Celebrating International Women's Day 2023

NP Talent Solutions is proud to champion International Women’s Day 2023 and promote the on-going growth in diversity across our specialist sectors. We speak to Steph Paine, Product Team Operations Co-ordinator at r3 questions on her experience working in the Technology sector, and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.

Where did you start your career?

I actually started my career in retail, I worked my way up over 8 years to a department manager but decided that it wasn’t for me. I managed to then get an admin job in a law firm which I really enjoyed.

What attracted you to this sector?

Retail was an easy option for me when I was younger but I never really had a lot of passion for the sector. Once I had moved on, I realised the office life was for me. I knew that I would suit this environment because I am very organised and like to take on multiple tasks and keep my day busy.

I love helping people even if the task is seen as mundane – I feel a sense of achievement when you receive a thank you.

What advice did you receive early in your career that has stayed with you?

I think the best advice is to be aware of the people around you and take your time in situations, allow yourself to really think about what is going on and how you can add value.

Being an aware and understanding person allows you to avoid unnecessary conflict. But also, you should always be yourself and raise an opinion when the opportunity comes to improve things. I have also learnt that if you raise a problem also be prepared to offer a solution. It might not always be the right one, but it shows that you are really thinking about the issues.

Are their challenges or opportunities in working in a male dominated, or what’s perceived to be a male dominated sector?

I would honestly say that I don’t believe there are ‘challenges’ – it can be for some people perhaps uncomfortable because naturally and sub-consciously we gravitate towards those that remind us of ourselves.

There are however plenty of opportunities. Women do see things differently and having diverse opinions or ways of thinking is only good for business. I read a great book by Matthew Syed called Rebel Ideas which covers this topic extensively and the learning’s from that have really stuck with me.

Have you ever had a mentor?

I wouldn’t say I have had someone in my career that we have labelled as my mentor, but I have learnt ways of working and character traits that I wanted to emulate and definitely didn’t want to emulate from those I have worked with over the years, especially leaders. Working with a great range of people has helped me decide the way I want to work from both the good and bad examples.

How important is Diversity and Inclusion to you?

As mentioned above having read Rebel Ideas I think D&I is important not just in the workplace but in all areas of our lives. Although naturally we tend to create a circle that is similar to ourselves, we should always look to be challenged around our behaviours otherwise we will never grow, and we would never be able to run and work in successful businesses.

Its brilliant to learn about other ways of living, of believing and how to deal with our ever-changing world. Empathy is a value that I like to hold myself accountable for on a daily basis.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers or is there anything else you’d like to share?

That you really can do or be whatever you want and if that is something that is notoriously seen as a female role there is absolutely nothing wrong with that – do what you love, do what you are good at and do what you are able to bring the greatest value and impact to.

The options and opportunities for us have never been as good as they are now so really take the time to find what it is you enjoy.

About NP Talent Solutions

At NP Talent Solutions, we challenge the status quo of the global talent market. We provide bold solutions, creative approaches and, above all, collaboration. We don’t believe in transactional recruitment relationships, focusing on forging close partnerships with all our clients.

Our consultants are highly knowledgeable in the industry sectors and technologies they serve and provide a consultative, advisory service tailored to you.

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