Why now is the right time for Women in I.T.

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News in recent weeks has put women in the spotlight when it comes to the I.T. industry. Assessing the space in a recent survey, KPMG & Harvey Nash stated that still only 10% of the I.T. workforce globally are women. But times could well be changing.

Some countries are undoubtedly outperforming others in this area, for example, in the UK the figure is just over 20%. Additionally, in 2016, more female CIOs received a pay rise than their male counterparts - a first for the industry and a significant indicator of a positive future to come.

The recent survey found this result reflected in not just one area, but appeared to be the case across many sectors, including financial services/banking and business/professional services.

The I.T. and tech industries respectively have, in the past, been seen as a very male dominated space. We know this to be different at Claritas and the truth appears to be finally coming out - there are fantastic women in I.T., have been for some time, and will be more and more moving forward. We as a company want to encourage more women to enter the industry and we want to dispel any preconceived notions.

So, let’s talk to some of them. This week and next we’ll be speaking with the ladies of Claritas both development and management side, discussing the reasons why now is a great time to work in the industry.

Jackline M'Arimi, Software Developer, 7 years in I.T.

What made you decide to go into I.T.?

Technology seemed to be the way forward for most industries, at the time when I was making my University major choices, most companies were starting to integrate their business processes with new automated technology. Software was the one commonality in all systems. This sparked an interest in knowing how to program a system to perform actions and an interest in seeing an idea translated into a working system.

What do you enjoy about working in I.T.?

The potential to keep learning new technologies and possibility to work within different industries made I.T. one of the best career decisions yet. I mean you could be working in I.T. within government, health, gas & oil, environment - the possibilities are endless.

What would you say to encourage more women to go into I.T. as their chosen career path? Do you have any advice to give other women looking at a similar career?

I.T. is not scary, it’s one career that has potential to progress in numerous paths. Yes, most of what people hear is that I.T. is all software programming, hardware assembly or helpdesk, but there is much more to I.T. we have tester, project managers and business analysts who all work within I.T.

Vaishali Pant, Application Test Analyst, 16 years in I.T.

What is your role at Claritas?

I have worked in I.T. for more than 16 years, starting with academics and later, moving to Software Testing.

I have been with Claritas since August 2010. I deal with all kinds of software testing. I work alongside developers to make sure that we deliver a bug free application to our clients. My role includes creating various test documents for clients and making sure what we deliver is bug free and coherent with the specification. I suspect developers may not like me at times because I am constantly trying to break the software which they’ve created!

What made you decide to go into I.T.? What do you enjoy about working in I.T.?

I always found computers interesting in college and I was lucky to get an opportunity to teach computers straight after. Later on, I decided to move on to Software Testing and I am still enjoying it very much. I have an eye for the detail and aesthetics and I think that’s the key for testing.

Do you have any advice to give other women looking at a similar career?

My advice to other women looking for a similar career would be that if you have flair and an attention to detail then it is a great career for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions, so you know the application inside out, and that’s the only way you can test it correctly. Look out for simple mistakes, developers usually focus on big issues and forget to fix the little ones!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Be yourself, be confident! One of my favourite quotes is just right to sum it up:

Be seen, be heard and be memorable in a way you can advance not just your career but the careers of the women around you.
Erin Sweeney

A great way to finish off the first instalment of our Women in I.T. series.

We’ll be back with the second instalment, discussing Sales and Financial Management in I.T.