The IT industry is typically male-dominated, with men currently outnumbering women four to one* - something Emma Clarke, 24, a Software Developer at Aberdeen IT firm Codify, would like to see change as she works her way up the ladder.
“There are still myths out there that IT restricts you to programming day in and day out. A lot of females I speak to underestimate the scope of what I get to do which is maybe why some of them decide against the IT route. I was the only girl left on my university course by the time I graduated.
“Each day is different which certainly keeps things fun and interesting - not words many people would necessarily associate with an IT role.”
Emma enrolled on a distance learning Web Development course through Aberdeen College after leaving Aboyne Academy. This then led her to Robert Gordon University’s Computing for Graphics and Animation degree course which she completed last year. Upon graduating she was invited into Codify where she is already making an impression and is being encouraged to progress.
Currently a developer within the technical support team, Emma works closely with a number of large Aberdeen-based oil and gas companies.
“Helping fix applications when they go wrong, whether it involves a database or data management, gives me a great deal of satisfaction and spurs me on. I really enjoy interacting with all of our clients and delivering what is a valuable service to them - being able to pick up the phone and seek our help whenever required is so important for companies.
“I recently attended an applicant day at RGU to speak about my experiences since graduating and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to promote my industry, in particular to female students. Hopefully I am doing my bit to dispel any myths and pave the way for more of us girls.
“I’m suited to the pace within an IT firm like Codify. Being kept busy with a variety of hands-on tasks suits my personality down to the ground.
“Because Codify is a small company we’re more like a family. We do team building sessions and always take time out to catch up socially as individuals rather than colleagues which is always really fun.”
Emma can certainly argue that emerging talent is never overlooked by Codify. Each year they employ a placement student for one year as part of their studies in addition to monitoring graduate talent.
“The average age at Codify is quite low and it’s refreshing that they do value new talent, developing your skills in a way that can be applied effectively within the industry which is invaluable following your academic studies. Graduates can bring something to a company, whether it is enthusiasm or a fresh, unbiased approach.
“Maybe not all IT companies are like Codify but I have definitely found my fit - a company that makes IT fun and diverse whilst putting professionalism and customers at the heart of everything it does.”