The digital industry has been a driving force for diversity and inclusion, thanks to its flexibility and proximity to the zeitgeist. Also, the path to the digital industry itself can be diverse as well, and you don’t have to be an IT specialist to get there.
The digital industry is constantly evolving, and as a result, it needs people with different skill sets and backgrounds to drive innovation and progress.
My path to IT was a bit unorthodox, Agnieszka Głuchowicz (Front-end Developer, SYZYGY Warsaw) remembers and continues “I didn’t study programming, I graduated in religious studies from the Jagiellonian University’s Department of Philosophy. But then I started teaching myself to program and got a job as a Junior Front-End Developer.”
I think if you want to start your adventure with programming, how you identify in terms of gender is beside the point. The key things here are courage and perseverance, at least at first.
Agnieszka GłuchowiczFront-end Developer, SYZYGY Warsaw
Something Trish Dongo (Head of CRM & Audience, SYZYGY London) would agree on – “My path has been full circle. I did Computer Science with Economics in my first year at Uni and then changed to English Literature and Language. After graduation, I worked in publishing and took HTML lessons on the side, which led to my next role in email marketing. I became interested in Salesforce whilst working on a CRM migration project from Oracle Responsys to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. I started training myself on the job and outside work, leading me into CRM roles as a Salesforce Consultant, focused on platform integration and audience management.”
Digital needs people with different talents and strengths to create innovative and impactful digital products and services. For instance, people with design skills to create appealing and user-friendly interfaces. Kind of like Michael Fleck (Director Retail & Media Ecosystems, diffferent) – “In fact, I always wanted to do “something with media” and studied media informatics, because that’s what it sounded like and I couldn’t draw well enough for pure design. I then came to user experience via advertising agencies as a Flash programmer and designed digital, user-centred services and products. Now it’s all about the right business models for digital offerings.”
Digital needs writers to craft compelling content, and marketers to promote products and services. The industry also needs people with project management skills to ensure timely and efficient execution of projects, and business development skills to identify opportunities for growth and expansion.
When I was about 11, I started my first blog and tried my hand at HTML – even though I had no clue what I was doing. With time, I’ve also started to train myself in Agile Methodology. I saw three possible paths for myself: I would either become an astronaut, a real-life ruin-investigating Lara Croft, or I’d go into technology. It took me some time, but I eventually picked the most realistic option.
Karolina KulawikAgile Facilitator, SYZYGY Warsaw
The path can be unconventional, but I would say be passionate about what you pick at any point and enjoy it. Everything is accessible with the right tools – and in tech, there are plenty.
Trish DongoHead of CRM & Audience, SYZYGY London
Believe it or not, there are people out there who actually enjoy working in finance! And yes, these finance fanatics can also find their calling in the digital industry. Just like our CFO Erwin Greiner – you have never seen a more passionate financial expert like him.
I worked in IT service companies before joining SYZYGY GROUP when they went public. I love the fast-paced, agile agency environment and the efficiency gains through technology. What’s even more exciting are the people who work in this environment – they are open-minded, receptive to new ideas, and positive about change and our environment.
Erwin GreinerCFO SYZYGY GROUP
So, if you’re interested in the digital industry, don’t be deterred by the perception that you need to be an IT specialist. There are many paths to success in the digital industry, and everyone has a place in it.
While the pace of change may vary from country to country, it is important that we continue to push for progress and work towards a future where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed. By championing the role of women in IT and digital industries, we can create a more inclusive and dynamic society that benefits us all.