliant to access Microsoft applications. Since then, not only have there been many changes to how we license a user/device; we have seen the IT world change from being on-premise to Cloud first. The IT world is a fast-paced industry, every day is different and every customer has a different requirement from the last, which makes my job interesting and never boring.
Having worked in many different roles within IT, including a product manager and account manager, in the past 4 years I've worked my way up the career ladder from an Internal Microsoft Specialist to an External Microsoft Specialist and Team Supervisor. I have seen the tech industry move away from a male orientated environment and am seeing more women taking leadership roles and empowering others across the industry.
My advice if looking at a career in tech, is go for it- it can be very rewarding if you are willing to put the work into it. It’s a fast-paced world and can change so quickly overnight, every day I learn something new. We need more women in IT who want to make a difference- know where you want to aim to be in 10 years’ time and go for it."
"As a Strategic Vendor Alliance Manager at Ultima, I have a hugely diverse and important role in managing our relationships with the key hardware vendors who’s products and services we supply. Understanding the messaging, direction and focus for each business is crucial to ensure we are working in alignment to successfully achieve our target outcomes. As well as vendor and distribution contacts, I regularly collaborate with most departments within Ultima such as the sales and marketing teams through to technical, finance and operational teams. This insight contributes to the value I can add in my role, and makes every day different.
During my 5 years of experience in this industry, I have found that women have always been a minority particularly in technical roles, however I am pleased to see this is starting to change. It’s incredibly inspiring for me to see a growing number of female leaders representing some of the largest companies in the channel, and speaking at the events I attend on a regular basis. With the fast paced growth and change in the IT world, I have found a great deal of opportunity to progress quickly with a rewarding career where you can make an impact. My advice to anyone starting out in IT is to believe in your ideas and ability, and if you find yourself in your comfort zone – get out of it quickly."
Chloe Chapman, Strategic Vendor Alliance Manager
What is the one thing you would do to encourage more women into the IT sector?
"All companies need to become technology companies in the future, so we need more people to understand and want to be involved in this space. I’m passionate about helping foster an understanding that technology will be a part of everyone’s jobs soon– perhaps with a robot working alongside them, so they need to embrace it.
Ideally, I would like to see more women in the channel go into colleges and universities and give talks about the future of the world of work and IT. I know this inspires women from my previous role at Microsoft where I organised and ran local school events and webinars as one of the managers of the Get On schools team. We provided 300,000 students with insights into IT careers, the valuable skills they would obtain and what routes were available into early stage employment.
It doesn’t matter what gender you are, the IT sector is an exciting industry to be a part of as it’s the bleeding edge of innovation and progression – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!"
Stacie Hill, Marketing Manager