This post is written by Siobhan Lettice, Solution Engineer at Vonage
Growing up, I don’t ever remember thinking there was anything I couldn’t do because I was a girl. I guess I owe that to my parents. They instilled in me the belief that with hard work, planning & organisation, and of course kindness, I could do anything.
The first time I experienced being part of a minority was when I was at University studying Biochemistry. At a guess, I would say those on the course were 80% male. I had grand ideas about working in a lab, carrying out my own research projects, and curing cancer. The reality after university was a bit harsher and more difficult to navigate than I had expected. After being made redundant at my Lab Assistant position, I ended up participating in assessment days for Tech Sales and Telemarketing roles. I remember the interviewer asking me if I was cut out for a job in Tech Sales as I seemed too ‘family orientated’. I took that as a veiled reference to being too ‘female’.
Eventually, I joined NewVoiceMedia (now Vonage) as a Telemarketer. I then found my passion for project management and customer success when I landed a role in Professional Services, and have settled for the last 7 years in Solutions Engineering. I’m now Senior Director of Solutions Engineering EMEA for the Applications Group at Vonage.
I’ve been relatively lucky in my career that I’ve had some great managers, and haven’t faced gender discrimination, but the reality is I’ve only had one female manager out of a multitude of managers. And though we currently have a few women within our Solutions Engineering group globally, I feel a responsibility to change that, and make any impact I can to encourage Women in Technology. Which is why I have started a Women at Vonage Employee Resource Group, open to all who identify as Women, and all Women’s Allies, with a focus on helping to remove barriers to entry, and empowering women in leadership and those seeking to move into leadership roles. Everyone deserves an equal voice and opportunity.