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Meet the inspirational women at GOSS

Get to know some of the women who work here at GOSS and what they enjoy about working here.

Lauren Hetherington, 8 February 2023 08:04
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Being a female in what is usually a male-dominated tech industry can be difficult for many women to be heard or to even have a voice. Here at GOSS, we are proud to say we are an equal opportunities employer and celebrate diversity in our workplace. As part of our 'Meet the Team' blog post series, we've recently caught up with some of the inspirational females who work here to learn what it is about GOSS they love and what advice they have for other women trying to establish a career within STEM. 

 

Sarah Konst

Sarah Konst

Head of Project Management

How long have you been at GOSS?: I joined GOSS fresh out of University in 2011, so I've been here around 11 and a half years. I started in a Support Technician role, and moved across in to the Projects team a couple of years after that.

What do you do at GOSS?: I work alongside the rest of the Projects team to manage delivery of both internal and client facing projects. These range from website delivery through to fully integrated service and CRM migrations. It's a really varied role, and we're always looking at how we can improve, and streamline our processes to provide the best quality and value for our clients.

What is your greatest achievement so far at GOSS?: It's hard to pick on a specific achievement or project, however one particular project I'm proud of was the rollout of our Digital Platform to Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire District Councils (now Buckinghamshire Council). This project was a large programme of work onboarding two Councils in to a shared Platform. It involved various streams of work, integrations, and the introduction of a lot of change to their business, which I lead for a successful implementation that saw a large uptick in digital engagement with citizens.  This was one of our earlier Digital Platform projects and since this it's been great to see the Platform continue to go from strength to strength.

What's the best thing about working at GOSS?: There's two things I'd choose as the best things about working at GOSS, firstly is the variety of projects we get to work on - whilst there is a lot of commonality in our clients, each project has it's own set of challenges to tackle. Secondly, and more importantly, is the people - I've met some of my best friends at GOSS, I even met my husband at GOSS, but that aside the whole of the GOSS team are supportive, friendly, and approachable. Everyone is always willing to lend a hand, or answer any queries you may have.

Why should more women choose a career in the tech industry?: I think it would be great to see more women choose a career in STEM as it's a vast field with so much still to be learnt, and developed. There's still a lot of stigma in certain areas of STEM, and bringing more people in to STEM roles, regardless of gender, will help ensure people from varied backgrounds, genders etc. are all able to improve and enhance these industries for the better.

How does working at GOSS enable you to be confident working in a traditionally male-dominated industry?: I'm very fortunate that GOSS has a number of strong female leads across the business, and alongside that we are not treated any differently by our colleagues due to gender. If you have questions, or issues, you can always approach someone, and not have to second think about gender playing a role in affecting the outcome in how your query is dealt with.

How much do you think being a woman in business has changed since you started out?: I think things have improved for the better - it used to be much more common place for hearing about women being warned off certain companies due to them being male-oriented, and in previous years I've experienced meetings with third parties where external leads would attempt to only talk directly to my male colleagues when I was leading meetings even when responding to points I've raised. Fortunately this is becoming a thing of the past, and not something that needs consideration. It also used to be more uncommon to see females coming through for technical roles in the business, but again this has changed in recent years which is great and we are getting more interest from women wanting to move in to these roles.

What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?: From a young age I've always been interested in how things work, and when I was starting out at secondary school we were lucky enough to have a desktop PC at home which opened up the ability to have access to a vast pool of educational software, and more formatively, the internet! I know this sounds silly, but it wasn't common to have a computer at home back in the late 90s! I then took an interest in IT at school, and carried that through to my degree. I've always liked problem solving and there's so much scope for technology in its various guises within STEM to help us enhance services. Plus it's an ever changing field with new discoveries and technologies always appearing. It was then a natural progression post-degree to try and find a role that allowed me to play some part, however small, in the tech industry.

 

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Sarah Youen

Head of Creative 

How long have you been at GOSS?: 7 Years.

What do you do at GOSS?: Responsible for looking after a team of front-end/creative developers, while overseeing the design and user experience of our products and services at GOSS.

What is your greatest achievement so far at GOSS?: Redesigned our Digital Platform with no comment or complaint - With design, if it works no one will say anything.

