‘I’m hoping to help change the perception of who should and shouldn’t work in data and tech’

On International Women’s Day, Kayley Green, account executive at media and marketing services company Mindshare, shares of her experience of being a woman working in tech

Originally from Welwyn City Garden, just outside of London’s bustling centre, I decided during my last year of sixth form that I didn’t want to go to university. Rogue, I know. I consider myself a realist – not one to take the conventional route. I knew that a more hands-on approach to learning was an effective way for me to master a subject.

My Mindshare journey

In 2018 when I was the ripe old age of 18, I chose the apprenticeship route with a programme delivered by Creative Pioneers – a national apprenticeship programme for advertising, creative and digital talent, and started my career journey at Mindshare as a data analyst. From starting as the most junior member of staff, without a clue how to formulate an Excel spreadsheet, not forgetting the many factors working against me in this male-dominated industry, I’ve now grown into my role and have developed the skills to single-handedly lead accounts, drive new projects and manage client relationships.

On my first day at Mindshare, I assumed that my role would be more of an internship as opposed to an actual job. Despite being the youngest person in the company, I instantly felt welcomed and respected. No two days are the same, but my job generally involves working on bespoke social listening projects for high-profile brands, considering ways in which we can innovate through technology and digitally evolve our work. I work amongst a group of women leading the data team at Mindshare. I think there is a preconception that women aren’t interested in tech roles, but in my opinion, technology is an advantage that allows us to create change, and in my role, I feel empowered to stay ahead of technology when so typically, technology is ahead of you. It’s unique working in a group of like-minded individuals that continues to diversify – an experience many of my sixth form counterparts haven’t had.

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International Women’s Day 2020

Reflecting on my apprenticeship experience ahead of International Women’s Day, which this year will be celebrating equality, I’m hoping to help change the perception of who should and shouldn’t work in data and tech, because more often than not people view this industry as a career more suited to men. A great reminder of this is that the first computer programmer was a woman – Ada Lovelace – a true pioneer in the field who showed a gift for technology and numbers from an early age.

Many decades later, I’m proud to be part of a group that’s diversifying the industry. I’ve been fortunate to work with many supportive and understanding women, such as my ‘momager’, who took me under her wing from the start; as well as Creative Pioneers, which gave me the opportunity to overcome these stigmas and champion my role without feeling unequal to my male counterparts.

International Women’s Day is a moment to celebrate incredible women. I believe there is a misconception that for women to be successful, they must be ruthless and conceal their ‘caring’ traits, but in reality, all women are different, and being a leader with nurturing characteristics should not be perceived negatively. Women are some of the strongest leaders you can find and it’s great to have an official day for the world to recognise this.

I graduated from my data analysis apprenticeship in March this year and am now a full-time Account Executive at Mindshare. If I had to offer one piece of advice for other women and girls keen to work in data and technology, it’s to be brave, overcome expectations, conquer stigmas and choose the path you want, not what society is pressuring you to do. As I complete my apprenticeship and head into a permanent role, I’m looking forward to paving the way for the next generation of women in data. I want to help them accomplish their goals in what would typically be seen as a male-dominated industry.

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