As you’ll see in a lot of Women in IT posts this month, the statistics for representation in our industry are low – according to Gartner only 26% of IT employees are women. Lloyd is not immune to seeing a lower representation of women in our community, however I am proud to say that Lloyd does encompass bright, accomplished women holding responsibilities such as Project Management, Service Engineer, Client Relationship Management, Financial Administration, Community Development, People Operations, Hardware Engineer, and Cybersecurity and Risk Management.
This statistic always amazes me, especially for the Professional Services side of the industry. At Lloyd, for example, the foundations of our services are built on the relationships we hold with our clients, and the ability for us to make IT a human experience for them. Our core values that we look for in every employee echo these foundations:
- Be Human – empathy towards community, build relationships, have fun
- Be Accountable – transparency to make mistakes, honoring your word
- Be Better – elevate others, be inspired
The services side of the IT industry is built on characteristics and skillsets that are often found in women, yet their representation isn’t where it should be. We at Lloyd are continually looking for different ways to recruit, retain, and grow women in our industry; I hope that by sharing my story we’ll help encourage others to do the same, and maybe reach women who are considering their journey of finding success in a male dominated field.
As Lloydian Community Manager, I’m responsible for our people operations programs including recruitment and onboarding, employee recognition and management, professional development and culture, and our offboarding initiatives. My road to people operations didn’t start with an HR background. Like many of my peers at Lloyd, it took a lot of twists and turns through our centers, starting in Service Delivery as our Dispatch Coordinator where I managed the schedules for our team of Field Engineers and coordinated their appointments with our clients. From there, I was promoted to what we refer to now as Client Success Manager, where I spent five years as point of contact for 40 of our clients, working with our internal teams to ensure we provided exceptional service, and helping our clients prepare for any IT investments in their network. Following this role I spent a year as our Marketing Coordinator, before paving my way to my current role. Five years in and a member of Lloyd’s Leadership team, I’m happy to say this is my favorite role so far.
I tell my story for a few reasons. First, because I am so proud of it; in each of my roles I developed skillsets that helped me move up to my next step, even if I didn’t realize it when it was happening. Second, because I feel it accurately represents how Lloyd strives to manage all employee relationships. We look for the strengths of each individual and help build on them, working with them to find new opportunities that help them learn and grow (even if that sometimes leads them to work somewhere else).
This of course leads me to the point of this article – how do I want my story to help other woman in the IT industry?
I leave you with a few takeaways that I’ve learned over my 12 years in IT…
- Be open to opportunities that might be a bit out of the box. As a math major in college, I never planned to become head of people operations at an IT consulting firm, but I’m so glad I did! The right firm will see your strengths and get you to where you want to be.
- When getting your start in IT, consider internships a great steppingstone. Many companies, like Lloyd, use internships to find great talent who are looking for future full-time careers. A part-time role now can often open doors to incredible opportunities.
- View criteria for success on job ads as nice to have, not need to have. Women are more likely to not apply to a job because they don’t meet the full criteria list, but technical skillsets can be learned, especially if you have the passion for the industry. If the role sounds like the right seat for you, apply! We put a disclaimer in each of our job ads saying just that.
- If you’re interviewing, research the company. While it is a male dominated field, there are IT companies out there that don’t have the “bro culture” so many people are turned off by, and they are worth the find. Look for the mission and core values and take note if they are mentioned in interviews. Read the employee and client testimonials and ask about team dynamics. Feel comfortable that your voice will be heard before finalizing your decision.
- Remember that a career in IT is versatile. There are so many paths a career in IT can take you! If you’re unsure of where you want to start, focus on your strengths and where you find happiness, and you can build your skillsets in each role you find yourself in.
On my end, as Lloydian Community Manager, I promise that we at Lloyd will continue our efforts to make Lloyd a safe and prosperous place to work for everyone, including women in IT.
Mary Pickel is a people professional, serving as Lloydian Community Manager and a member of Lloyd’s Leadership team since 2018. A Society for Human Resources Certified Professional and Lloydian of 12 years, Mary utilizes her deep knowledge of our company and her dedication to our team to cultivate a safe, happy, and productive work environment for all Lloydians. Mary graduated from Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and spends her time outside of Lloyd raising (or wrangling, depending on the day) her amazing toddler and preschooler.
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