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

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

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.

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

Career paths in tech that dont include codingDuring my time at school, there was little or no context given to the growing effect technology was having on our society. At the time I remember very clearly, that as a girl, I was encouraged towards the humanities and the Arts. Whereas 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

After majoring in ‘Art and Design’ at Uni, I devoted 20 years to global media and marketing. My roles spanned media planning, sales, and sponsorships. At C Squared, I deeply engaged with the tech industry, collaborating with pioneering companies that disrupted digital media, witnessing the blend of media, creativity, and innovation.

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.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Career paths in tech that dont include codingI left C Squared in 2015 for a short career break. As a single mum, I wanted to find a role that would work around my young daughter’s schooling and her needs.

(She’s the minx on the left. I promised I would include a photo!

After 6 months I started interviewing for roles and found that the subject of ‘flexible working’ was an awkward one. 3 months later, 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 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.

Present Day

Career paths in tech that dont include codingThree 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.

Hence, our team strives to inspire, support, and empower women in tech careers. We collaborate with diverse companies to enhance their D&I efforts and market effectively to our community. Through content, events, and job opportunities, we aid them in attracting 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.

I don’t believe anyone has a straightforward path into the tech industry. Mine certainly wasn’t.

Caroline Holmes [email protected]

Head Girl, SheCanCode

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