Guest Blog - Women in Data & Technology: Kate Andrews, Tyro Payments
Kate Andrews currently works as an Engineering Lead for Tyro Payments.
Kate is a driven, passionate and successful leader who prides herself on creating growing thriving teams through having empathy and connecting with people. Kate's background was originally in Software Engineering before moving into Consulting and Business Analysis before coming back to her roots to support the next generation of engineers.
What are the key habits that you feel make you successful?
Making notes. I have a physical notebook and a system of note-taking and list-making that works for me. I prefer it to taking my laptop to meetings as I feel I can be more present in the conversation.
Reading widely. It helps me find different perspectives when I become too focused on what's in front of me.
What would be the key things that allowed you to get to where you are today and what do you attribute your success to?
A network of supportive friends in the industry and managers who have recognised what I can contribute. In myself, I believe that my abilities to learn quickly and communicate clearly have been invaluable in an ever-changing industry. Also, a willingness to say "I don't know" and seek help.
What's the most valuable piece of advice you have received in your career and how did it help you?
Choose your next role for the manager.
It's really easy to look at the job description and organisational culture when choosing a role, but your ability to succeed and be happy is hugely dependant on your people leader. I've been lucky to have some very effective people leaders who've provided me with the right balance of guidance and trust.
What's the most challenging situation you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
Losing a role suddenly after many years with the same consulting company, due to cutbacks. It really shook my self-confidence, and I took a step back 15 years in my career in order to assess the lay of the land. It took three years to get to a point where I felt like I was back on track.
What advice would you give to other females looking to pursue a career in Technology?
Working in a technology company isn't necessarily what you imagine – there are plenty of roles that are core to successful software development but which don't involve coding, including positions like Business Analyst, Product Manager, Scrum Master. And for each role, there are plenty of non-standard paths to get there. If you're interested in a career in Technology and to understand what the options are, talk to as many people in the industry as possible, across startups, scale-ups, consulting firms, and large corporates. (Meetups are a great place to do this!)
If you're starting out in the industry, my advice would be to genuinely connect with people – in your team, in the rest of your organisation, and in the wider industry (and not just people who look or think like you). Step up and help. Care about what people are doing.
These connections will provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your strengths, and to add value in ways that people will remember.
How can we attract more female talent into Technology in the future?
I think we're very focused on growing the pipeline for women entering Technology, and on improving our recruitment practices, which is excellent. But getting more women in the door isn't enough; we also need to look at the reasons why so many women leave the industry. We need to make sure that we're constantly growing a workplace culture in which everyone feels valued and able to contribute.
Interested in female talent for your company?
What do you believe will be the most in-demand skills over the next 10 years within Technology and why?
Empathy with our customers helps us to deliver better solutions for their problems. The more empathetic we are with them, the better we can anticipate what will add value.
Empathy with our coworkers helps us to build teams in which everyone knows they belong.