Spotlight on Women in Tech: Gemma Walker of Livingstone Tech
- 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 Gemma Walker from Livingstone Tech had to say:
When did you first start in the IT industry and what drew you to it?
By accident – looking for a sales job – just happened to be selling IT
As a woman, have you faced any challenges within working environments?
I first joined IT Sales in 1994, I worked at a young business so there was always good mix of people around. Whilst there was no questioning of my ability there were always unsavoury remarks and banter in the office at that time, which actually doesn’t happen in the office environment these days. It’s also worth noting that the most challenging situation that I personally experienced having small children was from a female interviewer, thankfully I didn’t end up having to take that job.
whilst there was no questioning of my ability there were always unsavoury remarks and banter in the office at that time
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?
Yes, I do. Although SAM is an odd industry, it does have a better balance. However, during my career I have had to fight my corner a couple of times to get more money, when it was deserved of course!
In recent years there has been an influx of women in all workplaces, but it’s not equal to men, I read somewhere that 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?
I have not suffered from this personally. My role is quite specialist, so it’s been hard to replace me in the roles that I have had, which may have affected my chances of promotion. I have chosen not to take a couple of management roles due to having children and needed to remain flexible and strike a work life balance.
What resources and support are available for women in IT?
It depends on which area of IT you work in, it’s a MASSIVE subject. I would always start with speaking to HR in confidence if you have any issues or concerns.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt as a women in technology?
That I can do my job well, but I have had to employ some militant approaches to time management to ensure I have delivered consistently. Being a woman hasn’t made a difference to me personally from getting on and driving my career forward. I continue to put myself out there, being interested, being front and centre, proving my ability.
What is your favourite part of working in the IT industry?
I like techie toys, so getting to see some cool gadgets is one of my favourite things. Also, not being a total luddite in front of my kids make me feel younger.
What’s the biggest professional challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
It’s not a female issue. The biggest challenge I face is getting businesses to understand why licensing and SAM is strategically important.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to women starting out in the IT industry?
Be good at your job and take every training opportunity offered. Listen and make sure you are heard. And learn time management to get your job done. Ensure you have a healthy work to life balance, if you feel stressed or over worked it’s important to speak to your boss early.
Most IT businesses are run at a senior level by older white males, change is now taking place at an ever-increasing rate, however it will take time to balance out. I would advise any young woman starting out in IT that they can achieve anything if they have the drive and motivation, always try to over deliver, but manage your time well. If you are good at your job, ultimately you will move forward.
I would advise any young woman starting out in IT that they can achieve anything if they have the drive and motivation.