Go forth and continue being unapologetically and fearlessly yourself

Software Tester
Valtech

March 08, 2021

When I first heard about writing about ourselves for International Women’s Day, I was very excited, “What a lovely idea!” I had thought. I looked forward to reading about all the women at Valtech. Shortly after I realised I would have to actually take the time to write about myself because I happen to be one of them.

So here I go, as I settle down on my sofa with my laptop and my cup of tea, I will try my best to describe my experience about being a woman at Valtech, because if you want something done right you should do it yourself.

So first of all I should introduce myself, I am Anna Fillbrook, I am a Tester at Valtech and I am currently working on the easyJet team. I started as a Junior Tester back in July 2019. This is my first job in the tech industry.

I genuinely believe that getting into the tech industry is quite hard for women. I would like to present you with some statistics:

19% of people in the tech industry are women

22% of tech directors are women

35% of STEM students in higher education in the UK are women

49% of UK workers are women

Here is my story

After graduating I tried to get a job as a software tester but was getting no interviews, after a few months I had resigned myself to a job I was content with. I always wanted to be passionate about the work I am doing on a daily basis and I took a leap of faith again. I was applying in no time! But alas, no interviews, few callbacks, questions as to why I would want to switch to a different industry, asking me to show my interest in tech, clarifying if I understood how technical the job would be. I nodded and smiled, I didn't want to give up. Why was this so hard and disheartening when the only real requirement was having a degree? I took all the advice I could find. This time I had done my research, I networked, I had fought to get relevant experience at my old job, I had studied for and obtained an ISTQB certification. Finally I was getting interviews and job offers!

My journey at Valtech started when our global recruitment team reached out to me on LinkedIn. After an accidental one hour interview for a Senior Tester role, and after another 2 hour interview for a Junior Tester role I finally got the job! A year later I “survived” the redundancies and kept that job. I am lucky because I am beating the odds. How many women are not?

During my time here I got to work with some fantastic people, I have learned and I have grown as a person and as a professional.

Now that I have finished blowing my own trumpet I would like to thank our Diversity and Inclusion team for giving the women at Valtech a voice. I hope many more use this opportunity to talk about themselves. Be proud to have made it as far as you have. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Each one of us has a unique voice, the world needs to hear yours to change.

As a final word I would like to share my favourite book quote with you:

“You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”

So go forth and continue being unapologetically and fearlessly yourself.

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