Paving the Way: Inspiring Women in Information Technology

According to a report from Entelo, a privately owned technology company out of San Francisco, California, women make up only 19% of mid-level tech positions, 16% of senior level tech positions, and only 10% of executive level positions in the information technology field.

At Fleet Response, women make up 26% of our IT team. The four amazing women who work in IT at Fleet Response are: Tina Starkey is an IT Development Manager, Erin Allen is an Analytics Engineer, Jenae Whitmore is a Senior Development Engineer in Test, and Parul Agarwal is a mid-level SDET. We sat down with these four women to learn more about them and their roles in IT, and what their path looked like to get where they are at today.

When asked how the women became interested in this field and why they picked their career path, they mutually agreed that their roles change all the time and there is always something new to learn and work on.

Tina Starkey: “If you enjoy learning, then this is a great field to get into. When I was in high school, IT was not much of a career, but I had a passion for it. I am thankful I trusted my instinct and followed through with it as a career.”

Jenae Whitmore: I have been interested in computers ever since I got my first computer when I was 11 years old, since then I have been hooked.”

We then asked if there have been any challenges or if the field of technology being a male dominant field has caused any problems in their career path thus far. They collectively agreed that women used to be looked at like they were incapable of doing what men can do in the tech industry, but that is simply not the case, and it has changed significantly since those days.

Erin Allen: “I felt pressure as a woman to stay in IT because a lot of women leave and that it was one of the reasons why I stayed with it in college and why I am working in tech today.”

Parul Agarwal: “It is a very different time today then it even was 10 years ago, and women should not run into those issues in this stage of their careers now.”

Director of IT, Mike Miller added, “Women have to be better than men to get through the extremely male dominated industry of IT.”

The women were asked what motivates them and what their favorite/rewarding experience of working in IT at Fleet Response.

Tina Starkey: “My most rewarding moment in this field was when I finally got into management because I could see potential in people and help them achieve their goals.”

Erin Allen: “I love building something from the ground up and then looking back at what was built when the product is finished.”

Erin specifically helped develop FleetSuite and Driver History Profile which are a couple of our proudest accomplishments at Fleet Response.

Jenae Whitmore: “I love building automation frameworks which is a collection of tools and processes working together to support automated testing for applications.”

Parul Agarwal: “There is always that one thing that motivates you in your career or that one thing you just love doing. Not only is it the people at Fleet Response that make coming to work easier each day, but it’s that you learn something new every day and there’s always something exciting and different in IT, it’s always changing. Being happy in your career is one of the most important things in life and I am just happy that I love my job and working for Fleet Response.”

In conclusion, they were asked what advice they would give to other women that want to be in the IT field in the future.

Erin Allen: “IT is like any other job; you must find what you enjoy and what excites you and don’t settle for anything less than what you think you deserve.”, she perfectly elaborated.

“I am so proud to be working with these four strong, hardworking, and inspiring women.  All of them are consistently top performers in their roles.” said Mike Miller. “As an organization, we continue to take meaningful actions for more diverse representation across every part of our business. Together, as a team, women and men continue to build the culture of our company.”