Diversity and Tech Talent Acquisition

We visited the London HQ of Puppet to shoot a series of films talking about diversity and DevOps looking at how businesses can achieve Agility Through Diversity. The fourth in the series looks at Diversity and Tech Talent Acquisition. Guests included;

Kate Self, Degree Apprentice at BT
Thea Mayes, Strategic Partner Manager at ServiceNow
Oishi Deb, Software Engineer at Rolls Royce
Helen Gidney, Cisco Alliances Team Leader at Softcat
Marianne Calder, VP & MD for Puppet

We wanted to find out what drives tech talent and so invited some of the Future Stars of Tech to tell us;

  • How did you first become interested in working in tech?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in this industry?
  • In order to stand out, what have you done differently?

You can watch the fourth of our Agility Through Diversity films above and we’ll be publishing the final long-form compilation next week. To give you a flavour of the discussion we’ve pulled some insights from the film offered by our panel.

See also: How to embed diversity in the workforce

Tech talent embracing opportunities

Helen Gidney, Cisco Alliances Team Leader at Softcat diversity and tech talent acquisition agility through diversity
Helen Gidney, Cisco Alliances Team Leader at Softcat diversity and tech talent acquisition

I think it’s always going to be different for everyone depending on where they are in their career and what industry they’re in, but for me;
1.) Having a real drive and ambition for the area your in and being passionate about that. 2.) Being willing to work hard and really push yourself forward in the industry in the areas you’re interested. 3.) Taking any opportunity that comes your way. I think that always saying yes to opportunities and learning from them. It may not be something that’s completely relevant to you or something completely interesting but you’re always going to learn. You’re going to meet new people, have new experiences and really help push yourself forward.

Helen Gidney, Cisco Alliances Team Leader at Softcat

See also: How to build equity and inclusion: Q&A with Tanya Webb

Have a plan

Thea Mayes, Strategic Partner Manager at ServiceNow diversity and tech talent acquisition agility through diversity
Thea Mayes, Strategic Partner Manager at ServiceNow diversity and tech talent acquisition

I come from a pretty sporting background and I think part of where I’ve been successful is learning from that. You’ve got to be determined, you’ve got to be organized and you’ve got to get buy-in from other people to help and support you build out a team. If I look at my career a lot of work what I’ve done successfully is around building out a strategic business plan and you can’t do that by yourself you’ve actually got to go and get buy-in from different levels, be organized, be diligent and always be on top of everybody to make sure that you are getting the outcome that you desire.

Thea Mayes, Strategic Partner Manager at ServiceNow

Get out of your comfort zone

 

Oishi Deb, Software Engineer at Rolls Royce, diversity and tech talent acquisition agility through diversity
Oishi Deb, Software Engineer at Rolls Royce, diversity and tech talent acquisition

I always went for different opportunities and I went outside my comfort zone I was pushing myself, I wanted to see if I could do multiple things. Since university, I’ve been juggling multiple different things and I’m now working on a machine learning project. It’s again outside my comfort zone, but then I presented this to the head of system and software and that helped me to get noticed within Rolls-Royce. Then I started getting a lot of emails and a lot of phone calls from different chief engineers to discuss that project and I think that was a great opportunity for me to have such opportunities early in my career. I think the reason behind it is because I took the risk and I went outside my comfort zone.

Oishi Deb, Software Engineer at Rolls Royce

Small teams can have big impacts

Kate Self, Degree Apprentice at BT, diversity and tech talent acquisition, agility through diversity
Kate Self, Degree Apprentice at BT, diversity and tech talent acquisition

I’m interested in any new project that comes in. At the moment diversity and inclusion is obviously a massive thing and we’re really looking at that in BT. I’m part of a group of 12, we’re only a small group within BT and we are a pioneering group. We’re looking to change our culture, create a more diverse and inclusive place and basically challenge and try to push it out for the whole of BT. An impact from my little team can create a huge impact.

Kate Self, Degree Apprentice at BT

See also: Diversity in DevOps with Marianne Calder

If you enjoyed this feature you can watch the other films in the Agility Through Diversity series which looked at the advantages of diversity for tech businesses, the importance of diversity in IT and DevOps and embedding diversity in the organisation.

This feature is sponsored by Puppet.