Discussing Women in the Tech Industry with Amanda Newman, Senior Delivery Manager at Accenture
Amanda Newman, Senior Delivery Manager at Accenture, is a passionate influencer of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As the founder of Facebook group Career Mum, which now has over 6,000 global members, she actively works to support and empower women to reach their potential.
Raising Awareness for Women in the Tech Industry
There is a perception that the tech industry is male dominated and that all of the jobs are highly technical, along the lines of coding and development. However, this is far from the case and – for Amanda – one of the ways in which we can position the tech industry as an attractive career path for women is by highlighting the vast range of opportunities which exist within it.
“I started off as a help desk analyst and loved speaking to people, I loved problem solving. I had some learning difficulties growing up and that taught me my love of problem solving and trying to find innovative and alternative solutions to ways of working, which are the skills that I bring to project and programme management as well, and people management managing large teams. There’s so many different roles for women in tech.”
As well as this, it is common to think of tech careers as solely existing within tech companies such as Google or Microsoft. However, tech is a necessity in almost every industry and this is something that should be communicated more widely.
“If you want to work in female dominated industries such as fashion or beauty, tech is huge in those areas at the moment. We need more diversity of thought and we need more diversity of contributions to our tech design. So don’t dismiss being a techie. The beauty of it is it gives you such good financial independence, and it’s going to be a career option that will be available forever. Technology’s not going anywhere.”
There is plenty more that the tech industry can do to attract women to roles. Firstly, it is important to ensure that job descriptions are neutral and attractive to everybody – particularly bearing in mind that women are less likely than men to apply for roles where they only meet some of the criteria. It is also vital to ensure that there role models in those positions of authority to provide visual evidence of a potential career path.
“We need more senior women in tech desperately, in fact we need more diversity at senior levels in tech, not just women. So I see it as a huge area of potential and opportunity, which I find exciting because the sky’s the limit really, as far as you want to go as a woman in tech, you can take it as far as you want to, because the opportunity is there and people need you.”
From the earliest days of her career, Amanda has always striven to go above and beyond, add value and do what she can to make her managers successful. It is this dedication that has led to her achieving such great things throughout her career.
“I looked for opportunities to bring my skills and talents to the role to help my managers be successful in their jobs, which perhaps wasn’t part of my core role.”
Although there may be an impression that women have to worker harder than men in the tech industry, that hasn’t been Amanda’s experience and, though there are people who will stereotype, in tech your talents can speak for themselves.
“If anybody has made a judgement of you as a woman, and you’re good, then you can quickly have that element of surprise. Actually some of the best women in tech, they know how to manage teams, they know how to pull people together and motivate them. They’re some of the best leaders I know.”
Finally, for women who are planning to start a career in tech, Amanda’s advice is to investigate all of your options – from apprenticeships, to sponsored degrees, to graduate schemes – to find the best one for you.
“Don’t feel like you have to necessarily self-fund. There are loads of opportunities out there to sponsor women into tech.”