Why is it that in many heavily male-dominated industries, such as sales – women feel like they can’t progress as much as men do? Is the sales industry as macho as we think, or is simply overthinking on the female population’s part?
I have known some exceptional male sales professionals, and then again, I have also known some equally exceptional sales women across my years in corporate roles – yet sales, like many industries still feels very male dominated…
Another industry which is heavily dominated, yet women are making a strong proposition is technology; which funnily enough, also has a strong impact on the world of sales as new businesses launch in the tech sector, this ultimately creates jobs – of which sales is paramount!
So the question is, is sales another industry where women are pushed aside? Or are women closing the ranks on male counterparts for those career-progressing roles?
We sit down for a coffee with ‘Head of Sales’ of innovative tech-start-up company Mr Glue Stories (a children’s reading application for parents and schools) Carrie Gregory-Hood, to examine the changes she has seen in both technology and sales industries for women leading the way…
What, as far as you know, is the industry doing as a whole to attract/boost career development for women?
By celebrating high profile women at corporate tech giants like Facebook, Google, Apple and Yahoo, these companies are proving that it’s possible for women to progress in the tech sector.
What’s important is that companies like this continue to break the gender stereotype in the media that it’s all about men!
What can be done in my opinion? For starters we could look to develop the growth of networking clubs dedicated to women in Tech, to give them the network they lack and, on a long term level, emphasising STEM education and IT coding skills in children from a young age will encourage more women to study tech and bring in more supply to the sector!
What attracted you to the technology sector and how did you break into such a male dominated industry?
For me it was simple, love. I love the speed of change in tech, the excitement of new possibilities, the globality and underlying purpose of making the world a better, more democratic and efficient place for everyone.
As an edtech start-up – we personalise interactive stories to make reading fun for children. Tech is the real enabler that scales our business in terms of producing customised stories and also makes us global through the App Store, thus levelling the playing field with larger and more established companies.
My background started in investment banking – another very male dominated industry - so that aspect didn’t faze me in the slightest and I don’t think it should to any women.
Do you have any top tips or advice for other women considering a career in the technology sector?
My top five tips to women considering a career in technology have to be;
1. Network, network, network – play on your natural ability to network and build relationships in business. I can’t emphasise how important it is to helping get your business ‘out there’!
2. Be the problem solver and lifelong learner – tech is ever changing: new languages, new devices, new applications, new everything – and you have to be comfortable with change
3. Tech is about collaboration – often women excel in this area, so be confident about your skills
4. Decide if you really want to work in a start-up or would be better suited to an established business – although they may require some of the same skills, the attitude (and financials) are totally different
5. Think about the user when you’re in tech – the user experience is one of the most important factors in the success of a tech business: if the user can’t do what they want with the tech, doesn’t matter how powerful the backend or software is, it won’t work as a business
Mr. Glue Stories, is a new app developed by two British story-lovers, the app is totally free to download via the Apple app store, available for iPad.
To download your free Mr Glue Stories app.