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Climbing the corporate ladder: Why we need female role models in tech

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Georgina Bingham, Senior Channel Director at Agilitas, discusses how she got into tech and climbed the corporate ladder, as well as the importance of role models for the younger generations who are considering entering the STEM industry.

GENDER DIVERSITY IN THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY IS SOMETHING THAT BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN TACKLING FOR DECADES.

Georgina Bingham, Senior Channel Director at Agilitas

Statistics show that at the end of 2022, women only accounted for 19% of the workforce across the sector, with 77% of technology director roles being filled by men. The industry continues to face the challenge of showcasing more female role models to inspire and encourage the next generation to pursue a career in technology.

In this article, Georgina Bingham, Senior Channel Director at Agilitas, discusses how she got into tech and climbed the corporate ladder, as well as the importance of role models for the younger generations who are considering entering the STEM industry. 

I STARTED MY CAREER IN THE TECHNOLOGY SPACE AT SIEMENS ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS/UNIFY COMMUNICATIONS, WHERE I SPENT OVER 16 YEARS WORKING ACROSS DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS, FROM MANAGING THE SERVICE DESKS AND FIELD ENGINEERING, TO WORKING IN BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND SALES.

When working in field engineering, I had to work across the organisation with many different teams, which gave me a really good foundation for how different departments within the technology industry work together.

After some time in the Hospitality market (specifically alcoholic beverages), I fulfilled a lifelong ambition to set up my own business. I then found myself drawn back into the technology sector at Tiger Communications for 18 months in a direct sales role selling voice analytic software services and then the opportunity at Agilitas came up, which is where I am today.

JUMPING IN FEET FIRST

I accidentally entered the technology sector as my first role at Siemens was a temporary position but I really enjoyed it. Working there opened my eyes to the opportunities available in the industry and I saw my role not just as a job but as a career. The technology sector is so broad with so many opportunities and options to specialise or remain more of a generalist covering a number of disciplines. I loved the fact that by starting in the technology industry, I was keeping my options open with the potential to work for a wide range of exciting companies. It’s fast-moving and always evolving so there are huge rewards and little chance of getting bored.

BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING

Working for an SME, like Agilitas, means I have been able to get involved in all different departments very quickly. Having worked across a number of functions within IT in the past, I found that I understood the customer journey quickly. No matter what industry you work in, if you can identify what makes a good customer experience and work well between departments to communicate this, you can really excel in your role. I’m extremely proud to say that I hold the highest sales target for the whole organisation, which brings in a significant part of Agilitas’ revenue. I am also now responsible for managing some of the top spending accounts within the business as I have proved I can deliver results.

My biggest recommendation to women looking to join the industry would be to engross themselves in as many departments and speak to as many people as possible. For example, you may join the technology industry in the customer support team, but by understanding how your role contributes to the wider picture, you will be able to cross-train and pick up more skills to expand your career options going forward. It’s also vital to have confidence in yourself and remember that mistakes are good learning experiences.

THE FUTURE OF WOMEN IN TECH

It’s extremely important for women to have role models in technology, and from the earlier age the better. Eventually, it would be great if there isn’t the need to have to highlight ‘women in tech’, it would just be the norm. But when looking at the ratios across the industry, it’s clear that we are still quite a way from this day. The more we can highlight how women can be successful and have flourishing careers in the technology industry, we will hopefully encourage more women to explore the sector as a viable option when looking at career choices.

I would also love to see more entry-level programmes across all companies, from large technology firms to SMEs that encourage young people from all backgrounds to learn within their roles. Additionally, the sector could really benefit from programmes that encourage more senior people from other industries to transition across to the technology sector. There are so many skills that are transferable, and I think this could speed up the process of creating a more diverse pool of employees in the technology industry, rather than relying solely on future generations to drive this change.

It’s also vital for the industry to begin identifying the transferable skills – communication, customer service, people management, sales, project management and procurement. If you have developed essentials in one industry whether that is FMCG, Public Sector, Retail or Hospitality you can cross into the Technology Sector – the underpinning skills are often the same.

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