Women in Digital & Technology at Rawnet
The digital and tech industry still has an issue with gender equality. The tech sector has always lagged behind other industries when it comes to hiring and training women. The number of women working in technology has increased over the past year, with 31% of UK tech jobs held by women, according to a February report released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Even though this sounds like an improvement we still have a very long way to go.
Equality, diversity, and inclusion are important here at Rawnet, the technology industry, and society as a whole. The global pandemic has created a shift and had a massive negative impact on women’s careers - according to McKinsey, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more at risk at this time than men’s jobs.
After seeing some of the statistics released in TrustRadius 2021 Women in Tech Report, such as that Women in tech are 4 times more likely than men to see gender bias as an obstacle to promotion and 39% of women see gender bias as a barrier to promotion in 2021, it seems important to showcase Rawnet’s very own women in tech and their journeys. We want to encourage and inspire other individuals who feel discouraged to join the male-dominated industry that is digital and tech.
We hear from Ann-Cathrin Will & Jessica Strachan out their journey's into the tech industry:
Ann-Cathrin Will Jessica Strachan
Ann-Cathrin Will has been with us for 3 years now growing from a midlevel to lead in this short period of time.
“I got into coding in kind of a weird way, I had a computer but no internet access, and after I'd completed spider solitaire one too many times, I guess I started sticking my nose into any file I could find. So I found a HTML file and I think I changed the simplest thing, the colour blue to red. It worked! So I was hooked. What else can I write?
From there, things escalated, to flying to Hamburg to do an internship at my uncle’s digital agency SuperReal. I turned up and he said go make a website... What website? Anything. So off I popped and I made a little website about monkeys, which sadly doesn't exist anymore so I can giggle at my own ignorance. As most people back then I was self-taught and I learned by trial and error. There certainly wasn't the huge amount of online courses there are now.
Next step, I went to one of the few universities offering web development courses. But as the entire career and subject were at their infancy most of my real learning came at my first digital agencies.
About 5 years into my career I decided to apply to work at Rawnet again who I'd had my eye on for a while but hadn't been looking when I was looking at them. Lucky for me my sparkly backpack impressed them enough to hire me.
So here I am and for the last 4 years at Rawnet I've learned so much thanks to the amazing people I work with and progressed from mid-weight to lead. I feel like I have so much creativity to grow, explore, and sometimes I still can't believe I get paid to do things I do.
For example, play around with animations like the ones that can be seen on the rawnet site, I'm sure not everyone notices the big dots sometimes bouncing but they sure gave me the biggest joy to sneak in.”
Ann-Cathrin (AC) being the Lead UI makes sure any project we complete is easy and intuitive to use, and ensures a person can do what they need to do on the site. UI design is like the furnishings, paint, and little details that turn a structure into a home. Ann has worked on some huge projects such as the Hornby PLC launch. Hornby is an iconic British Company that umbrellas a collection of famous brands within the toy, model, and hobby markets, such as Scalextric, Airfix, and Corgi to name a few. AC worked on the launch of 28 domains for 12 brands! View the case study here.
Next, we hear from Jessica Strachan, a UI Developer who has been with us for over 4 years and worked on some incredible projects which have seen Rawnet grow from strength to strength.
“My first front-end developer job came after I found that my chosen path in graphic design wasn’t what I had expected. I had limited coding knowledge already, but I will be forever grateful to my boss at my first small agency for hiring me with the intention of mentoring and teaching me.
As a woman in tech, I think I’m very lucky to have had that opportunity. At the time I wasn’t aware of the online resources and organisations dedicated to encouraging young girls and women to pursue a career in programming. I’ve continued to learn so much here at Rawnet and I love being in an environment where we’re always growing, supporting each other to achieve great results.”
At Rawnet we have a variety of projects with some ambitious and global clients, giving our developers challenges to overcome and to get involved with a variety of tasks. We hear from Jess what has been her favourite project to work on:
“Softcat has been one of my favourite projects at Rawnet to date. Not only is it a great name for me to have in my personal portfolio, but the end product is also something we’re all so proud of as a team, and having a super happy client that wants to continue working with us after the site has gone live is always the cherry on top. We had a great internal team on Softcat and all the colour variations on the editable blocks meant I had to work very closely with Neal, our Creative who produced the designs.”
We are lucky to have such talented female developers at Rawnet and are always looking for ways to further support women in their roles. Coding is not a common first thought when deciding a career especially when you are constantly asked at such a young age but as digital and tech is an industry that is accelerating and engraved into our day-to-day lives, we hope to see the statistics change from women in the industry.
“Reflecting back on my first steps and how easily it could have been to miss this career choice and how the numbers are still incredibly low for female developers 8% as per StackOverflow, my personal belief is there would not only be more of a female presence, but also people in general who would choose it as a career path if there was more exposure to coding. I don’t think it’s necessarily the first job people think about when deciding one’s life path and the only way to catch the bug is to just play with some code and see where it takes you. I would encourage anyone to give it a go there aren’t many jobs that people also do as a hobby in their spare time, and this is one.” - Ann-Cathrin Will, UI Lead at Rawnet
We are always looking for talented people who want to work in the digital and tech industry and have spent some time within local schools to educate them on life in a digital agency Head over to our careers page to see if any of our vacancies are of interest to you or even if you just have questions, our door is always open for a chat.