Sharing her views on women in tech, the myths when working in the industry and why change matters.
Tracy Westall is a non-executive member of the Department for Transport Board, a former non-executive board director for Innovation Birmingham, TechUK and Governor for Birmingham City University and non-executive board member of West Midlands 5g and Chair here at Curium Solutions.
Until 2017, Tracy was the Director of Corporate Services for SCC and the director of the UK Public Service from 1999 to 2013. In 2016, she was one of the Digital Leaders Top 100 and named by CRN as one of the Top 50 Influential Women in IT Channel.
With a background in sales and business development, previously responsible for the establishing and running of SCC’s successful public sector business, culminating in a £350M, 100+ staff operation, she holds a demonstrable track record.
When asked to take part in our International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign, Tracy was the first to volunteer. She added:
“Being a woman in a tech leadership role was rare, being the only woman in the room was commonplace and often it felt a bit like being a unicorn! The stat was about 1 in 10. One thing I have reflected on since is that I am not sure we [women] were always our authentic selves. In my case I know I often emulated more masculine behaviour as I thought this would enable me to be able to compete better.
So as a result, sometimes I suspect I could be just simply unpleasant, I guess. Not because I was being slightly masculine but because I wasn’t being myself. The point about International Women’s Day and the mantel ‘embrace equity’ is recognising that you need to do different things to help people succeed. It’s not simply enough to get women in the room. What you’ve got to do is create a place where we can be our best and feel we can thrive by being ourselves. This is something I saw from the moment I walked into Curium – creating culture is in our DNA and part of everything we do inside the business and for our clients.”