Women in IT – Joanne Halley

Next in our series of ‘Women in IT’ blogs is Joanne Halley, Event Manager & Marketing Co-ordinator at Phoenix…

How long have you been in the industry?

I’ve been in the industry 26 years and started when my daughter was 3 years old.

What roles have you held?

Receptionist, Sales Account Manager and Event Manager & Marketing Co-ordinator for the past 22 years.

How long at Phoenix?

26 years.

What made you choose IT?

I stumbled into IT and initially joined the industry on a job-share/child-share basis as Receptionist here at Phoenix Software along with my next-door neighbor and very good friend Peggy. Between the two of us we covered a full-time job with the added bonus of having no childcare costs.

This was the perfect solution and enabled the start of my progression here at Phoenix Software, moving onto different full-time roles within our organisation.

Did you face any challenges when starting out in the industry?

The introduction of computers into the work place was a whole new world. Previously I’d only learned RSA Typewriting and Office Practice at Secondary School.

Learning to use Microsoft Word rather than hand typing a letter or using a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel to keep tabs on general administration task was an amazing time saving tools.

I especially remember when Phoenix introduced its first email platform ‘Lotus Notes’ that was for internal use only. I recall thinking ‘Why do I need to email the colleague next to me to say I’d done something rather than just telling them verbally – this will never catch on!’. If only I had known, then what I know now – without Outlook and Teams I’d be totally lost today!

What changes have you seen in the industry and Phoenix over the years?

Too many to list but mostly how exciting the IT industry evolving has been over the years. The changes have been phenomenal and Phoenix continues to thrive and change for the better. A prime example being Office 365 and Teams which has revolutionised our processes. We are no longer just a Software Company and now offer entire solutions for our customers which enables accessibility, diversity and innovation.

What can be done to encourage more women into IT?

Life can be challenging, but we are strong, recognised and able to rise to the best of our capabilities and earn a good salary equal to our male colleagues.

Offering flexible working and embracing the technology available to us will encourage more diversity throughout the work place. There are no limitations to what you can achieve with the many different roles available within the IT industry.