During Women's Month, we're celebrating women in digital. Those who pioneered, those who perfected, and those who make a difference every day. We'll feature one woman per weekday for the month.
EMC systems engineer Jeanette Marutle joined the company in 2010 with no technology experience. A nine-week bootcamp, two years’ of mentoring and training and four years’ on the job and she’s working with the local sales team to provide high-end technology solutions to meet customers’ business needs.
According to her bio on the South African company page, she didn't necessarily want to be in tech, it found her. And the journey has been an exciting one.
Jeanette studied economics, mathematics and computational mathematics and wanted to go into the economics side of it, but ended up in the computational space. “People who meet me now versus six years’ ago can see I’ve changed. I work with customers who’ve been in IT for 20, 30 years, and helping them and convincing them that I can add value to them has given me confidence.”
IT is a constantly changing sector, so you’re always learning, she says. “I’ve gotten to a point where I tell myself that I don’t need to know everything, I need to know enough and I need to know who to ask about the things I don’t know.”
She would encourage other women to get into the tech space, “Do it! Do it now!,” she says. “There are so few women in technical roles, and while it’s male-dominated, it’s fun and challenging and women bring diverse views and skills that are needed in the space.
“It’s not about men and women,” she adds, “It’s knowing you have a right to be here, and that you have the qualifications and you can excel.”
Changing the perception of women in tech as only filling sales or marketing or softer roles requires the women in the sector to talk more about it, she says. “We need to talk about our working lives to make it more visible, particularly the benefits the sector offers. Many technology companies offer flexible working hours so it’s actually easier to manage your work-life balance than in some other sectors.
“We need to show women what is achievable and build their confidence that they can succeed in technical and non-technical roles in IT. If we can make women believe they can achieve anything, we’ll see more of them in the tech space.”