Women in tech are making their voices heard. Over the last few years we've seen a surge of programs and initiatives designed to help more women get into STEM fields.
We had the opportunity to talk about women in technology from the unique perspective of a tech recruiter. Here's what Amy Harris, Senior Contracts Consultant at Montash has to say about what she has seen in the tech world today.
Did you always know that working in the recruitment technology was what you wanted to do?
Not at all. At university I studied English Literature and Spanish. I went to work abroad for a while and originally I wanted to do something with my language skills. When I came back, a friend suggested recruitment and I haven't looked back.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career path?
Today I work in corporate delivery, which is a mix of account management and what you'd think of as traditional recruitment. My job is to deliver candidates to clients that have roles and keep maintaining our existing client relationships.
I've been working at Montash for three and a half years and this is my second recruitment job. As I develop further, I'd like to move into a mentoring or management role.
Do you feel this has changed over the course of your career?
I started working in the retail technology space. Back then, there was a big focus on ecommerce competition and supply chain processing. But today it's all about data.
Analytics and data collection into consumer behaviour is at the forefront of tech right now. The Cloud and the Internet of Things movement give businesses more access to data than ever before and they are crying out for ways to use it and gain new insights.
Do you feel that being a woman affects the way female professionals are perceived or treated? Have you ever been in a situation like that?
I think in general you're perceived to not really know what you're talking about. I've never been in a situation like that myself, but you see it in a lot of situations. But, I think there are a lot of advantages in being able to see a situation from a female perspective, especially in tech.
Do you notice a lack of women in RECRUITMENT? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
Yes! I think the reason for this is that there isn’t enough encouragement to get into tech at a young age. When I was growing up, IT was never really a focus, least of all for girls.
But today, kids find technology more relevant than we did - they live with it every day. So I'm confident that we'll see a change over time simply due to how children are more exposed to technology. It feels more natural for girls to get into tech when they use it every day.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the RECRUITMENT tech industry?
For tech recruitment, it is easier to be softer and more empathic in your approach. You don't have to be salesy and aggressive in your pitch. The soft sell feels more natural to me and it allows me to get to the crux of the issue faster. That way, you can solve the problem or meet the need.
For tech specifically, I think that empathy is important for maintain a cohesive team. Plus, a new perspective on a project could help devise new approaches and solutions. It's always important to have a variety of views.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry?
The one thing I would say is networking and learn from those around you. Go to women in tech events, get inspired, go meet people. There's a movement to help get more women into tech, so get involved and learn new topics and develop your skills.
The industry is crying out for more women and more female brains in tech!
What do you wish you had known when you first got into RECRUITMENT?
I wish I had known just how many opportunities there are out there! If I had known that when I started thinking about my career, recruiter I definitely would have explored tech. There are so many different options out there in the tech field for all kinds of skillsets - UX/UI, DevOps, Big Data analysis - there's a whole world out there.