UK Oracle User Group

Cathryn Hetherington

Cathryn HeatheringtonName: Cathryn Hetherington

Organisation: PwC

Job Title: Manager (Consulting)

Tell us about your role in a couple of sentences: 
I am part of a consulting team in the Oracle Technical area, undertaking various functional roles during system implementations, upgrades and transformation projects. This could include business analysis, creating solution design documents, functional specifications, training documentation, running user workshops and managing junior members of the team.

Why did you first get into IT?: 
I was an end user that got involved in a project back in 1998 to implement Oracle Financials, initially Oracle AP and CE, and then AR. I realised I really enjoyed implementing systems, supporting them, training users, and all the trouble shooting that come from systems. I subsequently moved onto the support team once Oracle had been implemented and never looked back. Since then I have undertaken a number of different roles including; Systems Support Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Project Manager and Systems Manager.

What advice would you give to people, especially women looking for a role in IT? 
Don't be afraid of pursuing a career in IT, there are many diverse roles in the IT world these days. It's not just a world of programming anymore. The very nature of the types of projects that companies are running require skills such as being analytical, good at building relationships, problem solving.  Women often look at problems from a different angle so its good to have a mix of genders on a project team.

There are not the same stereotypes aligned to women who want to pursue careers on the technical side these days and with some of the newer reporting tools, such as OBIA and OBIEE there are immense opportunities.

My biggest piece of advice is don't be put off at all!

Have you encountered any issues with being a woman in IT? 
The main issues I have encountered as a woman in IT, aren't just associated with being in an IT environment:

1. If I am assertive in a meeting and push for a resolution I am considered aggressive, in comparison to a man who would be considered as pushing things forward.

2. Sometimes I am still considered for the PMO support rather than the PM. Its assumptions made by men not women!

3. I still find it odd that at networking events you can still be very much in the minority.

Back to Women in IT Initiative.