How did you start on a career in tech? Were there external factors or was it a personal decision?
I started out wanting to be a graphic designer specialising in typography. I did a three month web development course hoping those skills would be complementary to a future career in design. After learning to code, I enjoyed it so much my career just continued naturally from there! I remember editing Blogspot HTML templates as a kid during a time where all of my friends had their own blogs. So web development, in some shape or form, has been a part of my life for a long time.
Tell us a bit more about your education and training that led you to be Product Owner at Hubble.
I’m quite a generalist and my background is a bit of a swiss army knife. I trained in full stack web development and have worked as a front-end engineer, UI/UX designer as well as in various product management roles. I initially joined Hubble as a Product Engineer and quite organically grew into a Product Owner role to fill a gap in the team. I also realised that I could deliver the most value in a product role. I work best when there’s breadth and variety in my day-to-day work, which product allows for very naturally!
Have you noticed any benefits being a woman in a male-skewed industry?
Have you noticed any challenges being a woman in a male-skewed industry?
Not consciously. Although I’m sure there are internalised stereotypes and sexism that I have to work through and undo.
How do you feel Hubble supports women in tech?
We have a very diverse tech team in Hubble – one of the most diverse I’ve seen, especially for such a small team. I feel supported just by being around other women and being inspired by them.
Do you have any suggestions for how to attract more women to the tech industry?
- Equal paternity and maternity leave policy, flexible working hours and work from home policy for both mums and dads.
- Begin with awareness of one’s company’s existing gender balance across all functions.
- Seek out a gender-balanced pipeline of interviewees for every role but especially technical roles. If you use a recruitment agency, make this one of your requirements.
- If management / founders of the tech company are male (statistically, they will be), make sure to speak to women in the tech industry in various capacities. As mentors, as business advisors and as external interviewers.
What advice do you have for women who want to work in tech?
- Build a support system of peers, advisors and mentors of diverse backgrounds.
- Be genuinely interested in the field / role you are working in. Tech is a sector which puts a strong emphasis on what you can do and your aptitude for learning (especially self-motivated learning), relative to other industries.
- I would say don’t let a lack of formal education in Computer Science stop you. A lack of free learning resources and tools is the least of your concerns.
- Read as much as you can (as general advice: I believe applies to everything), be curious, and learn to play to your strengths.