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02 Apr 2018

Smoothwall's Women in Tech Series: Pauline Beattie

Pauline Beattie - Senior Channel Relationship 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 timeI am currently a Senior Channel Relationship Manager with Smoothwall where I manage the strategic relationship between us and our partners. Our partners sell our products into businesses and establishments from a wide cross section of verticals although predominantly within the public sector. The role has a sales focus and I directly manage some of our larger accounts who individually bring us business to a value of over £1m per annum. Whilst the business has a majority male workforce, I work in a direct team of three women. The team and business has a great focus on ensuring women play an equally important role within the structure at all levels. I am a working mum of a 17 month old little boy and I live with him, my fiancé and our two dogs on the North East edge of the greater Manchester area. I work full time so our weekends are very much focused on family time and we all love the outdoors. Around the pleasures of family walks, camping, play centres in bad weather and swimming with my little boy, I like to get out running and attempting to keep fit whenever I can manage to squeeze it into my schedule.

#2 Briefly explain your career to date, including any pivotal moments along the way Nearly all of my working roles have been predominantly in male environments, and have covered roles between sales and commercial, within retail, distribution, vendors and now developers. All have involved working commercially within communications and connectivity technologies. I have worked in larger commonly known businesses such as Nokia, and for businesses well known within the industry such as Daisy and Caudwell looking after established retailers including Tesco. The industries have vastly changed in the 20 something years I have been working. In particular, the changes in technology and communications are now unrecognisable from the early days, where analogue mobile phones and pagers were just about still available through to the release of phones you could text on, then game on, to today where your mobile phone has become a must have accessory for everyone as a multi-purpose device (alarm clock, their email provider, camera, scheduler and so on). Seeing connectivity change from the initial broadband supplies and dial up internet through to complicated MPLS networks, fibre connectivity of unimaginable bandwidth and speeds. Through to my nest now where we sell protection to children and vulnerable businesses in a digital age.

#3 Did you always know that you would work in technology? No, I fell into it really although, I thought I would be an engineer after studying Mechanical Engineering at university. My first role in mobile was merely the first job I got out of uni and it built from there.

#4 Women make up only 17% of all tech jobs in the UK, what’s your opinion on this? Whilst the technology moves fast, people's opinions and actions take a little longer to change. I believe overall there is a focus to get better equality in all industries, we are just are not there yet. I am proud to work in technology and encourage all girls and boys to get involved.

#5 What has been your greatest moment of success? Having my son, surviving tough times. Recovering from a bump in my career where I felt I made the wrong choice and finding a company to work for that I truly feel passionate about and that will compliment my life, as well as ambitions.

#6 Who inspires you and why? Oh wow that’s a tough question, there are so many inspirations and for so many different reasons and levels:

  • In the public eye I have to confess I was in wonder of Margaret Thatcher but not necessarily for her decisions but her strength.
  • Stephen Fry for overcoming some very public downfalls.
  • Dame Anita Roddick founder of The Body Shop for taking something she believed in so passionately and commercialising it and making it work.
  • My best friend for repeatedly managing to survive some really tough things life has throw at her and not let it break her.
  • My finance for surviving cancer and not letting it prevent us from having the life we wanted.

#7 How do you strike your own work / life balance? Prioritising everything from work and at home, understanding what has to be done, the time I will give it and learning when you have to switch off.

#8 What career advice would you give a young person who wanted to join the IT profession? Its only 50% of your life and if you are enjoying it, go for it, don’t waste too much time doubting yourself, you definitely get out what you put in (I don’t care how cliché that is) and always look ahead.  

For more information on Smoothwall’s Tech Inclusion Programme, click here. Please comment below with any questions.

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