In this post we speak to Alex Williams, Product Manager at TrakCel, who shares her experience and advice to women considering a career in technology.
Growing up, did you have preconceived perceptions of the tech industry and the people who worked in it?
100% – my picture of the tech industry was of massive computers with flashing lights and a whole host of intelligent strong-willed men. This I believe was an image that had been ingrained into my head through the likes of Bill Gates, Tom Anderson (MySpace) and Mark Zuckerburg. To me the Tech Industry was, and still is, very male dominated; although I feel that this is changing.
What made you interested in working within the tech industry?
I kind of fell into the Tech Industry a few years back working within a web-based company and now within software development. However, I have always been around technology as my dad is one of those ‘intelligent, strong-willed men’ and he was always bringing home the latest and greatest tech. I love working within tech, it is constantly evolving, and I find that exciting – I want to be part of the next best thing.
Have you experienced any personal or systematic setbacks at any point in your career?
Unfortunately, I have had loads of setbacks. Most have been my own personal issues around anxiety and ‘imposter syndrome’. The feeling of not being good enough and comparing myself to my peers has held me back on so many occasions – in the past I have found it incredibly difficult to speak up in meetings for fear of looking ‘stupid’ or just not having confidence in what I am about to say. Once I found the ability to overcome this (and it took years of practice!), I felt amazingly empowered, like I’d finally unlocked the real me!
I also really struggled with working full time and being the sole dependent of my first born. I didn’t get any support from my workplace at the time and I actually faced a disciplinary for being 5 minutes late, after I’d expressed my daily morning struggle with my employer on multiple occasions. My early career was a struggle – but I made it out the other side with determination and perseverance.
TrakCel strives to empower its workforce and works to help each individual reach their potential, how has TrakCel supported you with your career aspirations and development?
As my career has progressed, I have been more confident and focused on what is important to me within my employer. TrakCel ticked these boxes, I have been consistently supported with my family commitments – especially within the new COVID climate! Making my work/life easier to balance and manage. In addition to this, I have a very strong female manager and mentor who continuously supports me, challenges me where appropriate and provides me with strong guidance. This leadership is priceless!
Do you have any advice for women interested in building a career within the Technology Industry?
Everyone is winging it, even the CEO that looks like they are bossing it! They do not know everything and have had to figure lots of things out on the fly. So don’t be afraid to take a leap into something new and figure it out as you go – that’s the best way to learn.
Also, if you know a young girl that has an interest in tech, take a look at Girls Who Code!
View the latest career opportunities at TrakCel.
Article by TrakCel Marketing - 23 Oct 2020