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Women in Tech: Mentorship and support for women in the workforce

13th June 2023

Female mentorship has never been more critical, it could be one of the top strategies to help close the gender gap in business leadership. For Giganet it forms part of our over-arching strategy for staff development and one of our core diversity and inclusion initiatives.

This week, we caught up with Senior Marketing Manager, Ruth Martin, to find out a little bit more about her experience at Giganet, and why all companies have an obligation to mentor and support women in the workforce.

Giganet Senior Brand Marketing Manager Ruth Martin

“We have an obligation to mentor and support women in the workforce” Senior Marketing Manager, Ruth Martin

How did you come to work for Giganet?

Working in tech never used to interest me. At school, my favourite subjects were Art and English, but here I am, loving every minute!

I’ve now worked at Giganet for over 8 years. I started out as Graphic Designer in 2015, then progressed to Marketing Manager in 2018, and more recently, Senior Marketing Manager. I have seen a huge amount of change in the industry and the company over the years. When I joined, the Marketing team was a team of two, and now we are 12 strong and the company has grown dramatically.

My previous role was working at an industrial computer company, which is what got me into the tech industry. It was also what led me to the role at Giganet (then M12 Solutions) and I’ve never looked back. Getting the hang of some of the technical jargon was difficult at first, but now I enjoy it. I love simplifying technology to explain it to a broader audience and sharing the many benefits new technology can bring to any household.

What does your role entail?

My love for Art and English came in handy when I moved out of graphic design and into marketing. Now, my day-to-day role involves working with the rest of our Marketing team, planning out new campaigns, monitoring the effectiveness of existing ones and reviewing the team’s work. My role also involves working closely with team members from all other departments, so of course, communication is key. Daily tasks can vary hugely, which is one of the things I love about my job. It’s never stale, it’s never boring, and the industry is ever-evolving, so there’s always a lot to learn! One day I might be designing a new van livery, or tweaking our digital ad campaigns and the next I might be building a strategy for the following year’s growth.

Favourite part of the job?

There are two areas of my job that I’m most passionate about. The first is creating effective campaigns. Everything from the ideas process, through to execution and then seeing the results come in is so exciting. At Giganet our campaigns can range from smaller, one-off campaigns right through to multi-touch multimedia campaigns that run and evolve for months. Seeing results and awareness improve, and being creative is one of the best parts of my job. The second is developing a brand identity. I absolutely love building a brand that makes a product or service come to life, showcasing the added value of our business over its competitors.

Something else I’m passionate about is mentoring. It’s something I believe is very important in all industries, not just tech, and I’m looking forward to becoming a mentor myself later this year. I have been fortunate to have a number of mentors in my personal life and my career. Often, speaking to someone else about obstacles or challenges is all you need to gain some perspective and sometimes, confidence in your abilities. My manager, Tanya has been a great mentor to me over the last year and a half, and her support and guidance have been invaluable. Not just as another woman in the Tech industry, but as a successful woman in her career, who has a lot of experience in business. Having worked in the Tech industry for 12 years, Tanya is the first female manager and mentor I have had in all that time. Not only does she listen, but she challenges and pushes me, to help me improve and succeed. She’s taught me to be a better manager to my direct reports, and of course, how to be a better marketer.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in tech?

A piece of advice I would give to anyone starting a new job within the tech industry is to not be scared of exploring other departments or developing a new skill. It’s no use staying in a little Marketing bubble (in my circumstance), to develop I needed to learn from and communicate with other people in the business. From doing this, my skills have grown, and my confidence has soared.

I think there are a number of ways more women could be encouraged to consider tech as a career. Everything from school visits, careers fairs and job days, to just women being more visible in tech roles. I don’t necessarily think women in general discount a tech career, it’s more likely that many just don’t think to consider it. I know I didn’t. So, more visibility is key, which could be from events, media exposure, social media and more. Also retaining women in tech roles is really important too, making sure our needs are met and our careers are developed and nurtured. This can involve things like training, coaching and mentoring.

Giganet is soon to be launching an official mentoring programme, and I think this will be fantastic. We are currently looking for mentors from all departments and seniorities, who will be matched with people who would like to be mentored. The aim of this is to improve communication, development and diversity in our business. I have signed up to be a mentor and can’t wait to get involved!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love travelling – exploring new places both in the UK and abroad. I enjoy trying new food, photography and taking time out to read and relax.

How do you manage stress?

I believe that a good work/life balance is essential to success, but this can be hard to achieve. The main way I like to take time out is by getting outside. I live near the sea, so a long walk along the beach is a great way to clear your head and make space to come up with new ideas. I had a 45 min walk along the seafront this morning before work and it really set me up for the day.

What are you streaming just now?

The last thing I streamed was A Small Light on Disney+. It’s a true story, based on the brave woman and her husband who sheltered Anne Frank and her Jewish family during WWll. It’s well worth a watch, and very eye-opening. Other than that, I’m a big fan of thrillers and gritty crime dramas.

Find your career at Giganet

If you’re keen on making career steps into technical support, or in any discipline of our business, you’re in luck! We have loads of roles available and would love to hear from you.

Please visit the Giganet careers page to learn more about our workplace culture and employee benefits system. You’ll also be able to view all our latest job vacancies and register your CV for upcoming roles.

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