A spotlight on the women in our delivery team

Friday, March 8th, 2024

Proceed team

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2024, we took the opportunity to connect with some of the women in our delivery team to hear about their experiences. From some of our newer consultants like Gloria, Laura, and Lorena to more seasoned professionals like Sonali, Mansi, Anja, and Ayse. We wanted to dig into their stories and share some of their advice for the next wave of women entering into IT.

Why IT?

Gloria, Laura, and Lorena: When the pandemic hit, we found ourselves at a crossroads. Our backgrounds in hospitality, specifically using SAP, opened the door to our first roles in a large consultancy, before moving to Proceed. Living in a world where technology touches almost every aspect of our lives, we’ve seen firsthand the impact IT has globally. It’s impossible to ignore IT’s significance for the future. What really excites us about being part of this industry is the endless opportunity for learning. It’s a space where you can continuously grow.

Sonali and Mansi: We were drawn to the IT world for the sheer breadth of opportunities it presents. The promise of continuous learning within this field is what initially piqued our interest. At Proceed, what we’ve found to be particularly rewarding is the chance to work across various industries and interact with different cultures. It’s this diversity that has made our journey in IT so fulfilling.

What should you look for in a company?

Gloria, Laura, and Lorena: It might sound cliché, but finding a place where you’re not just a number is truly what makes the difference. Find a space where you can progress at your own own pace, and be able to take on new learning opportunities without having to wait your turn. You shouldn’t feel like you are confined by a predetermined progression path. It’s about finding leaders who genuinely believe in your potential and are invested in your success. During our interview stage at Proceed, we saw these qualities in Rob, our team leader. He took the time to explain everything clearly, ensuring we felt comfortable, which was especially important to us given English isn’t our first language. That level of understanding and support from the get-go was a clear sign we were in the right place.

Mansi and Sonali: Look for a company that genuinely listens and responds to its employees’ needs. Life evolves, and so do our career aspirations and personal circumstances. Whether it’s more flexibility in our work schedules or desiring greater variety in our projects, we need to know that our voices will not only be heard but also acted upon. At Proceed, we’ve found that. When we expressed the need for more diverse challenges or the necessity to adapt our working arrangements, we were met with support and actionable solutions.

Anja and Ayse: Look for a company that supports working parents, and one key area where they can truly make a difference is by offering flexible working hours. This flexibility can help in balancing the demands of professional and personal life, making it easier for you to excel in your career while fulfilling your other responsibilities in life. It’s about creating an environment where you don’t have to choose between your career and your family but can thrive in both areas.

What advice do you have for women starting in IT and beyond?

Gloria, Laura, and Lorena: First, embrace the journey with all its ups and downs. IT can be daunting at first, but it’s incredibly rewarding. You’ll need to be determined, ready to tackle challenges head-on. But remember, it’s not just about the hard skills or the technical know-how, it’s about the attitude you bring to the table. Stay positive, stay curious, and most importantly, find your people. The right people who will push you forward. We’ve seen this ourselves. When any of us faces a challenge or has a tough day, we team up to solve it together, sharing what we know. We also built a resource hub. It’s packed with our notes, video demos, and tips. This hub is a big part of how we help each other improve and move forward together. Our progress, both as individuals and as a group, has been faster because we support each other. Having the right mentors and colleagues in your organisation is key.

Sonali and Mansi: Never underestimate the power of your voice. If there’s something you need or want, speak up. The right company will listen and work with you to make it happen. Being in IT means being on a perpetual learning curve, so embrace it fully and don’t shy away from seeking support when needed. It’s equally important to have solid support outside of work too. This combination can really empowers you to achieve your goals.

Anja and Ayse: Embrace learning as a continuous journey, and know that knowledge truly does breed confidence. It’s a lifelong lesson for many of us, but learning to say ‘no’ is so important. It’s not about fitting into the mold but celebrating our unique differences and contributions. We are all equally valuable. When facing issues, try to establish firm boundaries early on and maintain them with confidence. Talking with trusted peers can also offer new perspectives – it’s likely others have faced similar challenges. Finally, remember the generations of women before you who fought relentlessly to open doors to positions you now or will occupy. Honour them through your own actions.

How do you manage the work-life balance?

Sonali and Mansi: Balance is tricky. We won’t pretend we’ve got it all figured out. It’s a constant work in progress. The key, we’ve found, is being strict with your time. Making sure you carve out some time for you and what you enjoy doing outside of work.

Anja and Ayse: A big advantage in IT is the possibility of remote work, which can significantly aid in achieving a better work-life balance. Avoid falling into bad habits, though. Having a dedicated workspace at home is beneficial. It clearly separates your work area from your personal space. Don’t skip lunch breaks. Instead, use this time to relax, go for a walk, or enjoy moments with your family. It’s important to disconnect and recharge. Also, maintaining regular work hours as much as possible. Consistently working overtime can lead to burnout, which isn’t healthy for anyone. Your weekends should be for unwinding, so try to do an electronic detox. Unless there’s an urgent need, keep your work laptop closed and focus on enjoying your time off.

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