International Women's Day - An interview with Hayley Jones

Hayley is one of the employees who have been with us the longest and as she enters her 10th year at Redsquid we sat down and had a chat on how to balance motherhood with a career in tech. Read along to get Hayley’s top tips and hear the advice she has to young women across the globe who are currently thinking about their careers. 

What does this year’s International Women's Days slogan #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life?

For me it would mean not being complacent with what your current situation is, and always thinking ahead on what you can do better next time. In my career I always take time to think about where I want to get to and then I figure out what I need to get there. It is about always thinking ahead of where you want to get to and what your goals are, while remembering to stay aware and present at where you are in the minute.

You have worked for Redsquid for almost 10 years now, how has your journey been?

I started at Redsquid in my early 20’s when I applied for an admin role. I used to work for a property agent and I was just ready to try something new and different.
I was quickly given a lot of responsibility, and got my customers base early on. Although it was a bit like being thrown in the deep end, I got a lot of guidance from Vince & Sohin and in that way I learned by doing. A philosophy I have been following  through my entire career at Redsquid and it have allowed me to roll with it and develop through the years.
As the business changed, so did my role and I have really enjoyed trying all these different aspects of the business. I’ve always had things to focus on or new things I had to learn, which just means you never get bored which I really enjoy.
Obviously the technology industry also keeps changing and it keeps me on my toes to make sure I always know what’s going on and happens in the industry.
For me the career progression has been really great because I’ve been touching on so many parts of the business, and whatever knowledge and experience I have had in each role, I’ve been able to take with me into the next . This have given me a much more rounded understanding of the business and the service level that I can give our customers.

How have you Chosen to challenge yourself to get to where you are today?

Haha, well my personal challenge is trying to raise a 2 year old! I try to challenge myself every day with balancing my home and work life. Especially now in lockdown when we do not have a ‘normal’ life, I think that this has been really important, although highly challenging. Throughout my career I have challenged myself to reach my goals, and by gaining experience and new skills I have been able to progress within the company. Now I have a much bigger customer base I have to juggle that while keeping my son entertained. That has been my lockdown challenge!

How have you balanced motherhood and your career during lockdown?

It is testing in terms of taking care of your child during the day while still working a full time role. But it has also been really enjoyable, that I have been able to spend so much more time with him.  I’ve found that it have made me more focused during the day. and where I expected to having a difficult time getting work done and taking good care of customers, I’ve actually had the opposite experience. End of the day, you have a limited amount of hours, so I have had to be good at organising and planning. As life is as it is at the moment, I have had to take every day as I comes. I’m just grateful that I have been able to work from home, to make it all work out.
You got to just appreciate the time that you have with them during the day. Finally I can have lunch with my son and I have more energy at night for good quality time. It’s challenging but doable and end of the day, I just need to get work done and be there for him as well.

In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up a career in tech  in the future?

Because tech is the future and there is some many unknowns, there will always be something new out there. This means that there is always something new to learn which keeps the industry exciting.  For me, that keeps the challenges coming and creates an exciting working life.
The industry is no longer as male dominated as it was 10-15 years ago. And the diversity we see now gives us a much more dynamic team in the workplace. Ultimately the diversity allows us to come up with better solutions for our customers.

What is your most important piece of advice to women who are thinking about taking up a career in tech?

My advice would be to be brave and never stop learning.
Now that I work in Account Management, I find it to be a very rewarding role in the way that you can give a lot back and help your customers to improve their businesses. If you are thinking of going into tech, it’s hard work and dedication and you will need to understand the market.
I didn’t ever think that I myself would end up in tech because I’m really not tech savvy. But on the other hand there’s just so many avenues within tech which will constantly keep you moving and developing. That will  give you endless opportunities to progress in your own career.
I would recommended it any day!

How important do you believe it is for women to lift each other up, and what does it mean to you?

It is so important for women to lift each other up. Whether that being a work challenge or a personal challenge, women are very strong and tend to overcome challenges by themselves. I do believe it is really important that we stay open and help each other through our different challenges so we learn to bring each other up every day.
There’s always someone who have been in a similar situation and therefore women need to let each other know that they are here for each other and lift each other up.

On International Women's Day, do you have a message you would like to pass on to young women thinking about their career?

Go with what you enjoy.
You should never be afraid of progressing any further from where you are. It might be daunting off the unknown and you might think that you can’t do it, but once you apply yourself it is definitely possible.
You can do more than what you think you are capable! That counts for girls and women all over the world.

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For more articles on International Women’s Day: 

Read about how Linda is breaking gender stereotypes or how what advice our HR manager have to young women starting their careers.

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