You Don’t Have to ‘do’ Tech to be in Tech.

After a successful 20 year career in the media and marketing industry, a ‘pot-luck’ opportunity changed Caroline’s career path. and now she is a very proud ‘women in tech’. Read about her journey.

 
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I always had an interest in science and technology. However, my ambitions of time and space travel only got as far as self-built time machines and rockets in my bedroom.

Education

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My education in the 1980’s was very traditional. Science subjects were limited to the classroom, with very little context given to the effect technology was having on society at the time. I remember very clearly, as a girl, we were encouraged towards the humanities and the Arts; boys were pushed towards the sciences.

Fast-forward to 2019 and childhood has changed. Children are exposed to, and engaged with, technology from a very early age, so we need to teach them about its impact as early as possible. Thankfully education has now changed with schools spending an estimated £900 million each year on education technology. My 6-year old is now learning to code in her ITC class and is working on an app for collecting pocket money from chores!

Early Career

Having studied ‘Art and Design’ at Uni, I spent the following 20 years in the international media and marketing industry, working in different roles from media planning and strategy to sales and sponsorships. It was at C Squared where I got the chance to fully immerse myself in the tech industry, and I met and worked with many tech companies, who at that time were beginning to disrupt the digital media landscape - it was awe inspiring watching how media, creativity and innovation were blending. Media tech was one of the fastest growing industries in the 00’s. I was one of the lucky ones, I had a front row seat watching and working with companies who were trailblazing ideas that ultimately changed the future of advertising.

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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

I left C Squared in 2015 for a short career break and to find a role that would work around my young daughters schooling - the minx on the left (I promised I would include photo!)

After 6 months I started interviewing for roles and found the subject of ‘flexible working’ an awkward one to bring up, and after 3 months I decided to apply for a Digital Mums Social Media Management course, and it was this course that led me to SheCanCode.

Studying remotely each student was allocated a live client to work with and whilst others in my cohort were hoping for a fashion, beauty and consumer client and dreading getting the ‘techy’ one, I was hoping the exact opposite!

And as luck would have it, in 2016 I began working for SheCanCode as their Social Media Manager. From day one I knew that I was part of something amazing and with the support and direction of SheCanCode’s co-founder Nicole Pretorious I was able to apply all the skills and experience I had gained over the past 20 years to do something I was truly passionate about. My role quickly evolved and in a very short time I was responsible for driving value to the business, through the development of its services, products, and events.

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Present Day

Three years on, and I am now Head Girl at SheCanCode.

Diversity has always mattered – but now, it is an increasingly important fact of life! Research has proven that diversity significantly impacts financial performance and business success. It increases innovation, creativity, employee satisfaction, loyalty and dramatically widens your talent pool.

And that is why, the team and I spend our days hopfully inspiring, supporting and empowering more women to enter, return or remain in careers in tec. We are working with great companies of all size and shape, to support them in their D&I strategies and help them market effectively to our community, whether that be through content, events or jobs, so that they too can attract more women.

I see more and more women working hard to build a stronger presence in the tech industry. Changing an industry that was originally created by men for men, is going to need a group effort and that group effort will need to come from all areas. Change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation and consensus from the bottom up.

Caroline Holmes
caroline@shecancode.io
Head Girl, SheCanCode

I don’t believe anyone has a straight-forward path in to the tech industry. Mine certainly wasn’t.
Caroline Holmes