Sarah M - Customer Success Lead
What is your current role? And what do you enjoy most about it?
My current role is Customer Success Lead. I most enjoy connecting with customers, using technology to achieve success or working through challenges that they’re facing.
How long have you worked in the technology sector?
I have worked in technology for around 10 years.
What other roles have you held in the technology sector? What was your first role?
Throughout my career I have worn many hats; I started out as a data analyst, I then went into delivery and project management before arriving in customer success.
What sparked your interest in working in technology initially?
I decided to work in technology as both data storytelling and the opportunity to make the complex easy to understand appealed to me.
What challenges did you overcome to get your foot on a career path in technology? How did you do this and was there anyone or anything that was particularly helpful?
After graduating in archaeology, I came into technology without an IT background. I found I had a steep learning curve to catch up with ways to analyse data beyond excel. Something I found very useful was learning that most of the world secretly runs on excel - so to take heart!
In your experience, does being a woman in your profession come with extra challenges? How have you overcome these?
I’ve overall had a positive career as a woman in IT. However, I have found that in a room where there are men present, regardless of the roles, the man will get eye contact, and the woman will get the request for the follow-up note. I found it’s taken me a few years but speaking up and reaffirming roles has really helped. We deserve our seat at the table, have our experience acknowledged, and have our voices heard.
What’s been the single thing that has helped you with your career in technology?
Something that really stuck with me was a speaker I once heard who said everyone is learning. Technology is an industry that, by its very nature, is always evolving, so if there is something you don’t know, see it as a learning opportunity and not a roadblock. Ask the questions, request the training, pop it into google – it’s all valid!
What changes have you seen in the sector since you started working in technology?
In the last 10 years I’ve seen an increase of women in IT leadership which is fantastic to break the assumed order in the room.
What would your advice be to any woman wanting to start her career in the technology industry?
Go for it! The technology industry has so many different facets and opportunities that you can make the career whatever you want it to be. As you start, I would advise anyone to ask as many questions as you can, talk to those around you to find out what they’re doing, and see what interests you
Do you think it’s important for more women to find career paths within the technology sector?
I do think it’s important that more women find career paths in the technology industry to ensure that the conversation is enriched by having a variety of people around the table. Technology is driving our society, and it’s just not representative to have all decisions made only by males – we need more people to come into the industry and bring their insight.
Do you think enough is done to help women get into the technology industry? If not, what would you recommend?
I think that it is getting better, but more needs doing. I would start the technology conversation as early as possible; encourage everyone to look at how the game works, or the website, or the app. We should inspire techno-joy in women!