The Women in Tech at PDMS: Suzanne Maxwell-Brown
Project Manager, Suzanne Maxwell-Brown, hadn’t previously worked in the tech industry prior to joining PDMS in 2021, but explains that hasn't held her back, and wants to encourage people to do the same.
As part of her role, Suzanne has attended several Women in Leadership courses. It is here that she has heard some of the negative experiences that other women have had working in the tech industry, but she herself feels lucky to not have experienced this.
“Although I know from hearing other women’s experiences that technology is such a male-dominated industry, I feel privileged to say that I’ve only ever seen equality in tech as I work for PDMS where there are lots of women in senior positions and on the Board,” she notes.
Before working in tech, Suzanne worked in logistics – another male dominated industry. She argues that her long history of working in male-dominated spheres has likely contributed to the fact that she isn’t fazed by working with a lot of men because “I know that I deserve to be here as much as anyone else!”
“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
When chatting about what more can be done to encourage more women to enter the industry, Suzanne said: “In order to encourage more women and younger generations to get into the technology industry, we need to have more representation and diversity. There’s a saying that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see,’ so I think it’s important that younger people see people similar to them in roles, so they feel inspired to explore that.”
She also discussed how seeing other women progress in their careers since she joined PDMS has really inspired her, saying “For example, since I joined in 2021, Hannah (Phillips) has gone from a Project Manager, then to a Senior and now to Lead Project Manager. Seeing this has really made me think ‘if you apply yourself then you can progress and there is space for you to grow here.’”
"You don’t need to know everything!"
When Suzanne was first joining PDMS, she claims that she worried that her limited technical knowledge would set her back.
“When I was coming into my first role at PDMS, I was stressed that I needed to know lots of technical stuff. However, my role didn’t require extensive technical knowledge at all, and regardless I quickly picked things up from people around me who were always willing to help.”
“I think there should be more education and awareness on the diverse types of roles available within technology. The stereotypes that tech is just a load of men writing code needs to be broken down because it is not the case and there are so many options out there for everyone,” she adds.
Suzanne’s number one piece of advice to young people entering the tech industry:
“My advice would be to just go for it and do not let preconceived ideas about the technology industry stop you! If you think you’ve got the right skills for a role, then go for it and don’t worry too much about the industry you are in because you will soon learn.”