Traditionally, tech has been a male-dominated sector – the number of women in tech careers is still relatively small but is slowly increasing. In the UK, the share of female graduates in core STEM subjects increased from 25% in 2015 to 27% in 2021.
Therefore, by highlighting the stories of women who have built successful careers in tech, such as the 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech, we can help inspire and support those wishing to pursue a similar path.
As a technology company, we play an important role in encouraging people of all backgrounds to join our global industry. With this in mind, we spoke to Caroline, one of our developers at Pro-Sapien. Read on to learn about Caroline’s career path and how she dove head-first into tech!
Can you tell us about your journey and how you started in web development?
My journey began in school during an IT class programming module where I discovered Scratch (a free programming tool aimed at young people). I was hooked on it and started coding in my free time.
Then I studied software engineering at the University of Strathclyde, diving into Java, Digital Forensics, Software Security, SQL development, and more. You get to explore programming in a lot more depth and find out which subjects you enjoy most.
I also had a web development class which I found really fun. I actually showed one of my self-built websites during my Pro-Sapien interview.
Starting with a year-long internship at Pro-Sapien and then staying on with the team, I gained hands-on experience in C#, PowerShell, PowerApps, and Azure—skills beyond my university curriculum.
It’s so rewarding to experience the development process I learned at school in an actual work environment. It feels like all the hard work paid off and at the same time, I feel like my own journey has only just started with the tech industry ever changing and expanding.
What is your current role at Pro-Sapien and what do you do day-to-day?
I’m a Software Developer in Pro-Sapien’s Product team, where I’m responsible for improving our EHS software. This involves collaborating on new features to advance the product or fixing issues we discover during testing.
I work closely with my colleagues, and we always have a friendly chat during our daily stand-up and discuss our most recent work together.
My typical day revolves around development, delving into C#, SQL, or PowerApps. My work is very diverse which keeps my tasks always interesting which I like.
What inspired you to pursue a career in tech?
Firstly, my mum’s unwavering support empowered me to explore what made me happy. She kept me motivated to excel at school.
So, I’d say having a strong support network, whether from family or close friends, is crucial. They are the ones who help us move forward, pick us up from mistakes, and see us succeed.
Then, there was also my fascination with Nintendo games which sparked my curiosity about game development. When I had the chance to delve into programming at school, it was exhilarating. What started as a passion for creating games evolved into a broader interest in software development, eventually leading to the career I embrace today.
Which skills do you think are essential for your role?
In my opinion, the key skills essential for my role are problem-solving and communication.
Problem-solving allows me to tackle challenges logically, breaking them into manageable steps, and turning hurdles into engaging tasks.
Communication is vital in a developer’s teamwork. Collaborating, supporting, and being supported by peers fosters a healthy team dynamic, resulting in a better work environment and better product.
These two skills form the backbone of my daily work. They serve as the foundation for developing other skills and gaining the experience you need to thrive.
What do you like most about your job and web development?
My favourite part of my job is seeing my efforts materialize into something useful. Creating solutions that people benefit from fills me with pride and a sense of accomplishment.
Overcoming challenges using the skills I’ve developed is immensely fulfilling. It builds confidence and makes you feel like you can take on anything. That’s why I highly recommend tech for anyone who enjoys problem-solving.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to pursue a career in tech?
Find the aspect in tech that you feel passionate about – whether it’s website development, 3D printing, virtual reality, Power Apps, or any other niche. Explore what makes you excited to learn more and grow in tech.
At the same time, don’t force yourself into something you don’t enjoy, because it won’t fulfil you. The tech sector is always evolving, so you’ll be able to find something that you are passionate to pursue. I recommend staying open to trying new things—you might be surprised by what inspires you.
Is there anything the industry could do to empower and support more women in tech careers?
To empower more women in tech careers, we must address the issue at its roots. We need to be encouraging women at a young age that they can explore any career they want, not just in tech.
Gender-based division in stores, where we aim science kits at boys and kitchens at girls, reinforces limiting stereotypes. Historically, the video game industry predominantly targeted boys, influencing gender-based interests that persist into adulthood.
Combatting this from the start is crucial to prevent people from thinking that certain skills or areas are naturally better suited for men or women, such as Math or Arts for example.
We also need to ensure that workplaces are safe and inclusive. Addressing sexism and bias against women is essential for their progress, especially in tech, to prevent discrimination and stereotypes.
If we make sure everyone has unbiased access to all opportunities, learning experiences, and even toys as children, we can foster women’s interests and let them explore the paths they want to take later in life.
Supporting each other to progress
At Pro-Sapien, we’re a team from a range of backgrounds, each contributing to our company’s success. We committed to fostering a positive work environment, working together to deliver best-in-class EHS solutions for our global customers.