The women in tech at PDMS: Hannah Phillips
To mark International Women’s Day 2023, we spoke to PDMS’ Lead Project Manager, Hannah Phillips, about her journey through the ranks in the tech industry and some of the misconceptions that initially put her off pursuing a career in the industry.
Tech isn’t just about coding!
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.
“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, Hannah put her 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!” she said.
Prior to joining the technology industry, Hannah admits that she did not 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 her colleagues’ career progression, Hannah quickly progressed through the company after joining in 2014. After joining as a Support Analyst, she then became a Technical Services Analyst and then a Product Development Manager. Following this, she 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”, Hannah adds.
The cycle needs to be broken...
When asked how she thinks our industry is supporting diversity and equality, Hannah praised 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 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!”
Hannah’s number one piece advice to younger generations entering the technology industry:
“Firstly, 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.