March 8th was International Women's Day. To celebrate, we spoke to some of the brilliant women working at SamsonVT to find out why they chose a career in STEM.
What is your role at SamsonVT and what does it include day-to-day?
I'm a product manager. The aim of the role is to create successful products that genuinely help customers. To achieve this, I get to collaborate with almost every other role in the business, to pull our different specialisms and points of view into a working product. I work with designers, software developers, testers, data scientists, marketers, sales people, and directly with customers.
"The aim of the role is to create successful products that genuinely help customers."
- Natalie Wilsdon
Tell us more about how you got here: what experience did you have before and did you always want to get into the tech industry?
I didn't get into the tech industry until I was 26, and had many different types of jobs before that. I started as an administrator at a technology company, and moved through different roles until I got into product. I didn't know that's what I enjoyed until I started doing it, as I'd never heard of product management before.
What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?
You need the willingness to make decisions with imperfect information, and lead a group of intelligent peers.
What’s your favourite thing about working in your role?
The variety! No two days are alike. It's like solving a series of puzzles - some puzzles will be about how a feature should work, others will be about technical limitations, others will be about how to commercial aspects of a product, and some will be about all three.
Do you have any top tips and/or advice for other women aspiring to work in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics)?
Personally, I have never felt that my gender presented any additional obstacles to my career in tech. My advice is to assume that you can do it, rather than to assume that anyone will try to stop you. There are lots of different roles in those industries, that all require different skills, so don't imagine there's one personality type that can be successful. Technology tends to attract more analytically minded individuals, but people skills are equally important to bring a team together.
"My advice is to assume that you can do it, rather than to assume that anyone will try to stop you."
- Natalie Wilsdon