Finding your passion and building a career in IT & Tech: Insights from Nicki Wood, Avec General Manager QLD.
8th March 2023

Tell us a bit about your journey:

I started my career in marketing at a financial services organisation in the United Kingdom. However, after a few years I decided to take a break and go backpacking throughout Australia where I did ad-hoc work in several industries including, mining, hospitality, medical, marketing and financial services. The diversity of experience I gained through working in numerous industries was really important in creating a path for me to find a career I was truly passionate about.

I was lucky enough to be offered an opportunity in IT recruitment which really allowed me to bring together the variety of skills I had picked up from previous roles. My passion for IT and tech led me to learn as much as I could in both the tech and recruitment space. Over the next 20 years I worked in IT recruitment and built a successful career, achieving my goals and hitting my targets.

Although I loved my time in IT recruitment, I eventually felt the need to find a new passion and challenge. This is when I found myself being drawn to IT professional services. With my recruitment background, I was able to really grow a career in this industry which I love.

What is your advice to someone who is starting their journey in the IT & tech industries?

One of the foundation elements of working in IT is it is constantly changing, and the industry is constantly evolving. The opportunity for continuous learning is a real advantage of working in the industry enabling you to establish a long and successful career.

There have also been numerous reports, including a recent one from LinkedIn that really highlighted how male dominated the IT & tech industries are. So, for women in particular, I suggest getting involved with organisations such as Women in Technology and Females in Technology to really support your career journey. Finding a mentor from within the industry can also help you navigate the ups and downs as well as ensuring you find a team and a manager who are the right fit for you. While the industries have traditionally been male-dominated, I truly believe it is slowly changing, and more opportunities are opening for women. Therefore, it’s essential to network and join groups that support diversity and inclusion.

Overall, finding your passion and building your career around it is the key to a successful career in the IT and tech industries. Stay curious, keep learning, and enjoy the journey.

How important is it to be surrounded by a diverse team with diversity of thought?

Have you ever worked in a team where everyone thinks and acts the same way? It can feel limiting, uninspiring, and ultimately, it can lead to subpar results. That is why diversity of thought is crucial when it comes to building a strong and effective team. When individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives collaborate, they bring a wide range of ideas and approaches to the table and most importantly cultivate an environment of mindfulness, where everyone feels valued and respected for their unique contributions. This diversity of thought leads to a more comprehensive understanding of problems, and ultimately, more innovative solutions.

What systematic changes do you think would help support women in tech?

The technology industry has long been male dominated, but we are finally starting to see some changes that support women in tech. One of the biggest systematic changes that we need to make is to close the gender pay gap. Women should be paid the same as their male counterparts for doing the same job. In my opinion this is the most significant issue that needs to be addressed in order to support women in tech.

Another factor that has traditionally impacted women in tech is the lack of flexibility in the workplace. However, COVID-19 has forced many organsiations to adopt flexible work environments, which has made it easier for women who also have family responsibilities to balance their work and personal lives. With this newfound flexibility, it is essential that we focus on closing the gender gap.

Another positive development is that more and more organisations are hiring female leaders and committing to creating sage and supportive workplaces for women. This is a critical step in building a culture that fosters gender equality and empowers women to succeed in the tech industry.

Ultimately, supporting women in tech requires significant and systematic changes, including closing the gender pay gap, offering flexible work environments, and creating safe and inclusive workplaces. With these changes, we can build a more diverse and equitable tech industry that empowers women to thrive.

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