Rebecca tells her story of how she fell into a career in tech and how it’s the best thing that could have happened. From working at Selfridges as a sample manager before moving onto John Lewis and finding a passion for all things UX, Rebecca shares insight into her role at Statement today, her thoughts on the industry and advice on how to get started.
how did you get into a career in tech?
Well, I fell into it by accident as a lot of people do. My first career in tech was at Selfridges as a sample manager and that was my foot in the door back in 2009. Their website had only been going for a year at this point.
To get the first job at Selfridges, I actually applied to 72 different jobs just to get my foot in the door. But I suppose my big break was getting a job at John Lewis. Again, I think I fell into that job by accident as I did a textiles degree, and I had the knowledge they needed at that time. But then they pretty much taught me everything I know now, so I owe them a lot. So, in short, I fell into working in tech by accident, but it was one of the best things I could have fallen into. Once I found someone who took a chance on me, I could put it on my CV and all the doors opened up for me. So, finding that experience is really important, and you shouldn’t give up.
so, how did you go from being at John Lewis to where you are now?
I had a baby, I moved back up north and I got a job at La Redoute. That was a really good opportunity for me to understand visual merchandising. However, it was here that I realised how much I enjoyed UX and there wasn’t enough of that in the role. Pinpoint, one of Statement’s connected agencies, came up after I looked into working within agencies, so I worked with them for a few years as they needed help with UX and now I've moved to Statement.
why do you think tech has the reputation of being a male-dominated career path?
I don’t know the answer but it's definitely changing. From my point of view, development is heavily male-dominated, but I don’t understand why. It could be that women feel intimidated joining such a male-dominated environment, but I find Statement to have quite an equal split across the agency.
But it’s funny because, in a way, I don't consider my job a tech role. I consider it more of a psychology role. A lot of the clients I work for have a female dominant customer base, so you would think that customer shopping habits and tech-savviness would correlate with women, but it doesn’t.
what advice would you give to women who are thinking about a career in tech?
It's all about experience, isn't it? I would advise learning as much as you can about the industry that you want to work in. Keep yourself up to date with what's going on in the world of tech and try to gain experience. It would even be beneficial to organise a personal portfolio of work you assisted with or even hypothetical examples.
how has statement and the wider group supported your development in tech?
When I started here, I realised they will mould a role based on your strengths. So, they tweaked the Pinpoint role based on what my strengths were, which meant they got more out of it. Claire Taylor, who is my indirect manager and the Client Services Director for web division gave me a lot of confidence to just keep doing what I was doing. She gave me a lot of space to find my feet, figure out my strengths and let me push clients and the company in the right direction. Everyone has really supported me with what I wanted to learn and how I wanted to progress.
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