To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, Head of Operations, Amee Patel, has interviewed some of the women from each department at CloudTrade to recognize and celebrate their work and successes.
The next instalment in this series focuses on two of our Senior Technical Analysts from our Operations team, Mun Mun Allen and Helen Wyncoll, and discusses the challenges of being a woman in a technical role, how CloudTrade combats that and why gender disparity in their team feels like a non-issue.
AP: Hi Helen and Mun Mun, thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your role here at CloudTrade?
HW: Hi! So I’m Helen and I am a Maths graduate. I’m a Senior Technical Analyst here in the Newcastle office. Outside of work, I have an interest in classical history and I like to cook. My day-to-day is supporting our customers with their technical requests and any troubleshooting that needs doing. Another big part of my role is coordinating our internal training. This includes supporting new starters and expanding and updating our internal training resources that the team use here. I also deliver training to our customers, which I really enjoy.
MA: I joined CloudTrade just over three years ago straight from university where I studied Economics and I am currently a Senior Technical Analyst. I spend a lot of time building environments, so I work with customers to take their projects from conception to go live. I also work on service maintenance for some of those customers. I spend time supporting some of the other staff members in Operations in their day-to-day tasks and I support our Sales team on demos as well.
AP: Nice to hear I’m keeping you both busy! What are you working on at the moment Mun Mun?
MA: I’m currently working on an orders project for a customer in the US. I’m also working on an exciting new project which is actually going to be joining the orders and invoicing side of AP automation.
AP: And Helen, what part of your role do you find the most exciting?
HW: I love the problem solving. I love that it happens in all the different areas of what we do. There’s nothing I like more than getting stuck into a problem and figuring out how to make something work.
AP: What would you say is the best thing about working for CloudTrade?
HW: I really like the company culture regarding learning and helping each other. We are encouraged to ask questions and share knowledge with each other, that’s something that fits how I work and makes this a really nice environment.
MA: For me because I joined quite early, it is watching the company grow and having more opportunities now than when I first started – we’re always busy at the moment! The main thing from my perspective though, it is working in technology and being able to build new things is great. Every project is built to the customer’s specification so every project for me is different, and it means I get to work with customers, the technical team, the dev team and the sales team.
AP: Do you have any advice for young women applying to technical roles?
HW: So the advice I wish I’d been given three years ago before I started here was to have confidence in yourself. You know what you’re talking about, you know how to troubleshoot, you know how to problem solve, you have those technical skills, that’s what I wish I’d been told three years ago.
MA: I think you should just go for it. When I started, there were hardly any women in the company, but I knew what my abilities were, so I didn’t let that intimidate me in any way. There have been several times where I’ve gone into a meeting and been the only woman there, but I know what I’m good at and I let that show.
AP: Brilliant advice! Right, we’re just about done here, do you have anything else to add?
HW: It’s an interesting one, when you sent round the email inviting us to be involved in this, even though for a while there were so few women in the company, it’s never felt like a thing. It’s never felt like I’ve had to watch how I behave or anything like that, it’s like a non-issue, which is ideal.
AP: You’re right, it is a non-issue, but this is the reason to spearhead something like this and talk about these things. Even if we’re talking about women in technology from that perspective, it’s good to lead by example.
MA: I think the way that we do business involves a lot of conference calls with our customers who are all over the world – it’s easier to not notice any gender disparity. I remember, I went to an RPA workshop where I was the youngest person and the only female in a room of middle-aged businessmen. I think it was the first time I felt intimidated because I didn’t know anyone and was sat in a room where it was very obvious I was the odd one out. It’s different at work because of the environment that we’re in, we all talk, we have the same abilities so it’s not so much something that I notice. I find it empowering in our work environment when I am able to excel.
AP: That’s great guys – thank you so much for your time and sharing your thoughts with me today.
To today’s readers – thank you so much for tuning in to today’s blog. If you have any more questions for Mun Mun or Helen, I encourage you to contact them directly – you can find their contact details below. In our next instalment, we will be talking with Elena our Finance team about her experiences here at CloudTrade!