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#InspireInclusion: Navigating a career in technology: insights and advice from Jade Bickerstaff

  • Publish Date: Posted 28 days ago

​​I interviewed Jade Bickerstaff, Director of IT Systems and Architecture at WTW and she shared her thoughts on how we can #InspireInclusion by sharing her career journey into technology.

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world.

1. How did your career journey in technology begin?

I initially pursued a degree in gaming at university and started my career in IT Infrastructure and networking. However, I soon realised that my skills were better suited to the broader field of technology. I was fortunate to have family members who served as role models, particularly in companies like Microsoft. Through internships and work experience, I gained exposure to various aspects of technology, eventually landing a role with the CEO of eBay and Trainline, where I was heavily involved in project management. From there, I transitioned to roles at Engine Group and later Runpath, an FS company acquired by Experian, where I oversaw infrastructure and honed my management and technical skills.

2. What led you to your current position?

I'm currently working in insurance consulting tech, where I've been given the freedom to shape my own role. My global manager has been incredibly supportive, providing consistency and stability through effective communication. I've also been fortunate to have strong female mentors, including a balanced yet fierce line manager and a compassionate former director who was a previous COO at Aon.

3. As a woman in a leadership role, what challenges have you faced?

Leading varied size teams, I've encountered the challenge of being the only woman on my team. However, I remain unapologetically myself while also adapting to different situations. Additionally, I've faced ageism and misogyny, being younger than most of my team members in previous roles.

4. What can be done to address the gender gap in technology?

Addressing the gender gap requires action at various levels. It starts with education, ensuring that young girls are encouraged to pursue careers in tech and providing them with female role models to look up to. Universities can play a role by offering more career advisory services and showcasing the diverse range of roles available in the tech industry. Employers need to break down barriers of communication, combat unconscious bias in hiring processes, and provide support for issues such as maternity leave, menopause, and mental health.

5. What advice do you have for women pursuing careers in tech?

I believe in seizing opportunities for change and empowerment, even if they involve taking risks or making mistakes. It's essential to appreciate the achievements along the way and engage in self-reflection to understand one's career path fully. Ultimately, the decisions about your career are yours to make, so be proactive and confident in pursuing your goals.

If you think an opportunity will give you change, take the opportunity. Be empowered to make decisions, and make mistakes. Big or small.