Smoothwall's Women in Tech Series: Adele Bannister
Adele Bannister – Marketing Manager
Did you know that women currently make up just 17% of tech jobs in the UK? As part of our Tech Inclusion Programme we want to address this gender disparity, encourage more females to consider a role in technology and celebrate the female role models here at Smoothwall. Which is why we’re running a series of interviews with our own women working in tech.
#1 Tell us a little bit about yourself, including your current role and what you like to do in your spare time
Hi I’m Adele, the Marketing Manager for the UK marketing division. I’m also the company’s internal safeguarding champion and internet safety expert, which means I get to visit schools around the country and speak to pupils, parents and teachers on the dangers of the online world and how to stay safe.
I’m at my happiest when surrounded by fabulous friends and family, so in my spare time I like to spend as much time as I can socialising. I’m very much into fitness and health and am quite the avid gym goer, but I do also enjoy going for long country walks and partaking in charitable sporting events.
#2 Briefly explain your career to date, including any pivotal moments along the way
Before taking on a career in marketing, I worked in retail sales within the cosmetic industry for 9 years. Working for brands including Estée Lauder, Dior and Charlotte Tilbury, my roles varied between makeup artistry and account management. I’d always had such a passion for beauty and it wasn’t until I was in my early-mid 20’s that I decided I wanted to completely change direction and take on a new career challenge.
#3 Did you always know that you would work in technology?
No, definitely not. I’d always toyed with the idea of being a midwife and so thought if I was to ever leave the cosmetic industry that I would most likely work for the public sector. Technology wasn’t on my agenda when I set about looking for a new career path, however when I came across Smoothwall, it was the mission behind what they did that really got me excited.
#4 Women make up only 17% of all tech jobs in the UK, what’s your opinion on this?
I think it’s a real shame that women are so underrepresented in the digital and technology workforce. Women have so much to give to the tech industry, we’re all different and as part of a growing diverse society we should be able to inspire companies to celebrate and utilise these differences for success.
#5 What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
For me it’s being able to be part of that small minority who can really make a difference and be the voice of encouragement to those girls and women who aspire to work within the industry, but who don’t quite feel confident enough to take that leap.
#6 What has been your greatest moment of success?
I can’t say I have a specific greatest moment of success, but more of a variety of achievements I personally feel proud of. These range from achieving qualifications to receiving awards and acknowledgements for my hard work and determination.
#7 Who inspires you and why?
The women in my life certainly inspire me whether they be friends, family or colleagues. Their confidence, drive and determination as individuals have seen them all go on to achieve great things in very different ways, and it just goes to show that no matter who you are and what you think you’re capable of, if you put your mind to something you can reach the highest of heights.
#8 How do you strike your own work / life balance?
Knowing when to switch off and take time out for myself is key. It can be difficult sometimes and I often find myself working long hours, but I’m a firm believer in what you put in you get out, and as long as I manage to fit in the time to do things that make me happy, I think I’m doing alright.
#9 What career advice would you give a young person who wanted to join the IT profession?
As a person who was once told “the grass isn’t always greener”, I can honestly say that choosing a career in technology has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You don’t have to be totally tech-savvy to have a successful career in technology and there are many various roles you can apply for. Go for it, after all, what have you got to lose?
For more information on Smoothwall’s Tech Inclusion Programme, click here.