Claire has been with us for 11 years and in that time has progressed from starting as an account manager within one of our connected agencies to a group-wide leadership role.
An inspiring story for those just starting out, we wanted to hear all about Claire’s career in tech.
Claire shares insight into how she has forged her career path, what she thinks of tech being a more male-dominated industry and the advice for those who need to hear it.
tell us how you found yourself with a career in tech.
Well, I wasn't looking for a career in tech as such, but I've always worked in agencies. When I left university, I worked for a PR agency and then I worked for a full-service agency. Then I moved on to an advertising agency, which is where I worked for six years before finding Statement’s connected agency, NetConstruct.
Two of my colleagues had started working at NetConstruct to set up the Client Services department and they asked me to go with them. So, we kind of formed the first account management team in NetConstruct which was back in 2010. I went into account management at NetConstruct and just loved it; that was really what interested me in tech. I loved the immediacy of web and the fact you could just fix things straight away and it’s always fast-paced.
I enjoy agencies because I get bored quite easily, and within an agency, you can never be bored. I particularly enjoy meeting new clients across different industries as you can get to learn about a completely new industry, their users and their customers. The project feels brand new every time and clients' websites are constantly changing with their users. I do absolutely everything online so I’m obsessed with user experience on our sites.
how has your career in tech evolved over the years?
When I first joined NetConstruct, we were account managers and project managers, so not only would we manage the client relationship, but we would also manage the builds. I really enjoyed the client relationship side of things, so I went in that direction.
I worked my way up through NetConstruct and became Client Services Director, which meant I looked after the account management and project management teams. I like the title Client Services Director because that really sums up what I do. It means finding out if a client is unhappy if there is something we're missing that we could do better or just adding more value to the client in general.
Then, in July 2020, I moved to work across the full web division which involves looking after the account management teams across Statement, Pinpoint and NetConstruct. It was another variation for me as Statement and Pinpoint are purely eCommerce.
what has been the highlight of your career?
I don't think there is a highlight. I just sometimes stop and think about how lucky I am to be in this role and the company that I'm with now. I've worked for a lot of smaller independent agencies, and it's a great environment, but there's always that insecurity of relying on your clients and the peaks and troughs of the business.
I remember looking at all the big agencies when I was younger and thinking, how do you get to work for them? How do you become part of that? I don't even know how I ended up here, but I just feel really lucky to have my career be what it has been.
why do you think has a reputation of being a male-dominated career path?
I don't know and it's sad that it does. In my opinion, the problem with women in tech is not that it's a male-dominated industry but that there are assumed female roles within the industry. I say that as someone in one of those roles because you'd assume that the ladies of the office were the account managers and other client-facing roles. You also have the stereotype of developers being gamers and boys. But I would advise any one of my friends with children to get them into developing because it's such a rewarding career, and it's highly paid compared to the stereotypical female roles. When we recruit developers now, we're not always looking for someone who has a lot of development experience. Some of our best graduates have math degrees or the right skills.
The gender gap is a shame. I try and fill my teams with a mixture of people who have different skills. People think that if you're going into development, it's not very social, but it is, we’re all one big team. Not to be gender stereotypical but also being a developer or a tester is a great role for someone who wants a family as the role can be completely remote and flex around family commitments because you’re not tied to lots of meetings.
what advice would you give to women who are thinking about a career in tech?
Firstly, I would encourage them to look at it because there is a gap. I think once you have a go, you’ll realise you can do it and how flexible it can be. We are launching a graduate scheme next year, and I would love to see women on that. There’s a lot of talk about companies not encouraging diversity but honestly, we just don’t get the applicants!
I would say just apply because I think there’s a lack of confidence within women. With developing, it’s like learning a language, it’s a skill. Even if you don’t enjoy it after you’ve tried it, you still have that skill that you could use to open up your own business later or take those skills into another career path.
The other thing that I wonder is if people feel like they'll be pigeonholed into that one career by doing development. In my experience, lots of developers have gone into other roles. For example, a lot of our project management team have developing experience and we have designers who have done development, so you can start in development and then move into another branch in the company and that development knowledge really helps you.
Are you considering a career in tech but wondering how to get started? You’re not alone. We’re proud of our workforce and are consistently on the lookout for new talent to add to our team. Take a look at the current roles we have available and let’s help match you up with the career you’ve always wanted.