The women in tech at PDMS: Hannah Phillips
To mark International Women’s Day 2023, we spoke to PDMS’ PMO Manager, Hannah Phillips, about her journey through the ranks and some of the misconceptions that initially put her off pursuing a career in the tech industry.
Before joining PDMS, Hannah’s career started out in retail. Although she loved IT at school, she admits that she had this preconceived idea that to pursue a career in technology you need extensive knowledge of developing and coding.
What is your experience of the tech sector?
"Tech isn’t just about coding!"
People often have this warped perception of the types of roles that tech companies can offer which is probably one of the main barriers for women entering the industry. There is this idea that all of technology involves coding, and that coding is for men!
Despite this, I put my fears aside and applied for a Support Analyst role at PDMS which explained that no prior knowledge of technology was needed.
It sounded too good to be true, but I thought it would be a great way to get into the industry. Prior to joining the technology industry, I didn't have any female role models to look up to within the industry.
It wasn’t until I joined PDMS and saw the number of women in senior positions within the company that I felt inspired. I watched Jayne Hartley go from a Business Analyst to a Development Team Manager to Head of Production & Delivery, before joining the Board of Directors and taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer.
I saw all these women at PDMS with such great work ethics and who were all respected by their colleagues, and it made me think that maybe I don’t need to be able to code or be a man to have a successful career in technology!
Inspired by my colleagues’ career progression, I quickly progressed through the company. After joining in 2014 as a Support Analyst, I then became a Technical Services Analyst and then a Product Development Manager. Following this, I became a Project Manager, then was promoted to a Senior Project Manager position before becoming the Lead Project Manager in 2022.
However, I had to get myself through the door within the industry and put my preconceptions aside to realise that it’s not all like the stereotypes and there is so much that tech can offer other than coding.
What do you think is being done to support diversity and equality in the tech industry?
"The cycle needs to be broken..."
I would like to praise the representation and inclusivity of PDMS. We are so lucky at PDMS to have this bubble where there are lots of women in senior positions and half of our executive leadership team is female.
We have people working here that have the right skillsets and it has nothing to do with gender or background which is so incredible to see! However, I know the industry is very male-dominated and that there are lots of preconceptions about what tech is and who it is for.
I think it’s a vicious cycle because people don’t have many female role models in the industry, which discourages women to get into the industry. However, women, including myself, must step in and become the role models to encourage more women to join the industry – we need to break the cycle!
What is your number one piece advice to younger generations entering the tech industry?
Don’t let any preconceptions about what technology is put you off. There are so many opportunities out there and there is so much to learn. Don’t let the stereotypes put you off and don’t talk yourself out of it before you’ve given yourself the chance. Just go for it!
If you are interested in a career in tech with PDMS then we would love to hear from you - we're committed to helping people get a start in technology careers! Just send your CV to [email protected] with an email explaining why you think you can fit into the team.