8 March 2017

kirsty tech engineerAs part of International Women’s Day, some of the women of UKFast are taking over my blog! Next up, Kirsty shares her story…

I joined UKFast three and a half years ago as a junior Linux engineer. I had no web hosting experience and only a small exposure to Linux but, like many of my colleagues, I was taken on based on my keenness to learn.

You’re thrown in the deep end and the learning curve here is very steep – but everyone learns on the team by asking each other. The majority of the tech team are male – but neither me nor the other girl that joined with me, felt that this was an obstacle at all – and in those three years I’ve progressed to team leader and now find myself one of the mentors to new starters in our team.

I’ve faced a few small challenges as a female engineer, for example picking up the phone as a third-line engineer only the be mistaken for a receptionist and being asked to be put through to the ‘Tech Guys’ – but fortunately I work in an environment where I am able to learn, progress and break these misconceptions. So much so that I won Woman of the Year at the last Christmas Party!

One of the favourite parts of my role is to work with a customer who is unsure of us – either because it’s a girl that’s picked up the phone or because they’ve had bad tech support experiences elsewhere – and turn it around where they have faith in me and my team and feel safe in our hands.

UKFast has felt like a family to me since I started and I’ve always felt like I’ve had a steady supply of challenges to tackle. There are a number of visitors from schools around the office and I hope they see the female engineers that we have in our technical and development teams and take this as inspiration. Then, down the line when they’re looking for these kind of roles, I hope that they can find amazing, supportive companies and teams to join and blossom in like I did (maybe even UKFast!).

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