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Women in Information Technology Roles

 

Careers in IT and technology have traditionally been male-dominated, and although gender diversity is gradually increasing across the sector, there is still much work to be done to improve equality and opportunity for everyone. The ITAM and licensing industry has seen a big increase in females filling these ITAM roles and we have a strong cohort of female expertise at Livingstone Group. We have always had a strong people focus with a healthy female contingent – though like every technology company, we know we can and will do more – so, I recently caught up with Livingstone’s Charlotte Hathaway and Lisa Maines to get their insights into being a woman in IT and technology today – including their career journeys thus far, and their advice for other women looking to break into the industry.

 

Kate Hawgood:  What is your role at Livingstone Group and what does it entail?

Charlotte Hathaway: Senior People Partner – I work collaboratively with the management team to design and deliver best practice and business people-enhancing strategies.

Lisa Maines: As Head of Global Customer Success, I lead a global team of Customer Success Directors who manage the services and customer relationships for a large portfolio of managed service customers and partners. We aim to build strategic relationships with both our Customers and Partners in order to ensure best business outcomes. We pro-actively manage the delivery of service, working closely with the customer through their entire journey, from on-boarding through to renewals.

 

Kate  What does a typical day look like for you?

Charlotte: A significant amount of my time is spent with managers. This can either be on a 1-2-1 basis or as part of a wider focus group: identifying topic areas of discussion; working collaboratively; and looking at people strategies to enable us to drive the business forward. As part of the executive leadership team my role is to present these findings back, along with any risk and recommendations that need to be considered. One of my main focuses is on wellbeing – I have developed a number of benefits to underpin our strategy in this area and my aim is for this to be at the forefront of our business.

Lisa: Much of my time is spent leading my team and supporting them with their customer growth and journey plans. I am also very focused on making sure the team are set up for success to achieve their targets, which are centered around customer experience, commercial outcomes, and future market and service opportunities. The Customer Success Team all come from different backgrounds, with a cross-section of industry skills and experience. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is to further develop their skills and experience to enable their own personal and professional growth.

As part of the Executive Leadership team, my role is also to manage and mitigate any business risks associated with customer satisfaction and revenue management. I am always looking for ways to ensure we can provide better customer service whilst improving the efficiency of what we deliver.

 

Kate:   Could you describe your career journey in the IT/tech industry? Where did you start and how did you get to where you are now?

Charlotte: I joined IT 11 years ago in the Operations side of the business. Though I soon realized that this would not give me the level of people engagement I needed to drive and develop my skills, it was nonetheless a valuable stepping stone and gave me a great understanding of how this side of the business works. I then took a career break to have my first-born, and when I returned the position of HR arose. I decided to go for this opportunity and the business committed to support me with my CIPD level 5 & 7 to ensure I had the full technical abilities to perform my role.

I love meeting with different people and I believe this has had a real bearing on my learning. I was later promoted to Senior People Partner, where I manage the People team and also given the opportunity to sit on the exec team. Having a high EQ has played a great part in my success on the leadership team.

Lisa: My first ever role in IT support was managing a Service Desk and an End User Compute function. Over time I progressed to leading business transformation roles – my first ever lead was managing a Year 2000 (Y2K) bug mitigation program. My career now spans over 20 years in Senior IT Leadership and Business Transformation Lead Roles, developing high performing teams whilst delivering quality outcomes and change at pace for customers in FMCG, ICT and the Financial Services Industry. I have always led teams that drive change and improve the customer experience.

I have been fortunate enough to work for organizations that believe in developing people and promoting internally. Alongside my inquisitive mind and desire to always learn more, this allowed me to progress from junior line manager roles to more senior leadership.

 

Kate:   Do you have any advice for other women looking to start or move into a career in IT or tech?

Charlotte: Firstly, make sure to surround yourself with people who not only want to develop themselves but want to develop you as well. Secondly, no question is a silly question – the more you ask, the more you learn. And last but not least, trust your instinct and believe in yourself!

Lisa: IT and technology are everchanging landscapes, so a career in this sector means you are constantly learning something new and it’s important to stay current. Technical knowledge alone is not enough – IT needs great leaders. The best career advice I have ever been given is to seek to understand before being understood. It’s important to listen to others regardless of their status or seniority and encourage all those with inquisitive minds to push themselves and do more. Demonstrating the right attitude and behaviors as a woman in IT is so important. There is a seat at the table for anyone who is willing to work hard and stay current.

 

 

About the Authors

Kate Hawgood, Global Marketing Manager

Kate Joined Livingstone in 2015 and is responsible for Marketing globally. 

Livingstone Group | Charlotte Hathaway | Senior People Partner

Charlotte Hathaway, Senior People Partner

Charlotte joined the Livingstone team in 2011 and has been responsible for the HR function for the past 10 years, working closely with the Executive Leadership team. 

Lisa Maines, Head of Global Customer Success

Lisa Joined the Livingstone team in September 2020 and heads our client success team. She is an experienced and accomplished IT Professional, with a progressive career spanning 20 years in Senior IT Leadership and Transformational Change Roles,  Lisa has a reputation for leading and developing high performing teams, delivering quality outcomes and change at pace. Her expertise has been very much focused around Governance and Risk, having designed and built ITAM frameworks to stabilize and streamline core business processes, join financial, contractual and inventory functions, to reduce risk and avoid cost.

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