Samantha Hewson has swapped soft play for software after giving up a 20-year career in childcare to go into IT.
And the appointment of the 39-year-old mother of one at Nottingham-based firm, Your IT Department, signals a pioneering move, as she is the company’s first female employee.
Samantha, of Arnold, Nottinghamshire, will officially take on the role of Office Manager next month.
It is the latest move by the firm – which has previously struggled to recruit females – to support women in the male-dominated information technology industry.
Samantha joins a team of 12 men, but she doesn’t appear daunted by the prospect – and will even play a crucial role in helping encourage more women to join her at the firm as it expands.
She said: “I am really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to join this predominantly male environment. I have always had a keen interest in technology and am looking forward to recruiting more females in to the industry.”
The percentage of female IT leaders globally remains at 9% – a figure that has changed very little in the past few years despite one third of organisations claiming to have diversity programs, according to the Women in IT Global Initiative.
A study by auditing, accounting, and assurance firm, PWC, shows that a lack of female role models in technology is reinforcing the perception that a technology career isn’t for them. Only 22% of UK students can name a female working in technology.
But Your IT Department is hoping to change this.
Your IT Department, which is celebrating ten years in business and has 120 clients on its books, boasts a CV that includes the Best Small Business accolade at the East Midlands Chamber Business Awards in 2015.
And speaking of Sam’s arrival, Your IT Department’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Craig Pearson, is clearly excited at the development: “From our point of view, having a female influence in the office is fantastic.
“IT is seen as a predominantly male sector and we want to change this.
“Hopefully when we get some female applicants coming in, the office will be much more balanced.
“We are excited to see what Samantha will bring to the role.”
In 2017, in a further bid to support women, Your IT Department forged a partnership with Derby County Ladies Football team to support more women in a male-dominated sport – becoming not just the team’s ‘Official IT Partner’ but also the Foundation Team shirt sponsor.
And the company also sponsored Derby County striker, Andi Bell, who moved to the club from rivals Nottingham Forest Ladies for the 2017/18 FA Women’s Premier League season.