What's the best thing about working at GOSS?: The people - being able to rely on and laugh with your colleagues every day makes everything much easier to deal with.

Why should more women choose a career in the tech industry?: Women make up half the world's population so why should we not have a say on what we use and make. In order to create amazing products and services, you need input from all genders and backgrounds to make sure they work for all.

How does working at GOSS enable you to be confident working in a traditionally male-dominated industry?: GOSS gives everyone an equal voice so I have never thought my opinion has not been valued due to my gender or sex. We have women in senior positions including myself and we champion more to join us.

What does International Women's Day mean to you and why do you feel that it is important to recognise the day?: It is important to highlight the plights of women around the world as I am very lucky to have a job, let alone a senior position in a tech industry. There are women out there living in fear, unable to have freedoms I take for granted e.g. ability to work and my own money, wear what I want and speak my mind. We need to remember to keep fighting for women and for equality.

What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?: MySpace changed my life - being able to use HTML/CSS to style your profile into your own identity was the best. I spent hours creating styled list boxes for my loves and hates and choosing the perfect song that reflected my emo teenage self, all this realised you can be creative in the technical world.

 

Usha Elliott

Usha Elliot

Sales Administrator 

How long have you been at GOSS?: Two years.  

What do you do at GOSS?: Sales Administrator. 

What is your greatest achievement so far at GOSS?: Creating and Implementing a new Monthly Sales and Marketing meeting as well as weekly catch up meetings with the Account Managers.

What's the best thing about working at GOSS?: The company culture and people.

Why should more women choose a career in the tech industry?: Because its traditionally viewed as a male-dominated industry with over 50% of women abandoning technology careers by the age of 35 (according to a study, led by Accenture and Girls). More women should choose a career in Information Technology as it an exciting and rewarding place to be, where boundaries can be pushed and new skills learnt. Woman bring a different set of resources and skills which make them a valuable asset to the industry. However saying that it's a shame still in 2023 there isn't a standout role model who represent women in IT globally. It would be nice to see this change and woman leading this industry.

What does it take to be a successful woman in business?: You must have a passion for what you do, a hard work ethic and determination. There will be those who want to put you down, say you're not good enough and your goals are not achievable.  But the great thing about negativity is that it can fuel you on. It can push you out of your comfort zone and prove them wrong. You can be anything and do anything you put your mind to.

 

Dinah Russel

Dinah Russell

Accounts Receivable Clerk

How long have you been at GOSS?: 6 years, 4 months.

What do you do at GOSS?: I'm the Accounts Receivable Clerk but also do other things within the Finance Department.

What is your greatest achievement so far at GOSS?: Reducing the outstanding debt quite considerably when I first started, reducing the number of days clients are passed the 30 days payment terms and designing various reports and templates in Sage (our accounts package)

What's the best thing about working at GOSS?: The people and relaxed atmosphere in the company.

Why should more women choose a career in the tech industry?: Why not?

How does working at GOSS enable you to be confident working in a traditionally male-dominated industry?: There is no biased opinions because I'm female, we are all treated the same.

How much do you think being a woman in business has changed since you started out?: Women are now more accepted in the traditionally male dominated work environments.

 

Beth Norman

Beth Norman

Service Desk Manager

How long have you been at GOSS?: I started at GOSS in August 2023 so 6 months now - the time has flown by!

What do you do at GOSS?: I'm the Service Desk Manager, I work with both the Application Support and Network Support teams.

What is your greatest achievement so far at GOSS?: Since I started here, I've been working with people across GOSS to improve our ability to gather internal data and then to share meaningful data with other teams. Understanding more about what support tickets we receive, from who, about what, and when has been really interesting and useful; I'm excited to continue this work in the coming months.  

What's the best thing about working at GOSS?: The trust that exists between everyone at all levels; everyone is given the autonomy to make decisions and take considered risks. As a result, there's a level of openness and honesty between both colleagues and senior leaders that I've rarely seen in the workplace before.

Why should more women choose a career in the tech industry?: Diversity in any industry is good for everyone involved. Diversity equals progress at all levels. Encouraging any unrepresented people into industries that have been traditionally dominated by one area of society will benefit the businesses, the people working there, and ultimately the customers.

