First of all this is certainly an unusual post for a blog about Azure and DevOps but it’s something I have thought about a lot recently while on furloughed leave due to Coronavirus. I engaged social media to get some thoughts and feedback on this subject and safe to say the anti-equality police were all over this. That actually just gave me more determination to write a post about this and highlight some of the amazing women I have come across in my career so far and frankly without I may not be where I am today.
First of all it would be really easy for me to say about the women outside of work who have helped me, needless to say they are really important in where I am today and clearly deserve a mention but I want to focus here about women in technology.
Going right back to the start of my IT career it was actually my first manager Sarah while I learned my trade on a service desk who had a big influence on me personally, although at the time I don’t think I realised how much mentoring she did and how much of what she told me has stuck and still gets used to this day. Without her influence, mentoring and words of wisdom not only would leaving to go to the world of consultancy been much harder but I certainly wouldn’t have been in a position to take that job. She remains a friend today and we stay in touch every so often.
Moving on in my career while at Inframon, two people specifically Jody and Leah stand out to me as people who loved what they do and didn’t care they were in a minority in their industry. Both had a huge amount of passion for their job, loved what they did and were more than willing to share what they knew about the business side of IT, which as a pure technical person was great to have them around and learn from them. The things I picked up from both Jody and Leah again has served me well to this day, I am again honoured to call both of them friends.
After Inframon was taken over by Ensono, my previous place of work, when I took into account the number of clients I had visited and companies I had worked for, Ensono had a good balance at the time of women who were in both technical and senior roles. With my role as the Director of Platform Engineering for Microsoft Azure at Ensono I worked closely with the operations team, this is where I first met Yvonne (or Yve for short). From difficult situations with customers, escalations and her understanding of leadership in technology, I learned how to be a better manager, perform my role better and be more objective about what was happening in my teams.
Finally, I want to highlight someone on my team at Ensono, that is Margaret. As my development team leader she was responsible for the cloud management platform we developed in house. Without a doubt she is one of the most highly skilled developers I have come across and I was really proud to have the opportunity to give her a team, learn new skills and see her grow during her time as my direct report. Even after I left Ensono, I was proud and delighted to see her realise one of her career dreams and work for Microsoft.
I could of course list a load more and write endless reasons, I do want to make sure I highlight both currently at Ensono, Larissa and Rita who again are both good friends from my time at Ensono and are both brilliant at what they do, always working outside of their comfort zone and real advocates of the women in technology movement.
Women in the technical community
Of course, outside of the women who have directly influenced my career, the technical community is full of hundreds of women who influence our industry from posting blogs, organising user groups, recording podcasts, organising events and so much more.
I’m fully prepared for the messages of hypocrisy that I am specifically mentioning women who influence my career and not men, but those people will get the contempt they deserve. So to finish off, the year is 2020, for many other reasons it’s already a crazy year, if nothing else this year, let’s try and make it also the year regardless of sex we celebrate those who influence us and our careers and celebrate the amazing women we are so lucky to have in our very special, small family we call technology.