Name: Gemma Knights
Job Title: Senior Manager (Consulting)
Tell us about your role in a couple of sentences:
I Project Manage delivery of client back office transformation projects involving Oracle Financials. I'm currently managing a company in the media industry from 188.8.131.52 to R12.
Why did you first get into IT?:
By accident really. I wanted to study for a qualification at my local university on a night school basis. At the time the only courses they offered that looked interesting and fitted my requirements were in IT.
When the course completed I started working in IT for a local authority on the Oracle Support Desk - delivering 1st line user support and training courses. From there I moved into the consulting world, first with Mokum Change Management and now with PwC.
What advice would you give to people, especially women looking for a role in IT?
To just go for it, don't be put off by the idea or perception of the IT industry; it’s a really rewarding career for both sexes.
The benefits always outweigh the issues and being a woman in most cases is a help rather than a hindrance!
Have you encountered any issues with being a woman in IT?
You still get the odd male that thinks because I’m a female I must be a PA or admin... but I’ve learnt to deal with that quickly and effectively now.
Clients can take longer to respect my opinion than some of my male colleagues, the majority of my clients are men, and it often feels that I need to justify my technical knowledge where they will take my colleagues at face value. But once proved I tend to have better, longer lasting relationships.
I've actually found that often it’s beneficial to be in the minority, at client meetings and networking events people always remember the lone female over the identikit middle aged men in grey suits...
Follow Gemma on Twitter: @gemmak
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