Name: Jackie Rose
Job Title: Currently euphemistically what's known as "between roles"
Tell us about your role in a couple of sentences:
I'm not technical per se but have over 25 years' experience of managing "all things customer" within IT, mainly at EMEA level. Most recently I was Head of Customer Engagement, before that I managed customer programs such as EMEA user group, Critical Accounts (highest escalation level) and Customer Satisfaction.
Thankfully you don't need to be very technical to this well, just a curious mind, some intelligence, ability and drive to do the right thing for the business whilst continually improving the customer experience.
Why did you first get into IT?:
Totally an accident! I transferred to an internal IT department to get away from being a secretary, which I had started as on my father's advice ("you'll never go wrong with that", he said). I tried to become a trainee programmer but discovered that wasn't a fit and ended up testing, then training and supporting an in-house product - functional rather than technical support.
In a later role and company (Oracle actually!) I set up and managed a help desk, then decided I wanted to focus on "the customer", moving onto running Customer Satisfaction Management (Voice of the Customer), later setting up an EMEA Critical Accounts team and then had the privilege of managing the EMEA user group program for several years.
Most recently I've been in the IT & Software arm of LexisNexis UK - drafting applications in the Legal sector as Head of Customer Engagement.
What advice would you give to people, especially women looking for a role in IT?
JDI - Just Do It!
Don't be put off by a seemingly over technical environment, it boils down to supplying customers with a product and service that at the VERY minimum meets their needs and helps them be successful. The ultimate aim should be that the product and service should be more than that - not only easy to use but should be an enjoyable experience.
We're in the Age of the Customer now and customers don't actually care about IT products, they want something that will help them solve their problems.
This goes across all industries and there's plenty of room to get in there, roll your sleeves up and make a difference to the client experience, whilst helping the organisation be successful.
Jump in, make a start and make the most of it! Even if you don't like 100% what you're doing, maximise it, take time to learn, to network and look around, there's always more to do and areas to succeed in.
Have you encountered any issues with being a woman in IT?
Only a couple of times. I'm sure it's the same in any industry. On those occasions I did what I could to overcome the prejudice and moved on.
I may be equally as skilled, or less skilled, or better skilled than the next person but whatever the balance, it's not because of my - or others' - gender.
Any final comments?
Working in this industry has provided many opportunities both in terms of career and the people I've had the privilege to get to know, to learn from and have fun with.
I'd do it again!
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