In this post (part of our women in tech series) we speak to Samantha James, VP of Project Management at TrakCel shares her story on her journey through roles in pharma and technology.
Growing up, did you have preconceived perceptions of the tech industry and the people who worked in it?
The Tech Industry has changed dramatically since my childhood, it was very much preconceived as a male-driven industry and high profiles of tech-leaders were few and far between with the most prominent character I can remember from childhood being Bill Gates. Things have changed considerably now with many women becoming a driving force across the Tech industry!
What made you interested in working within the tech industry?
I have worked within various arms of the Pharmaceutical Industry for the past 15 years mostly within patient focused areas and drug supply. During this period, I worked closely with the TrakCel Team and became very interested in this area of the industry and how the TrakCel product was also having a positive impact on patient lives. Joining TrakCel has been my first introduction to the Tech Industry and has certainly been a learning curve! It has also provided me with a new opportunity to challenge myself and expand my knowledge in a new field whilst still supporting the end patient, which I am very passionate about. Although such a change could initially have been intimidating, and has been a definite challenge, it has taught me to think differently and reengaged me in learning during my career.
Have you experienced any personal or systematic setbacks at any point in your career?
I am fortunate not to have experienced major setbacks within my career. I took 6 months out following the birth of my daughter, but I was supported by a great management team at the time, who helped me do so with minimal stress and great encouragement to return to my role when I was ready. Managing a busy Supply Chain/Operations Team at that point was far easier than a newborn!
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?
Moving to TrakCel has been a huge change for me regarding scope of my role and team size. Previously I managed a large Operations Team across UK and Ireland whilst supporting sites Australia and US but working for such a large organisation, at the time I lacked a feeling of empowerment. Joining TrakCel has pushed me to understand the range of my own potential and supported me in making positive business decisions. This has been a refreshing move in many ways.
In my previous life people were always one of my key focuses. I believe in our Team, and I want to help drive TrakCel in continuing to build a workforce who feel empowered and proud to work as part of our business.
Do you have any advice for women interested in building a career within the Technology Industry?
There are no ‘stupid’ questions. In a room of strong technical expertise, it is quite easy to become overwhelmed with discussions, terminology, and dominance. Never be afraid to speak-up or reach out to trusted peers and ask those questions or for clarity. If you have been unfortunate enough to be in any meetings with me you will know this, and it is how I continue to learn.
I have also been fortunate to work with and alongside a number of inspiring female leaders, if there is someone who inspires you, whether within or outside of the workplace, never be afraid to ask for their advice or insight. I’m sure they would be flattered and also excited to help you build your career!
Thank you to Samantha and all of our team who take the opportunity to share their experiences, we hope it offers inspiration to others to follow in their footsteps and pursue a career in computing, science and tech.
Interested in a career in technology and IT? TrakCel is an equal opportunity employer and strives to promote and nurture talent across our whole team. To apply to become part of the TrakCel team view the latest career opportunities at TrakCel.
Article by TrakCel Marketing Team - 2 Nov 2020