Video: BetterPoints colleagues consider the role of women in technology
The BetterPoints staff team is predominantly female, which is unusual for a technology company. Just before Christmas, our Director of Programmes, Hannah Bowden, sat on the panel at a 10 Digital Ladies event in London, talking about women in the industry. So, we put together a short video of some of our colleagues sharing their thoughts about access to the industry.
In the video, we hear from: Lobelia Lawson, Implementation Manager; Rachel Maile, Marketing Officer, Development & Research; Anne Lancaster, Product Manager; Uzma Mukhtar, Customer Care and Incentives; Kerri French, Programme Engagement Manager.
Lobelia: I don’t see a really big difference between men and women in tech I do see a big difference in the way we’re treated in the industry. I’ve had to crow a bit louder to get my voice heard in some companies; I mean BetterPoints is a very different situation to any other tech situation I’ve been in before I’ve worked in companies that were very male-dominated.
Rachel: Historically it feels to me anyway like boys and men have been encouraged in those things while women have been encouraged in what we would call kind of softer disciplines and so women haven’t had those skills brought out of them and been encouraged to study computer science and other kinds of things at university.
Lobelia: If our team was made entirely of women we could still get the job done and we could do it just as well but we do have some amazing men on our team as well.
Anne: I really like working as part of a diverse team men and women.
Uzma: I think if it was just a completely female team or a completely male team it would be a very different dynamic.
Rachel: I think mixed teams are not only important but they’re absolutely crucial, really; I wouldn’t want to work in a team of people that are exactly like me.
Anne: We’re from all different parts of the country and have different life experiences that we bring to the table.
Uzma: People with different skills but you know different ways of approaching things definitely helps.
Rachel: One of the brilliant things about working at BetterPoints is the backgrounds – we’ve all got different backgrounds, different sets of skills and experience.
Anne: We’re all really super different from each other, I mean, goodness me!
Rachel: … and a different viewpoint.
Anne: Men and women…
Uzma: A team that allows everyone to flourish.
Anne: We have introverts, extroverts…
Kerri: Everyone brings their own views their own standpoint their own inputs.
Anne: …northerners, southerners…
Kerri: and you just don’t get that when you get ten women of all the same outlook or ten men of all the same background. You really need that rich tapestry of people and views and opinions to make it work.
Rachel: That makes for a really interesting place to work but it also makes for a better product and a better company because we all bring such a lot of different experience with us.
Anne: It really helps to see other people’s points of view.
Rachel: It’s a big generalisation but I think women are very practical – certainly I’m the practical one in my household and we’re used to juggling a lot of things at the same time, multitasking.
Uzma: We can consider things from a more sort of holistic approach.
Lobelia: There is one thing I think women do very well – that we’re naturally kind of adept at doing – which is multitasking.
Kerri: With BetterPoints as an app that has to fit into real life they can understand how the users see it and how the users can use the app in the real life situation with all the other things that go on in a woman’s life.
Lobelia: You’ve got a career and a thousand other things going on at once and we’re very good at managing those things typically.
Rachel: Thinking about how a user might actually do this whilst juggling children, meals, school runs, a job, a house, everything else Lately we’re working on a lot of programmes for women and children so we need to be thinking about how families will interact with our app and the technology that we’re building.
Anne: I think women are used to working collaboratively.
Lobelia: We’re thinking sympathetically; we’re thinking sometimes in the way of people, you know, how they might feel about that tech.
Kerri: My one tip for women trying to get into this business and in design and technology is to understand that you’re good enough, you know; your views count, you’ve got so much to give.
Anne: Use what you know and understand and experience and enjoy already.
Lobelia: Be confident in what you can do, know your skills, know your strengths and just be always ready to learn something.
Rachel: The key thing for me is role models. The more women and the more diversity in this field then the more girls and the more children and the more people from all kinds of backgrounds will want to do that.
Anne: There’s not a cliched women in technology person.
Kerri: Being able to juggle lots of things – I mean we’re natural at it so we’re perfect for the technology industry!
Lobelia: Forge forward; don’t focus on the things you don’t know as a negative, focus on the things you don’t know as a positive because it’s an opportunity for you to learn about them.
Kerri: And give it a go.
Lobelia: Keep learning and keep doing and you’ll get there.