Happy International Women’s Day 2018. At Azpiral we looked no further than the women around us to gain some inspiration. Aileen Crawford is Azpiral’s Software Development Manager and in this interview, she answers questions why women should pursue a career in technology and highlights the opportunities for women in technology.
1. Can you tell me a bit about what you do?
I’m the Software Development Manager at Azpiral. My responsibilities cover the day to day management of both our infrastructure and software. These include sprint planning, user story reviews, test case reviews, infrastructure planning, release planning and everything else in between. Luckily, I have a wonderful team of professionals around me that make all the above so much easier.
2. Did you always want to work in technology?
While in school all I wanted was to be an accountant – that led me to do a Business Studies degree in UL with a minor option in IT. During that degree I realised that financial accounting wasn’t for me after all and did a Postgraduate Diploma in Computing – I loved it, particularly the programming side, and have worked in the software industry ever since.
3. Do you think there is a lack of women in tech? If so, Why?
We’re lucky in Azpiral as our development team is well-balanced with almost a 50/50 split in the team. This, I believe, contributes to greater creativity and better decisions as you get both genders influence on the software created – after all women make up half the users of technology! A worrying trend is that fewer women are entering computing courses at college level.
I think this is a cumulative effect as girls may be reluctant to enter an industry that is perceived as being mostly male-dominated – unfortunately, the stereotypical view of a programmer is a geeky fella, who speaks a language that others don’t understand! Hopefully, this is changing with younger kids through initiatives like Coderdojo, ‘I Wish’, ‘Girls in Tech’ to name just a few.
My 8-year daughter loves a programme called Project Mc2 which has four super smart and science-skilled girls as the stars – this can only be a positive influence on encouraging girls to not shy away from technology.
4. Is there anyone (male or female) that inspires you in your career?
There have been a number of influences from co-workers to former bosses. I always admire those that give their 100% to their role and who really care about their work. There are lots of women in top roles in some of the largest tech companies that you have to admire.
In particular, Sheryl Sandberg who is COO of Facebook who has some really inspirational quotes which are worth checking out, the one I love the most is
“Fortune does favour the bold and you'll never know what you're capable of if you don't try.”
5. What advice would you give to a young female considering a career in the technology industry?
I would definitely say go for it! Women are so suitable to the technology industry and there are so many possible roles. The next decade or two of IT is going to be so exciting as we move towards artificial intelligence and robots becoming the mainstream. And how brilliant will it be to be part of this and even to have an opportunity to influence it!