A recent Tech Nation report revealed that 77% of tech companies have director roles filled by males, with some stats suggesting that only 19% of the tech workforce are females. As well as this, PWC recently showed that over 70% of women can't name a single female tech role model, and in an industry dominated by men, won’t women who want to venture into the tech world already feel excluded from it?
But things are changing. In 2020, about 25% of the US’s top 5 tech companies' employees were female and these numbers are increasing. Likewise, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), female tech positions are growing 238% faster than male positions.
For International Women's Day this year, we're highlighting a few of the women at YourParkingSpace who are paving their own careers in tech. Meet Katie Rowland (Marketing Communications Manager), Mollie Underwood (Learning & Development Manager), Liz Navas (Senior Account Manager) and Andreea Pilat (Customer Care Driver Specialist), Hannah Olaitan (PCN Specialist) and Jess Whitehead (Customer Care Manager)!
1. What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #BreakTheBias mean for you in your work life?
Katie: Working in the technology sector, an already male-dominated industry, for me #BreakTheBias means demonstrating the value of diverse opinions and experiences in the workplace.
Mollie: #BreakTheBias for me means that women can be decisive have ideas and strong opinions that are taken seriously at all levels of a business.
Liz: As a woman, you are constantly fighting between being seen as ‘too nice’ or being ‘too difficult’. At work, I try to break those stereotypes and stay away from undertaking gender-typical ‘women’ tasks and balance my strength with my passion for my work. I try to create an inclusive environment. Women are far less likely to shout about their own success, so I try to champion the other women on my team and support them in their successes.
Andreea: What a beautiful and empowering slogan! For me, #BreakTheBias means supporting diversity.
Hannah: #BreakTheBias to means, going above and beyond to make sure you are not constrained by the working stereotypes placed on the type of Roles women are in.
Jess: To me it shows empowerment for women in business to succeed at the same level as our male colleagues.
2. How did you get into working in the technology sector?
Katie: Digital Marketing was my entry into the tech sector. Working in tech is challenging, but the opportunity to learn and be creative is vast. Tech relies on innovation, and innovation should never stop.
Mollie: I was made redundant back in 2021 from an energy company. I decided that I wanted to try something completely new and the technology sector seemed like a fun and exciting place to do that.
Liz: By accident! I fell in love with technology when I worked at a start-up that was leading the way in creating property virtual tours, ever since then I have wanted to remain firmly rooted in the tech sector. Digital tech is at the forefront of our world and is ever-changing, you are constantly learning and working on a variety of different projects!
Andreea: I never had this strong desire to join the tech sector, however, once I could experience the work environment in this sector, I realized it is fascinating is to be part of today’s innovations, it is incredible how fast this industry grows and it is exciting to be here.
Hannah: I started working in Tech as a Driver Specialist.
Jess: I had mock interviews at my college, aimed at setting us up for new jobs once we leave. I interviewed with Booking.com and they offered me a job for when I finished my course.
3. Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do?
Katie: I wouldn’t say so, but I did know that I wanted to work in an industry that was fast-paced and creative, therefore tech seemed the perfect fit!
Mollie: No! but I am so glad it is where I ended up.
Liz: It took me a while to find what I wanted to do but along the way, I became more and more involved in the tech side of things, so much so that it became something that I was incredibly passionate about.
Andreea: No, I never considered joining this sector, however, I am now decided to stay and take this route for my career.
Hannah: I did not. I had always wanted to be an accountant and figured it wasn't the right fit.
Jess: I wanted to work as Cabin Crew for years and then I fell into office life!
4. What would you consider your driving force?
Katie: I think not wanting to look back with any regret. It is already too easy in life to regret the opportunities you didn’t take or the choices that you made. I don’t want to look back and feel I could’ve done more - you miss 100% of the shots you didn’t take!
Mollie: As a learning and development manager, my main driving force is to ensure that all employees of the company feel knowledgeable and confident enough to do their job roles.
Liz: I constantly want to learn, I want to grow and have a constant fear of standing still. I want to be a part of building something that is innovative and is transforming and challenging the existing norms. That’s why I love YPS so much. I truly believe we are transforming the parking world.
Andreea: My desire to learn and grow every day in my career and personal life is my biggest driving force.
Hannah: My driving force is Faith. I make sure that my faith in God keeps me on the path to success.
Jess: I think my driving force is my desire to get things done! I like to see people and processes improve, so I am always working on how to improve and bring others up with me.
5. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
Katie: Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. This is actually a quote from the basketball coach, Tom Notke. Those who are willing to put in the work will always transcend those who rely on natural ability.
Mollie: “No” is a full sentence.
Liz: Know your worth. If you don’t, who else will?
Andreea: The most important piece of advice I have received was to do always what is right, not what is easy.
Hannah: Make sure to keep going at what you enjoy. It will work out in the end.
Jess: To 'pick your battles' - Basically, to be open to change and new ideas and to know when to make my own path and when to follow someone else’s lead.
6. If you could have dinner with one inspirational woman, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Katie: Meryl Streep, I think she’s an extremely talented actress and is so versatile. I love her in every role she’s played, and both on and off-screen she is the definition of a powerful woman!
Mollie: Michelle Obama! Despite being married to one of the most powerful men in the world she managed to be an icon in her own right.
Liz: Jennifer Aniston. She's a successful woman who is showing that women don't have to have to go by the normal standards society set for women. That we get to choose our own path of what success and happiness look like.
Andreea: I wish I can have dinner with Michelle Obama. Her support for young women was incredible, she used her voice as a First Lady to inspire the young generation.
Hannah: I would like to have dinner with Abisoye Ajayi Akinfolarin. I would have dinner with her as she has created an NGO where girls can become creators of tech in Africa.
Jess: Kylie Jenner - Why not!? Model, Business Woman, Mother... an inspiration.
Whether you’re a woman who holds a job in tech, or are currently pursuing a career in the tech industry—keep doing what you love, because together, we are working to shape the future.