Female Role Models in ITResultant Interview Blog, “Female Role Models in IT”, drafted by our youngest intern as part of Take Your Daughter to Work Day with Senior Vice President of DataCore Software, Amanda Bedborough.
As part of my Take Your Daughter to Work day’s experience in an IT software company called DataCore, I was lucky enough to interview their Senior Vice President on how she reached the top as a female in the largely male dominated world of IT. Here is my blog interview for the GDST.
Interview with: Amanda Bedborough -Senior Vice President EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Operations, DataCore Software.
Date: Monday 26 November 2018: “Take Your Daughter to Work” Day.
What was your very first job?
Amanda: I worked for Rymans the Stationers in Watford as a shop assistant on Saturdays and late Thursday evenings.
How did you end up being in IT?
Amanda: I stayed in retail when I left Rymans and went from stationery into M&S.
Getting my first job in IT is a much longer story. I was 21 at the time and I walked into the company next door one lunchtime which looked really exciting and asked at the reception if there were any vacancies. I believe everyone gets one lucky break in life and it just happened that the CEO was at the reception desk at that moment. I think he was pretty taken aback that I had just walked in and asked. I’ll always remember what he actually said – “Have you really just walked in here and asked for a job?” I said yes to which he replied. “Well, I have got 10 minutes to spare.” and after that I got the job in IT making outbound calls and then running their call sales teams. That was my big break into IT. It just goes to show that if you ask politely and you are in luck with who you talk to, then you can go a long way!
What is your job title at DataCore?
Amanda: I am the senior Vice President EMEA operations
How long have you been at DataCore and what do you do there every day?
Amanda: I’ve been at DataCore for nearly 4 years. My role everyday involves close contact with our three regional sales leaders based in Munich, Paris and Reading to define strategy of were we want to take the business and to define how we are going to get there.
What’s the best bit about your job?
Amanda: Working with a great team, we have lots of employees across the region in various roles and it’s quite exiting when you make your sales targets!
What’s the worst bit about your job?
Amanda: Having to make hard decisions along the way and there are just too many internal meetings.
When you first started working at DataCore where you threatened or intimidated by the amount of men?
Amanda: I was not at all intimidated however it is a male orientated business. It’s likely that the word ‘technology’ can put a lot of women off entering IT, but you don’t have to be highly technical. I believe that IT is an exciting, creative, fast moving innovative industry, not technical. Today IT is about empowering businesses with tools and solutions to be more productive or to make their lives easier. Females today can add a lot without being programmers or developers.
Do you feel proud and honoured to be a female who has such a big role in DataCore? Are there many other female role models in IT?
Amanda: Yes I feel proud and honoured to have such a big role in DataCore and IT, but today there are lots of other amazing females in IT such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, she actually wrote down her experiences on female empowerment in her best-selling book. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Is another great role-model, as well as the CEO of IBM, Ginni Romett.
Is it hard being a mother as well as working full time?
Amanda: Even without a job it’s hard being a mother, but then again I can’t remember what it was like not being a mother, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! I think as females we have a natural ability to be able to juggle lots of things at one time and it’s our ability to multi-task that means we can have careers and families successfully at the same time!
Do you enjoy being the boss of everyone?
Amanda: Most of the time yes, hopefully ‘boss’ doesn’t mean bossy though!
What advice would you give females who are looking to going to IT and software?
Amanda: Go and do it! Don’t be intimidated or put off by the fact that its technology led or by the word IT. It’s really no different from anything else. I believe that if lots more women joined IT the industry would benefit enormously.
Lastly would you like Theresa May job?
Amanda: Not for all the money in the world! But she has showed remarkable resiliency. I think most females feel for her and her stance on Europe that she finds herself defending in what is a dividing issue. I’ve met her a few times as I live in her constituency. She is very approachable. Personally, I think she’s incredible and shows perseverance and has a hardest job in Europe at this moment.