Smoothwall's Women in Tech Series: Natalie Kitt
Natalie Kitt - Sales Executive
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 sharing 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 Natalie, I’m currently a Sales Executive within the Education & SMB team and I manage the Yorkshire region. I don’t really do anything that exciting in my spare time, just your usual – go to the pub, the cinema, watch football – I used to play but I was blighted by injury so unfortunately my playing days are behind me (except for a bit of 5 a side in the park when the sun’s out).
#2 Briefly explain your career to date, including any pivotal moments along the way I first started at Smoothwall in August 2017, fresh out of uni as a young business graduate, looking for a new exciting opportunity and someone to take a chance on me. I had never really thought about a career in tech before – so when I was offered the interview I went home and did some research, as I hadn't even really know what a firewall was. I had never properly considered a career in tech before, as I didn’t regard myself as a technical person, however I’ve learnt a lot along the way and have definitely had a lot of supportive people around me who have always been on hand to help me out whenever I’ve needed it. #3 What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry? The best part of being a woman in the tech industry is being in a field that is always rapidly advancing, I’m constantly learning new things and I know that this industry is something that will just continue to grow. Being in a diverse office full of different people in different roles means that every day I learn something new and no two days are the same.#4 What has been your greatest moment of success? One of the highlights of my career so far was finishing 2017 as the number one Sales Executive within our team – I thought I would struggle initially not being the most technical person, so to finish my first calendar year on a high it was really encouraging! #5 Who inspires you and why? Someone who inspires me is my Yiayia (my grandmother). She has worked hard her entire life, puts her family first, and has a heart of gold. She worked in a factory where she led a strike for women in order to fight for a pay rise when they were told her wages would be slashed due to cutbacks, and her male co-workers would be kept the same. She is kind and warm, but also fearless and tenacious – she strongly believes in equality and fairness and inspires me each and every day. #6 How do you strike your own work / life balance? My work life balance is fairly easy to handle, I always make sure to take time for myself to chill out or relax after work if I’ve had a bit of a crazy day. We now have a flexi-time system in place so if I ever need to leave a little earlier or take a longer lunch, the company are supportive of that. The social events that work also organise on a monthly basis are good too - it’s always nice to socialise with your colleagues outside of work and is definitely one of the benefits of working at Smoothwall! #7 What career advice would you give a young person who wanted to join the IT profession? The main piece of career advice I’d give to a young person, especially a girl, considering a career in tech is to just go for it, even if it might seem like something unfamiliar. Even if you don’t feel like you are a tech-savvy person, there are so many roles in a tech company to consider, I absolutely love the industry that I’m in and the people that I’m surrounded by! Sometimes it might feel scary and as if you’ve being thrown in the deep end, but sometimes being pushed out of your comfort zone is the best thing for you – and there are always people who will be happy to support you. For more information on Smoothwall’s Tech Inclusion Programme, click here. Please comment below with any questions.