Women In IT – Andrea Cowell
At Phoenix we believe in diversity and inclusion to ensure that every person has the same opportunities to join and progress within the company and IT industry. We employ over 34% of women in our teams which is above the industry average of 20% – but we want more.
Our Managing Director, Samantha Mudd, was recently unveiled as a member of the 2019 CRN Women in Channel judging panel and wants to use this is an opportunity to “undoubtedly inspire future generations of females to enter the technology arena where previous generations feared to tread”. Asked about her reasons for joining the panel Sam added, “I want to ensure that the percentage increases in our company over the coming years and hopefully encourage an increase within the industry. I believe that an equal and diverse management and workforce will strengthen our company and industry and also help to re-balance many issues in society.”
With this in mind, we want to highlight a few of the amazing women that work here at Phoenix in teams such as Sales, Admin, Testing and many more. The first is Andrea Cowell from our Charities and Housing Sales Team …
How long have you been in the industry?
I joined the industry six months ago in January 2019.
What roles have you held?
I started at Phoenix as a New Business Development Executive and in June got my own customer account patch after my colleague, Aaron Woods, moved on to be our Sophos Business Development Manager. I am now enjoying looking after customers and building relationships whilst helping them with their IT requirements.
How long at Phoenix?
What made you choose IT?
It is a rapidly growing and ever-changing industry. Since working here no two days have been the same and the change keeps the job interesting and exciting. It doesn’t feel like a job working here, but more the starting of a career within the industry and company. I was advised by people who had worked at Phoenix previously what a great company it was to work for and that’s what made me initially apply. The recruiter also told me what a great company it was and said she had worked with Phoenix for several years and told me, based on my aspirations and want for a career not just a job, this would be a perfect fit. Everything is driven by the staff and to ensure they get the right solutions in place for their customers. This isn’t the normal quick sale business some may expect – it isn’t about making the most money or disregarding the ‘smaller customer base’. Every customer is spoken to with the upmost respect with full resources available across the company to help with every query and to help the customer get something in place which will help their organisation and drive them forward whilst helping with return on investment.
Did you face any challenges when starting out in the industry?
Yes, having never worked in this industry before I knew the basics about IT, but not anywhere near enough to help me from the get-go. The pleasing thing about Phoenix is how many training sessions they set you up for when you first start so you can really get to grips with the basics. They also have specialists in nearly every area who are happy to assist and answer questions for you. Whilst IT is a male driven industry, it’s nice at Phoenix that there are so many women. In my team there are 10 males and 6 females, so it is fairly evenly split. In the leadership team there are 2 females and 2 male directors so again a straight 50/50 split which is great to see. The Managing Director, Samantha Mudd, has worked in this industry for years and started out as a sales person so it provides great inspiration to people to show what can happen if you work hard within the industry.
What changes have you seen in the industry and Phoenix over the years?
I’ve only been at Phoenix and in the industry for six months, however, within this time Phoenix has continued to grow and recruit new people and as I’ve mentioned no two days are ever the same. Things are constantly changing within the industry and now we see a real push in people wanting to deliver the modern workplace for their employees and their using IT to help drive this and this is where we come in to help have the conversations and make their plans come true.
What can be done to encourage more women into IT?
A lot of higher positions in IT are still mainly held by males. For younger women it can probably be quite daunting when looking at potential career pathways, seeing limited numbers of female role models in that career choice in place. I think seeing more women in higher positions in IT will help – whilst Phoenix is great at this other companies aren’t.