Spotlight on Women in Tech: Sam Mudd of Phoenix Software
- 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 Sam Mudd of Phoenix Software said:
When did you first start in the IT industry and what drew you to it?
My career journey started like most of the early women in IT – by accident. I had just completed by A ‘Levels and had taken a GAP year, to find after a few months of traveling and selling time share apartments in Tenerife I needed a ”proper job” to tide me over until I started University the next year. I ended up working alongside three other women calling from a yellow page’s directory to sell the first software applications that were brought to market back in the later 80’s. This was the start of the Software Reseller Industry and we were at the start of it all, very exciting times,, but unchartered territory and we made it up as we went along really – how to be good at what we did!
The challenges I have overcome are no different to most women, you turn up to a meeting and it suddenly dawns on you that you are the only female at a table of around 8 or 10 men. Yes, that’s a regular occurrence for me, both in customer meetings and vendor ones, but it doesn’t for one-minute deter or upset me, because I am at ease with who I am, the value I bring to the table and the alternative views that might be missing.
I am at ease with who I am, the value I bring to the table and the alternative views that might be missing
Yes I do. And as a consequence I have been working hard on the Phoenix cultural tone of our workplace over the last two years and one of the important action areas is to promote accountability and fairness among other things. So if I accept that fairness is a key variable, I want a fair deal for women, on pay and benefits in the workplace. If I focus on culture at Phoenix, I can improve the engagement with my staff and if I can do that, I can hopefully find better ways to keep attracting more women to our company because I will be vocal about enabling women to be a success within our organization and have a seat at the table.
I think ‘if ‘the feeder pool at the bottom is equal (males & females coming into our industry) then really it is about retaining women in their careers, and providing flexible working options for them to have a family and continue to work. That way they can keep the momentum in their career going and as and when promotions become available they won’t be left behind.
I also interview a lot of women and find that by showing them as a role model I have managed to work my career and have a family, it provides them with an example it can be done. Of course I have had terrific male support from my male bosses over the years, and that is key to allowing a women to perform to her best ability. If they provide the trust and belief you can do it, the rest will follow. Hence if you cultivate a culture of inclusion for all diversity – gender, age and race we will attract more talent in the long run and get the feeder pool at the start balanced between males & females.
We have recently undertaken a proactive program of activity at Phoenix under a campaign called ‘Women in IT’ (WIT) to encourage more women to think about IT as a career.
Because of the modern world we live in, we have used social media to promote some blogs from women across our business about their journey into IT and the roles that they have had as they developed their careers. They all have different roles to showcase the variety of career choices you can have in an IT company, ranging from sales, to admin and marketing to of course technical and development.
We have also recorded WIT Podcasts, and have presented at Schools and Colleges to offer more awareness to younger women that a career in IT might be something they wish to consider. The WIT network that we are a member of offers similar resources and networks that people can utilize.
Keep an eye out for the next blog in the Women in Technology series and if you would like to take part, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.Tags: Women In Technology