Spotlight on Women in Tech: Deborah Mulderrig of Covea Insurance
- At License Dashboard we are, and always have been passionate about creating and maintaining a diverse place of work. One of our employees has been working with the Women in Technology Community by building a space where women can support each other, share advice and work to narrow the gender gap.
We asked some esteemed women within the IT industry to tell us a bit about their experiences within the workplace. Here’s what Deborah Mulderrig of Covea Insurance said:
When did you first start in the IT industry and what drew you to it?
I am relatively new to IT industry as I only started working in IT 5 years ago. An opportunity came up at the company I was working for at the time, so I went for it as I needed a new challenge and felt the skills they were asking for I had.
As a woman, have you faced any challenges within working environments?
Yes, I previously worked in a male dominated IT area and at times it was challenging. Not only did I have to deal with being new, but at the same time, male colleagues who thought as I was a woman I didn’t know anything. Plus even though I am an older woman, because I look younger than my age, and that also went against me, so I ended up having to prove myself and my ability for a few months.
It’s now well known that a lot of industries have been highlighted due to pay gaps between men and women, do you think this is the same within the IT industry?
To be honest I haven’t noticed it but as I am relatively new to IT industry maybe pay gaps have already started to change within IT?
In recent years there has been an influx of women in all workplaces, but their progression is not equal to men; men are 30% more likely to be promoted to a managerial position than women. Why do you think this is and what can organizations do to prevent discrimination and maintain equality when looking at hiring, salaries and promotions?
This is a huge subject to cover in one question – it needs its own blog! There are so many reasons why discrimination and equality can happen in the workplace; some of these are due to the size of an organization. I think it is easier for larger organizations to deal with this issue and put procedures and process into place to help avoid/stop this happening than it is for smaller organizations.
Organizations should have policies in place to deal with hiring, salaries and promotions. All interviews should be conducted the same way; the same questions should be asked to each candidate and scored using a defined process. Salaries and promotions should be evaluated on the person’s skills and ability against the role not on the person.
What resources and support are available for women in IT?
There are numerous resources and support for women in IT; blogs, workshops, social media, conferences, webinars, magazine articles, training, mentoring, tech days.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt as a women in the IT industry?
Believe in yourself. If you doubt yourself and what you are saying/doing, then your peers/colleagues will do the same.
Believe in yourself
What is your favorite part of working in the IT industry?
Seeing your vision being delivered and the benefits it brings to the company and colleagues.
What’s the biggest professional challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was moving into IT with no knowledge of the area I was going to work in but the confidence in myself that I could do it. The first three days I joined IT I was on my own, as my manager was on a training course. I knew the areas I was going to be working: IT Finance, IT Procurement, IT Purchasing and Software Asset Management. A huge area to learn about but I broke it down into areas and selected one area (telecoms) to work on first. My first 3 days were then spend on the internet understanding telephony terminology and how telecoms systems worked. If something feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller sections – it’s still the same amount of work but feels more manageable.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to women starting out in the IT industry?
If you are given an opportunity, take it with both hands. You don’t have to know about IT but you do need an eagerness to learn and adapt to change. IT is fast paced and technology changes all the time so you have to adapt and change with it.
Rotating around different IT departments is good, it gives you an understanding of how each departments works individually and how they fit together. This can also help an individual be confident of which IT department they are most suited to and want to specialize in.
No question is a daft question! If you don’t understand speak up so it can be explained to you differently. Not everyone learns or understands in the same way.
No question is a daft question