Today is International Women’s Day, to celebrate Barbal Knowledge Partner, Amy, is speaking to our newest recruit, Lucy Blatherwick. Lucy joined the dev team just before Christmas as a Software Engineer.
What first attracted you to Barbal?
I’d say that the main thing that initially attracted me was the nature of the company and their purpose. Coming from a software background, the idea of version control is second nature to me, so it makes so much sense to pass the value that it brings on to users who wouldn’t normally have access to this kind of document support! I was also excited by the prospect of working within a smaller company – having come from a multi-national organisation I’m definitely finding working at Barbal to suit me better.
Can you tell me more about your role?
I’m a software engineer, and I work in the dev team with the other developers at Barbal to create our software. It’s definitely a collaborative process, identifying what the next steps are, and working together to build a really useful tool.
You’re working in a role, which is typically associated as male, how have you found it?
I do have a limited range of industry experiences to draw from, but I’d say that while there have been a few moments that I have felt it to potentially be a disadvantage in the past, my overall feeling is that the industry is definitely starting to shift from being heavily male dominated to something a little more balanced. At university, it was evident from the increase in the percentage of women on the Computer Science course in comparison with previous years, that computing and technology is beginning to attract more girls, and this will hopefully begin to filter through to industry as my cohort and younger grow into their careers. Of course, the ideal situation is not to have to even consider gender as a factor while in a profession, and I think we are beginning to approach that. I’ve definitely never felt that it impacts me at Barbal!
What advice would you give other women considering a career in Software Engineering?
Definitely go for it! Whether you’re considering a computer science degree at uni, thinking about giving software a go as a career, or want to get involved with new technology, it’s definitely worth it. There’s so much more to Computer science than just programming, and it opens up a new world of opportunities with so much variety and potential! Pretty much everything in the world around us has been influenced by computing, so you can apply what you learn in computer science to almost anything, whatever you love!
What changes would you like to see in the world to make it better for women?
While a lot of change has already taken place within the industry, there is always room for improvement, and it’s important that both individuals and organisations remember to keep striving for better. As a new cohort of young women begin to enter the industry it’s crucial to support and encourage them in their endeavours within technology. The alternative is to find that the industry loses women as fast as it gains them as they take their skills elsewhere. Equally, it’s also key not to reduce support for early opportunities in technology, and to keep engaging young girls with technology and STEM subjects more broadly to make sure that this change isn’t temporary.
Anything else you’d like to add?
It’s going to be exciting to see how software engineering diversifies, and how that affects how we work and what we make! And of course thanks Barbal for welcoming me onto the team!