International Women’s Day: Celebrating women in our industry in the UK and Ireland

We are proud of our dynamic workforce, and we continue to work towards recruiting many more women into our company to ensure our workforce is much more reflective of society. Women in the IT Infrastructure industry are outnumbered by men, but by no means overshadowed. Here, we speak to a variety of women from across the company who play their part in driving the industry forward towards a more connected world.

How did you get into this industry?

So I had never planned to join this industry – my background was actually science! I was studying biomedicine and looking for an admin job to support my studies. I joined another engineering company in an admin role, supporting Project Managers, sending quotes and being the first point of call for customers. Even though I had initially only taken the role to support myself while getting my degree, I ended up falling in love with role. When I applied to join ExcelRedstone, there weren’t actually any vacancies, but I sent an email anyway! I explained how I would be a great asset to the company and already had an existing relationship with some of the team, and the next thing I knew they had created the role for me!

What is your favourite part of the job?

One of the aspects that made me fall in love with my role was being trusted with a number of responsibilities – it was so refreshing not to be micromanaged. While being responsible of some large projects did seem daunting at first, my team trusted me, and I wanted to prove to them that I could deliver.

Speaking of teams, having a good team on your side makes all the difference. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by some amazing people and be a part of a great team. This makes moving teams even harder, as they become your work family. Being part of a new team, we might have our differences sometimes, like in any team, but we know that we always have each other’s backs and that there’s always that support.

Have you ever had any concern about joining the industry as a woman? Has this changed?

When I started this career path, I was the only girl in my team, however I was used to working in largely male industries. I had initial concerns that I might not be taken seriously, that I might get stuck with admin roles and not given the opportunities to progress…. but that wasn’t the case. I talked to managers about my goals for progression, and about how I wanted more responsibilities, to manage more, and to learn more about the industry. They listened and I’m now trusted with large projects with a key client. I’ve grown so much in confidence since I joined. Maybe I’ll go back into science one day, but right now I’m enjoying where my career is taking me.

How did you get into this industry?

I’ve been in the data industry for 12 years now after starting during my placement year at university. At the start I assisted in administration for the marketing and sales teams and moved over to HR and operations. Now I split my time between our two companies – Kedington and ExcelRedstone. While part of the same group, both companies still operate very independently, so I get to be the bridge between some of our departments.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Because I work across both companies, everyday really is different. I love that there’s never a dull moment as there’s always new tasks to side-track me and keep me on my toes.

I also have a great team, most of which I’ve known for years. Kedington are great with staff retention, and so they really feel like a family.

Have you ever had any concern about joining the industry as a woman? Has this changed?

Over the years I have done quite a lot of work on-site including project management, however at the start there was a bit of doubt in my mind over whether I’d be respected being a woman with an office background, and a lack of site-knowledge. But this was never the case, and over the 12 years I’ve been in this industry I’m seeing more and more women in on-site roles, and more high-level women joining the company.

How did you get into the industry?

I joined ExcelRedstone just after moving to London as a business support administrator, assisting the sales and operation teams, and quickly progressed up to business support team leader. This was when I was first introduced to a compliance role. I started by just assisting the compliance director with Health & Safety certification applications, but as the business continued to grow, the opportunity to become a compliance officer arose. At first, I was hesitant about applying as I felt I didn’t have the qualifications for the role; however I already had a knowledge base from assisting and an understanding of how the business work, and with the full support from my manager at the time I went for it…and the rest is history!

What is your favourite part of the job?

I like that I’m constantly learning – there are always new regulations that I need to keep up to date on. In compliance, every day is different. Some days I’m on site, working with management and staff to identify and manage regulatory risks. Other days I’m desk based, developing compliance programs, reviewing company policies, and ensuring all employees are educated on the latest regulations and processes.

I also like how collaborative my role is – I get the chance to be involved with different teams across the company, from Purchasing to Operations.

Have you ever had any concern about joining the industry as a woman? Has this changed?

I was slightly intimidated at first at the thought of going to site for the first time as a female in what is still a male dominated industry. However, any concern was quickly removed once I arrived on site. Everyone was very supportive and happy to help. The teams on site had a lot of experience and were more than willing to help me get my bearings.

How did you get into this industry?

I joined Kedington straight from school in 1998 as their receptionist and then moved into administration. I really enjoyed this role! As someone who is very organised with an eye for attention to detail the job suited me. When I came back after having my kids, I wanted something different – I wanted to get a deeper understanding for the technical side of the business, to get a real feel for what we did. There was an opening for health and safety officer, and although I didn’t feel particularly qualified for this role, I felt experienced enough in my knowledge of the company and so went for it. A typical day for me now is a super early start to get ahead on my emails and daily briefings, before heading to site. With the current Covid situation, everything has accelerated! Rules and regulations are constantly changing and so need checking daily. There’s a lot of confusion and uncertainty, so my role is to help offer reassurance to our teams through these challenging times.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Health & Safety can be quite overwhelming for some people, so I like that I get to streamline this for the teams I work with. This role is all about interaction.

Sometimes it can feel like I’m constantly at the teams to follow health and safety guidelines but it’s all part of the job and ultimately they understand it’s about keeping them safe so they can go home to their families each day.

Being on site is so rewarding as well – being able to see projects come together right in front of you. I’ve really missed this over lockdown and so I’m really excited to get back.

Have you ever had any concern about joining the industry as a woman? Has this changed?

When I moved from an admin role to being on-site, I was a bit worried about how my lack of experience might be taken. However, Kedington are fantastically supportive and offered me plenty of training. Even now I’m still learning and working on my bachelor’s degree in the background.

While it is still mostly men on site, every now and again I meet some amazing female project managers and engineers, working on some huge data centres projects for high-end clients.