What tips would you give to younger women trying to get into the tech industry?: Don't feel like you must follow a particular path and don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Consider alternative routes in if that's what suits you and get creative. There's a lot to be said for a squiggly career and there's tons of relevant experience and transferrable skills to be gained in many different sectors. If your CV isn't perfect for a role you're interested in, consider what unique benefits you can bring to the role and apply any way. Men do it all the time!  

How much do you think being a woman in business has changed since you started out?: My first proper role in tech was 20+ years ago and I was the only women in the business then. I've definitely seen the gender diversity balance shift over the years. I'm really lucky (or picky maybe) in that I've always worked in places where I've felt supported, respected and valued. However, I know that's sadly not the case for many women in this industry still. The more companies who take equity for their employees seriously the more others will be forced to catch up.   

 

Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson 

Bid Manager

How long have you been at GOSS?: Over 10 years

What do you do at GOSS?: Head of the GOSS Bid Team - so lots of deadlines!

What is your greatest achievement so far at GOSS?: Other than keeping our crucial G-Cloud framework presence relevant and attractive to new and existing customers, I would say getting us onto the Crown Commercial Service BOS framework a couple of years ago - it shows that as an SME we can and do compete with much larger corporates - we may not be the biggest supplier, however we deliver an outstanding powerful and innovative digital platform with fantastic customer service, whilst being both agile and flexible which enables us to meet our client's needs quickly and effectively.

What's the best thing about working at GOSS?: It's great to be part of a hard-working, fun and successful team. I love winning business with clients (new and old) and sharing how they use our solutions to improve their online services.

Why should more women choose a career in the tech industry?: Well for a start, we have so many excellent and relevant skills to offer - communication, leadership, resilience, creativity and innovation, to name a few!  Home-working can enable a more balanced juggling of work-life responsibilities, and regular face-to-face meetings and social events help to maintain those much needed team relationships.

What tips would you give to younger women trying to get into the tech industry?: Just be yourself! Focus on and develop your skills. If a company doesn't value your skills, they are not worthy of you! 

What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?: My degree was pretty technical (Geomatics), and it was a natural progression really as so much technology is used in that sector. I've worked offshore processing survey data, in technical support, sales admin, field sales, managed a sales team, and for the past 15 years or so, have focussed on bids. I can't write code but still have very valuable skills needed in this sector.

How much do you think being a woman in business has changed since you started out?: As one of the older women in the team, I really do think it has got much better. I remember all those years ago back in the 90s selling software to Public Sector IT Managers who were generally men running predominantly male teams,  and I just don't feel I was taken seriously.  Thankfully over the years, we have all moved with the times and now value a person's skills, knowledge and experience, which makes it so much easier to work well together.

 

Donna

Donna Lawrie

Business & Systems Analyst

How long have you been at GOSS?: I have been working at GOSS for eleven months now.

What do you do at GOSS?: I am a systems and business analyst within the Client Success department.

What's the best thing about working at GOSS?: The level of support from your work colleagues.  Everyone is willing to lend a hand and support each other which is fabulous when you first join. 

Why should more women choose a career in the tech industry?: In a nutshell, we need more role models. It can be difficult for young girls to imagine what a career in tech would look like, and whether this would be a good choice for them. By choosing a career in tech, women have the opportunity to become visible role models and inspire future generations of women to pursue careers in technology.

What tips would you give to younger women trying to get into the tech industry?: There are so many diverse roles in the tech industry, and each requires a different skill set. So don't be afraid to try different roles until you find one that works for you, or curate a role that utilises what you do, and how you work best.

What does it take to be a successful woman in business?: I believe you have to have a passion and love what you do. Additionally, you should be confident in your abilities and embrace that being female, is not a roadblock to success. Harness and share your perspectives with your peers, and create and encourage a culture where everyone, regardless of genders feels empowered to be the best version of themselves.

What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?: Before moving to Plymouth, I lived in Edinburgh where a lot of my friends worked in tech.  Some as programmers, some as project managers. It has always seemed like a diverse career path, where despite it being challenging, no two days are the same and can be highly rewarding.

Last modified: 11 March 2024 13:41