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Women in tech at Kagool

Women in tech at Kagool

The tech industry needs to get more women in to tech roles. We share how and why some of the women at Kagool chose to work in this exciting sector.

Women in tech_Header_hb

To mark international women’s day, we’re celebrating our own women in tech, by shining a light on some of the brilliant women that make Kagool an award-winning digital agency.

Women in tech

Women make up 47% of the UK workforce, but just 27% of the tech workforce. Whilst 50% of graduates leave university with a degree in business, sciences, engineering or finance, only 1 in 5 female graduates are choosing these subjects. There’s a clear gap between girls taking interest in tech and digital roles at school age but not choosing that career path. This is a loss for businesses.

Statistics show that organisations that employ a more gender diverse workforce, thrive. McKinsey found that companies across all sectors that have women in senior positions ‘significantly and consistently outperform those without any women’. Both in terms of return of equity (41%) and operating results (56%) making a balanced workplace profitable.

What’s it like for Kagool’s women in tech?

We are proud to have women in a wide spectrum of roles in our business and will continue to promote diversity across our teams. In some areas, such as digital marketing and account handling, most of our team members are female.

In a bid to inspire tomorrow’s emerging generation of digital experts, we asked some of the women at Kagool to share their journeys in the tech industry.

Kelly Jones, QA Analyst

What did you study/qualify in?

BA in Film and Television Studies.  As you can see, my career went totally to plan.

What was the pivotal point to get you on digital path?

I moved to a new city after university and decided to go on the hunt for jobs that seemed like they would be within my wheelhouse. I took advantage of a government scheme to get young graduates into roles that they likely wouldn’t have a chance at getting otherwise. Given my experience in tweeting awful jokes and photoshopping dogs dressed as vets into amusing scenarios, I ended up managing social media accounts for over twenty local businesses as part of a small digital agency (ironically none of which were vets-based).

After marketing, I dabbled in admin, content entry, and the like, until I wheedled my way into Kagool. After originally completing low skill content work, was given the opportunity to take on a more challenging, technical role.

What’s your job now and why you’d recommend it to women/younger generation of girls?

I am now a bonafide quality assurance analyst. Simply put, I check the work of our Sitecore developers to ensure the work we’re delivering is as expected. Even simpler put, I ask ‘is this website right?’ until my tests tell me yes or no. Quality assurance is a great choice for women who want to work on the forefront of technology, but aren’t so interested in coding. Or for women who live a life of pedantry and want to be paid to check for mistakes. I’m thankful to be right in the centre of that Venn diagram.

It’s one of those tech careers that doesn’t seem to carry the same pretention as some other roles might. In my experience, newbies to quality assurance are always welcomed in to the fold with open arms.

What are your future career ambitions?

Onwards and upwards. Senior test analyst, test manager, billionaire, brief stint as astronaut, retirement.

Top Tips

Never look at an entry level job and think ‘I’m not good enough for this’. You are.

Lucy Murray, Front end developer

What did you study/qualify in?

Maths with Economics

What was the pivotal point to get you on digital path?

Being a teacher for 4 years and spouting forth about my love of spreadsheets to a developer friend who said I should really try it.

What’s your job now and why you’d recommend it to women/younger generation of girls?

I am a frontend developer. In my opinion it’s the ideal intersection between a creative and logical job, you can get a real feel of accomplishment at the end of the day being able to see what you have achieved.

What are your future career ambitions?

To start off I’d like to mentor more people who were in my position and help them learn and progress.

Elisabetta Nicoli, Paid Media Lead

What did you study/qualify in?

Communication BA and Publishing MA (in Italy)

What was the pivotal point to get you on digital path?

I originally worked in sales. After redundancy, I thought it was a good opportunity to change career to something I actually liked doing. I had my first interview for a PPC (pay per click) executive role and I got the job. After university and before moving to the UK, I was looking for jobs in PR or publishing houses. When I came here I just needed a job to get some money and improve my English, so I stopped really looking for those roles. Then the opportunity in digital marketing came up and I thought it made more sense as digital is the future of communication and advertising.

What’s your job now and why you’d recommend it to women/younger generation of girls?

I work in Paid Media, this means I manage advertising for clients across the biggest search engines and social networks: Google, YouTube, Bing, Facebook, Instagram etc.

Historically, it’s been called Pay per Click (PPC) or paid search marketing because generally the advertiser pays when the ads get clicked on Google search results. However, this type of digital advertising has grown so much that it’s now referred with the more comprehensive term of Paid Media.

I’d recommend it to women and girls because it’s a diverse role. The job requires analytical skills, attention to detail, but also creativity and curiosity. It’s not only about numbers – there’s opportunity for women that are great with analytical skills and maths, but also that excel in innovation and creative thinking.

What are your future career ambitions?

One day, I’d like to lead a team of paid media experts and maybe become Head of the Paid Media department. Perhaps I’ll be a Paid Media freelancer working remotely from Bali, I haven’t decided yet.

Lucy Brearley, Digital Account Manager

What did you study/qualify in?

BA Hons Marketing Management

What was the pivotal point to get you on digital path?

After graduating university, I spent a few months travelling around the world before taking up a role in recruitment. After 6 months or so I got made redundant, which was unfortunate, but the silver lining was I’d saved some money and it allowed me to spend a couple of months looking for and holding out for a job relating to my degree in marketing. I eventually got a job in the digital team at a leading e-commerce giant as a copywriter which propelled me in to the digital world, and the rest as they say, is history.

What’s your job now and why you’d recommend it to women/younger generation of girls?

Digital Account Manager for Kagool. My job is never boring, you get to understand a lot about different industries through managing multiple diverse clients, and you get to build your digital and technical knowledge.

It’s a varied role working with all departments across the business, including the creative, search marketing, development, operations, testing and delivery teams. The digital community is also a friendly place with lots of opportunity to develop, what’s more the skills you gain as an Account Manager are invaluable for your future career whichever way that may go.

What are your future career ambitions?

Head of a department maybe, Queen …. who knows? But I feel Account Management and working in digital has given me a solid foundation to go on and do whatever I want.

Top Tips

If you like continuous learning, working with people and being innovative, this could be just the career for you.

Abbie de Zwart, Backend developer

What did you study/qualify in?

MEng Software Engineering – UMIST

What was the pivotal point to get you on the digital path?

In the final year of sixth form we needed to pick a different AS level to do. I switched last minute from Geology to Computing where we learned our first bit of programming, and I thought it was brilliant. A computer was no longer this unintelligible black box with hidden inner workings. It became something I could manipulate and create functional and sometimes fun programmes and websites with. I was due to study Biology at Cardiff university, but cancelled my UCAS form and reapplied the following year for Software Engineering degrees.

What’s your job now and why you’d recommend it to women/younger generation of girls?

Today, I work full time on support, fixing various problems. I really love the logical process of deduction involved in bug fixing and taking something bad and making it better is my bread and butter. Working on support also means that I work with (almost) all our clients (there are 20 clients currently with support contracts) and the varying nature of problems means that I can be doing anything from code, to Sitecore changes, to config changes including live deployments.

I’d recommend it to a younger generation because there is satisfaction in creating something robust and efficient. You don’t need to be a genius to code. It’s not a dark art. It merely requires a logical way of thinking and if you have that then you can do it.

What are your future career ambitions?

I’d like to get Sitecore MVP, but at present the problem is finding the time in amongst renovating a house.

Already a woman in tech? If not – do you want to be? If you think you could be a great addition for the Kagool team, get in touch or check out our latest vacancies.

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