To celebrate Women In Tech at IMGS and their invaluable contribution to the business, we will be turning the spotlight on key female members of our tech team over the coming weeks. This week’s Women in Tech spotlight interview is with Aoibhinn Stuart, Delivery Director, IMGS.
Aoibhinn has over 15 years project delivery experience across a wide variety of industries, including Banking, Payments, Insurance and Utilities. She is passionate about customer service and the importance of building strong collaborative business relationships. She is ISEB, ITIL and Scrum.Org accredited with a strong understanding of complex IT systems and processes. Aoibhinn specialises in project management, process improvement and quality assurance to improve system stability, functionality and efficiency.
Women in Tech Spotlight Interview with Aoibhinn Stuart.
Aoibhinn what first got you interested in Tech?
It’s hard not to have an interest when everyone in your family is involved in tech in some way! I remember desperately trying to get a hold of my brothers Atari and Commodore 64 when I was young and later in school we were introduced to the concept of coding, which really interested me. I always had a love of engineering and tech and so it just felt like the right route for me. It certainly helped to have been encouraged from a young age and exposed to the world of tech, long before I began working in this field.
Can you tell us a little about your role and what a typical day is like for you?
My official title is Delivery Director but in reality I am part-time PM, part-time tech lead, sometimes strategist and all day problem solver!
My mornings consist of catching up on e-mails, chasing my children around to get dressed and doing the school run. Most mornings we have a stand up to catch up with everyone virtually and go through the tasks of the day. Usually this is followed by some project calls with customers and in the afternoons I will either have a new project plan, estimation or a marketing strategy to review.
Since the pandemic, I have made a huge effort to regularly link in with each member of our team individually for a ‘virtual coffee’. It is really important to reach out and ensure we look after one another as these times are very isolating and as leaders we must lead by example. That means making time for people and checking in with them on a personal level. It’s too easy to lose sight of the human element of business when you are caught up in the deadlines and tasks of everyday life.
Come the evenings. It’s homework followed by dinner then a walk and usually a movie.
I do a final e-mail catch up before bed and check my calendar so I am prepared for the next day.
What obstacles do Women in Tech face?
Themselves. When I speak to women in other industries or younger women deciding on a career choice, I often hear that they don’t like coding – therefore they wouldn’t like tech. This common misconception drives many women away from our industry. Tech has such a vast array of jobs that I am still amazed at some of the roles people enjoy! Coding is a small part of what we do. There are business analyst roles, project management, solution architects, data driven solutioning, the list is endless. If I could share my experience of tech it would be that women are great leaders, enablers, multi-taskers, mentors and yes, coders! There is room for everyone!
What advice would you give to a woman thinking of pursuing a career in technology?
Go for it! It really is a fantastic industry to be part of. It’s never boring, things change so quickly that you are kept on your toes. Do your homework, look at all aspects and decide which interests you the most. Is it infrastructure, data, application, web development? Speak to others in those areas to get a feel for what their role entails. Encourage each other. There is an expression I love ‘real queens fix each others crowns’ and that would be my mantra for women in all industries.
What are most proud of in your career so far?
The biggest success for me is that I have managed to juggle a career with bringing up a family. It is not easy to manage the pressures of young children and a busy job but somehow I have just about managed to keep all the balls in the air! Joining IMGS has been a real career highlight for me, we have such a fantastic team and I love my job and who I work with. I don’t think you can wish for more than that in any role.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Pre COVID, travelling would have been my big love. I am really looking forward to getting back to visiting new countries and seeing new cultures. Nowadays we do a lot of walking, cycling and movies!
When travel restrictions are eventually lifted, what destination would you most like to visit?