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Her Voice - Alicia Barczak

Digital Her was set up to address the gender imbalance in the digital and tech industry in Greater Manchester. Our programmes aim to inspire the next generation of women to join the industry, and support the current generation working in the industry.

Tell me about your journey into working in the digital and tech industry?

I began my professional career in law having studied law at Lancaster University. I quickly developed a keen interest in how technology can innovate and modernise the way legal services are delivered to clients. After two years of practising law, I decided to make a career switch into the tech industry with a focus on software development. Since then, I completed a coding bootcamp and I currently work as Delivery Consultant at GlobalLogic within the UK&I region. 

What challenges have you found along the way? And how have you overcome them?

Moving away from a familiar industry into an unknown highly technical field was a big challenge. There is a lot to learn, and the tech sector is so vast it can be difficult to know where to start or what to focus on. I tackled this by taking every opportunity I can to learn about the industry and opportunities within it; be that through networking and speaking to people, podcasts, and my own research. I learnt that software development and consulting is a good fit for my skills and as I embark my career in tech, I am very fortunate to be part of GlobalLogic where I am provided with constant guidance on the best tools and technologies to focus my learning on.

Did you have a mentor, and if so, how did they help & encourage you?

At the time of my career switch, I did not have a formal mentor, however I am very lucky to be based in Manchester and have amazing tech communities like Manchester Digital at my disposal, which allowed me to network and seek advice from people already working in the industry. The amount of genuine support and community spirit within the Manchester tech sector is incredible and has been invaluable in guiding me on the right path during my career switch. 

Since joining GlobalLogic, I have been mentored by a senior female engineer. I found this mentorship extremely helpful in steering me in the right direction during the early stages of my career at the company. 

What is your favourite thing about being part of the industry?

The tech industry is full of endless exciting opportunities which is by far my favourite thing about being part of the industry. No matter what your interests are (be that environment, finance, law) you will be able to find opportunities to work with tech within these areas and most likely drive innovation within them. Because of this, a career in tech is unique and can be very fulfilling as you can find yourself making a real tangible difference to causes you feel passionately about.

Why is it important for programmes such as Digital Her to inspire young people to join the industry?

The tech industry offers a wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities and encouraging young people to explore these opportunities will open new possibilities for their future. Most importantly, however, the tech industry is changing the world; tech has a significant impact on all aspects of our lives, so inspiring a diverse pool of young talent to enter the industry is the only way to ensure that the perspectives and experiences of everyone are represented in the development of new technologies which shape our world. 

What could the industry do better to encourage and support women to join the sector and stay within the sector?

I think peer-to-peer mentoring between women can go a long way for providing a platform to discuss the challenges that come with being part of the minority, the solutions to these challenges as well as celebrating the amazing achievement of female colleagues. For example, at GlobalLogic we have set up a group of female colleagues which aims to have monthly catchups which in turn serves as an opportunity to do just that over lunch, coffee, and cake! 

I think it is also important to recognise that whilst being a woman in tech is a challenge, it is also an opportunity which at times, is something that is not emphasised enough. 

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