Women returners in tech
MotherOffCod · 21/06/2021 15:23
Is anyone else noticing a trend for women returning to work after child-rearing years getting into deep geek tech?
I’m my area of the UK it’s a big thing, and seems to be escalating.
Bloody brilliant area to get skilled up in once your kids are older and you’re ready to dig in again.
Anyone else in this sphere? My feeling is that it’s a major opportunity for smart women who’ve been out or the workplace for a while, but have time and opportunity to re-train in exciting new fields with high demand and low supply.
Boopear · 21/06/2021 15:38
Salesforce is a good one (admin). Also automation coding (this is low code) via something like Blue Prism or AutoAnywhere. Also SAP - admin across their enterprise systems. Cybersecurity also key area of industry focus, but not sure where to start with training (possibly security standards like ISO27001 or data securing for things like SIEM?)
MedusasBadHairDay · 21/06/2021 15:40
It's exactly what I did last year. I didn't come straight into it though after time off with the kids, but wish I had. It's been such a good fit, especially over lockdown.
And I'm in my element playing with computers, wish I hadn't been discouraged from it at school. Just imagine where I'd be in my career if I'd started straight out of school rather than waiting until my late 30's to start.
MedusasBadHairDay · 21/06/2021 15:41
What makes me laugh is how many men In coming across who are around my age, earning more than me in higher positions, but who knows less than me and haven't had to teach themselves. They have no idea how lucky they've been. If we were really in a meritocracy they'd be at the bottom of the heap.
MotherOffCod · 21/06/2021 15:48
The self employed, and small business world of digital tech is increasingly female and it s lovely environment.
Vast majority of my clients and colleagues are women of similar age to me, with school age kids.
It’s like we’re on a mission to conquer the world after having to take time out.
The potential to get to the top of brand new fields is totally there if you have aptitude and time to learn.
MotherOffCod · 21/06/2021 15:50
@boopear yes! Exactly that area.
And techy VAs are massively in demand. And VAs with specialisms in tech like email marketing or graphics or social media scheduling.
So much work around, and not enough pairs of hands.
Brilliant opportunity for women returners with access to good broadband and a yen to learn new tricks.
WomanInStem42 · 21/06/2021 15:51
Adopted a new username as this is a little outing
I retrained as a software engineer last year. I was lucky enough to get a place on Sky’s Get Into Tech (getintotech.sky.com/) course and I now work for a tech consultancy which is fantastically varied and interesting. I started out on their graduate scheme but as a mid-life career changer have found I am able to progress quickly.
It has been absolutely amazing and I would very much encourage anyone who is interested to go for it. The sector is booming right now!
Please do feel free to pm me if you want to know more, or just to have a chat about what options you might have.
MedusasBadHairDay · 21/06/2021 16:01
It's been male dominated for so long, I know it's put me off applying for roles in IT departments- especially when I've seen the occasional women get a role and then not last. Leaving a team of 100% men.
It's interesting at the moment, as I'm in an all female team. It's given us all space to thrive - in a way that I can't imagine we would otherwise.
Morningstar66 · 21/06/2021 16:01
Oh do you have any advice? My youngest is 16months so have been applying for work nut my career never quite got off the ground pre-children. I worked in landscape design but now trying to get into 3d design /game art /cgi/environment art. Does anyone know where i could get help in my field? Alternatively I'm generally techy and have excellent internet is there any online work opportunities in a feild that I could self teach relatively quickly? The creative feild is rather difficult to get into so would appreciate a back up.
Tuberoses · 21/06/2021 16:31
It's been male dominated for so long, I know it's put me off applying for roles in IT departments
The problems are always the same. One man fancies you, the others egg him on, you turn him down then he gets nasty, and they all exclude you. If multiple men fancy you it leads to animosity. They complain about having to refrain from the casual sexism and “banter” they previously indulged in. You complain about overhearing inappropriate comments and they get even more annoyed. You’re made to feel unwelcome, conversations stop abruptly when you approach. In the end you decide to get a job in a more welcoming workplace.
This was in the early 2000s... I doubt that things have changed. It’s more likely that women are getting into computing because they can work remotely and self employed so they no longer have to enter these toxic male dominated workplaces.
speedtalker · 21/06/2021 17:19
Hoping to move into helping small businesses deliver digitally.
MotherOffCod · 21/06/2021 17:25
I completely get why so few women want to work in big IT departments.
The old skool male dominated macho culture is still thriving in lots of workplaces.
But freelancers, self employed and the small business landscape is totally different.
And tech has moved on so much in the past 10 years that SMEs are now able to access and use amazing tech that used to be out of reach for them. And they all need help getting it setup and maintained. Hence the boom.
Boopear · 21/06/2021 17:43
Regarding male & IT - I actually have/had no problem with this at all. I have worked in tech for 20 years in 5 different companies in UK/Europe starting in PC support, through technical product/project management and now a senior but very technical role in an all male IT dept. I am well respected across the dept, including by the CIO. I also have a lot of (female) friends in different companies also in senior IT roles. My best ever CIO was a woman who turned around a failing IT dept.
IMHO my current works really well for combining what are perhaps stereotypically more "female" skills of communication and coordination with the more "male" technical knowledge. I need to understanding strategic business need and shape the relevant IT demand. This requires a lot of listening/play back, while my male counterparts tend to do the "you want to do it like this" approach, which really isn't as effective. I have also seen women work really well as IT project managers, sometimes even coming from a PA role which uses a lot of the same skills.
In a nutshell, please don't let the "maleness" of IT put you off. As long as you get the tech bit sorted, there is a lot of potential there to provide a lot of added value in the right role. Note: I appreciate I am stereotyping dreadfully here, but I know a lot of IT blokes
AnoymousCoward · 21/06/2021 17:51
Hoping to move into helping small businesses deliver digitally.
Hi @speedtalker what kind of role would you go into with those skills, please?
Orangecircling · 21/06/2021 17:58
My youngest DS is trying to get a small tech business off the ground with some of his mates and I'm subsidising him for one year after uni. Their problem is they have no commercial experience so I am taking the lead on coaching them through that and presenting to clients. I came up with a marketing campaign we are all really excited about.
So at 58 I'm in a tech startup. Hehe. I have a different name to my DS so he's not embarrassed at mum being on the board.
AssassinatedBeauty · 21/06/2021 18:04
I'm technical and always have been, it isn't a male or a "male" skill. I'm not sure it's helpful to assume that women are more likely to be interested in a career in IT if it involves "soft" skills rather than technical ones.
I've been in IT since the late 90s with a period of time out in a related but different field, returning to IT proper about 7 or 8 years ago. I found the atmosphere in my earlier years to be macho and male dominated, but didn't experience any direct sexism. I work for a very different company now to the one I used to. It's smaller and there isn't any machismo. We have a mixture of male and female programmers and other technical staff and there is not a hint of sexism. They are also flexible and have had no problem with women returning after mat leave and so on.
IT should be a great field for women to progress in. It's a shame that girls are out off it in school and don't see it as a possible career in the same numbers as those that look towards medicine, law or similar.
speedtalker · 21/06/2021 19:23
You can build web pages, and the applications behind them. For example, in recent times I could have been building online ordering apps for businesses affected by covid. And any sort of social app they wanted, or any cool functionality online. If you think of how you have to sign in to services now, or advertising for clothing companies that sends you to their store, or some games online..that kind of thing.
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