Erin McCall Contender for Rising Star Reseller/Services Award

Erin McCall - a valued member of IT Lab’s technology strategy consulting team – has been shortlisted for the CRN Women In Channel Awards 2018

The awards are run by CRN channelweb.co.uk – a respected news platform and thought leader for the IT industry which is tackling the diversity challenge in the technology sector head-on. 

CRN – like IT Lab - believes that diverse organisations make better decisions and are more effective. Celebrating the female role models who will inspire the next generation of technologists and engineers is a positive way of highlighting the gender imbalance.

Doug Woodburn, Editor of CRN commented: “With over 50 entries received in our Woman of the Year category alone, drawing up a shortlist to put before our 20 Women in Channel judges was a daunting task. It is an achievement in itself to reach this stage.

 “We were overwhelmed by both the calibre of talented women who entered, and the quality of the entries themselves.”

Currently, only 17% of employees in the UK tech sector are women and a Diversity in Tech report revealed the globe’s biggest IT players still have some way to go.

A report by the McKinsey Global Institute – The Power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in the United Kingdom found that gender equality is more than a moral and social issue. Bridging the gender gap has the potential to create an extra £150 billion on top of business-as-usual GDP forecasts in 2025.

We caught up with Erin to congratulate her on her achievement and to ask a few questions about her career journey.

What brought you to the IT sector?

I arrived in tech unintentionally. Having studied finance at university in Montreal, I arrived in London with no definite career plan and I eventually joined IT Lab in an admin capacity.

I was quickly introduced to the incidents, projects, solutions and overall challenges that companies face with their IT. It sparked my interest, but I couldn't see a route into a delivery role without going back to university.

I was then introduced to a team that was developing technology strategies for clients; it seemed like the perfect blend of technology and business analysis. I began in the team as an Analyst which helped me build my solution and technology strategy awareness alongside developing business analysis skills. I was then promoted to consultant.

Looking at your career so far, what makes you proudest?

How quickly I’ve progressed. I’ve gone from having no experience in technology to a consultant in IT Lab’s technology strategy consulting team. I’ve been invited to speak at high profile events, including IT Lab’s Technology Strategy Briefing.

I also gave the keynote speech at a Women in Technology event held by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Take risks! I used to constantly think about any possible scenario where my decisions or opinions could be wrong or challenged. I strived to be someone that knew all the answers. I gradually came to realise that no one – even those who are experts in their field – has all of the answers.

This gave me the confidence to change my behaviour. I'm now more comfortable taking risks, such as sharing my ideas, asking questions and taking opportunities I would have previously assumed I was unqualified for.

Finally, what are your top tips for women looking to start a career in IT?

Everyone starts somewhere, you don't need to be the most (or at all) technically experienced person, you only need an interest. You can start small - IT doesn’t need to be scary. If you don't know anything about IT do some research and attend events.

There are lots of free online resources and courses that you can take to become familiar. You can also do what I did and just join a tech company in a non-technical role and learn about the industry.

If you’re interested in becoming more technical make it clear to everyone that you’re interested in learning and find some allies; there are always people who are happy to share their knowledge. My biggest advantage was speaking to people across IT Lab and learning about their different roles and backgrounds. I made it clear that I was interested in growing and, as a result, people were willing to coach me and put my name forward for opportunities.

Building an internal network can help you to identify which areas of technology interest you. Learn as much as you can from those around you then make your move into a tech role. To do so you’ll need to find an organisation that will support your personal development and that promotes diversity and equality. I quickly found people who believed in me, helped me realise my potential and took the time to teach me and promote my growth.

IT Lab - Diversity and Inclusion

Jenny Coe, IT Lab’s Director of People and Talent added: “Everyone at IT Lab is very proud of Erin for being shortlisted for the CRN Women in Channel Awards. She really does deserve it. The more IT Lab and the wider industry can do to address the gender imbalance, the richer we will be for it. 

“IT Lab is and will continue to support, contribute and participate in initiatives that will lead to more women in technology and leadership roles within our sector.”

The winners will be revealed at the CRN Women in Channel Awards Ceremony on the 18th of October 2018 at Hilton London Bankside.

 

Written by Christine Ellis