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Women in tech: an interview with tsoHost’s Sara Rego

Women in tech: an interview with tsoHost’s Sara Rego

Posted 08th March, 2021 by Sarah

What’s the biggest challenge women face within the tech industry?

From being in the minority and pay inequalities to career roadblocks and more, the answer to this question differs from woman to woman.

For Sara Rego, the answer is clear: it is about dispelling the ‘stigma’ around the notion that tech is a career simply for men.

“It. Is. Not.” Sara knowingly contends.

Sara holds office as managing director of tsoHost. During her two decades of professional success in the internet, telecommunications and technology markets, Sara bore witness to many welcome changes.

“A lot has improved,” she says. “Men are more aware of women’s challenges and have become more supportive. I do believe we have as much to learn from other women as we have from men, the balance is important.”

Sara, of course, knows there is still much more to be done. While the tech industry continues to work hard to improve workplace gender equality and diversity, progress remains slow.

This is particularly the case for female technologists who aspire towards senior career goals. Just take recent research by PCW entitled Women in Tech: Time To Close The Gender Gap. It concludes that only five per cent of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women.

Sara’s own story resides within this small percentage. Her journey is unique. It is one that smashes stereotypes. It is one that breaks boundaries. And it is one to inspire the next generation of women seeking a career in technology.

With International Women’s Day at the top of our minds at tsoHost, we sat down with Sara to discuss what it means to be a female technologist in 2021.

Here’s what Sara had to say:

What does a typical day in your job role look like?

There is really no typical day! I do have two routines though: I read the news as soon as I wake up and I look at how tsoHost is performing as soon as I start working. I read Apple News on my iPhone and have personalised the feed so that only specific topics appear.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

The amount of different and interesting people I deal with daily, and the fact that technology changes by the day. What is today will no longer be tomorrow and this is fascinating to me.

At the same time, at tsoHost we have a very clear reason for existing, we have a ‘why’, a purpose. We empower our customers by empowering them with an online presence. And in these challenging times, one thing’s for sure: it has held a mirror up to how important digital is to any enterprise be it small, medium or big.

That’s why I love working at tsoHost - it is a business designed with the purpose of empowering other businesses. For me, that is an extremely rewarding pursuit.

What made you want to pursue a tech career?

I started my career in tech without having any idea of what I was getting into, and I never looked back.

I was studying and got a job in retail working for a telco, when mobile phones were still analogue and there were no pre-paid SIM cards! A few years later, I worked on a project to have a cinema offer customers digital tickets. These were sent to mobile phones still via GPRS, it meant working on how these tickets were delivered, an API, payment methods, blockers.

It was as complex as fascinating. I decided I never wanted to do anything else. I was called for a job interview in the fashion industry a few years ago. 24 hours later I cancelled the interview – the thought of not working in tech was to me inconceivable.

How important is it to give women a dedicated space to learn and grow within the tech industry?

Tech is an industry just like any other, just like fashion, banking or insurance. The stigma around specific industries being gender specific is outdated. We need to internalise this and we need to teach this to children from very early on, so they grow being more inclusive and diverse.

What’s important is that each and every one of us has the opportunity of working in the industry which they feel passionate about, and this passion has nothing to do with gender.

What's the most rewarding thing about working in the tech industry?

There is constant innovation, we are always part of something big, something new. It’s a very challenging industry which forces you to improve and bring out the best in you. This constant change makes it everything but boring, which to me is of the utmost importance.

What’s the biggest challenge women face within the tech industry?

The stigma around tech being a career for men: It. Is. Not.

I have been in meetings in which I was the only woman, working with men who never dealt with a woman at the same hierarchical level. It wasn’t always easy so I reached out for help. I was lucky to have had an amazing coach who helped me deal with issues women face in the workplace and more specifically in tech.

I read about topics such as the power pose, imposter syndrome, followed Lean-In org, and through learning I was able to identify specific behaviours which were not personal, rather related to “how it had always been” and it became easier to understand.

I was not alone, other women had dealt with the same before me and unfortunately some would deal with it after me. What is important is that we now speak out, learn from each other, support each other and are not alone.

I do believe however that, since I started my career over 20 years ago, a lot has improved. Men are more aware of women’s challenges and have become more supportive. I do believe we have as much to learn from other women as we have from men, the balance is important.

What are you most proud of within your career?

I am proud of what I have achieved. I had to leave my home country in order for this to be possible and I couldn’t have chosen a better country to move to. I am proud to be working in a company which is inclusive and diverse and provides all with the same opportunities.

I did a Msc when my daughter was two years old and I was working full time. I was told I would never manage to work full time and do an Msc all with a toddler. As a woman I had to choose between family and work or between family and study.

I didn’t believe I had to choose, so I didn’t and my daughter learned that, with hard work, she can achieve anything she wants and I am very proud of having taught her this.

Check out this cool picture of both of us studying...

Sara Rego Working At Home With Her Daughter 1
What one piece of advice would you give to women looking to get started in tech?

Go for it. Try and find a role model, try and find a woman who has more experience and reach out for help and support. Get advice, ask questions, continue learning, but go for it. Break the stigma on tech being just for men. The more women join tech, the less male dominant it becomes, the more opportunities for women, of our and future generations, will arise.

What would you say to a female student who may be put off pursuing a career in technology due to it being too male-dominated?

Please don’t. The industry needs you! It’s an amazing and rewarding industry. If I did it, anyone else can. Yes, it can be challenging, but this just makes it even more fun and will bring out the best in you!

Are you a woman in tech?

tsoHost is a sum of its parts. Behind the scenes resides a family of people working hard to deliver our customers the technology they deserve day in, day out. And we want to encourage women to seek out a career in technology, smash stereotypes and show solidarity.

Aspiring to join our wonderful industry? Then follow tsoHost and Sara Rego on follow tsoHost on LinkedIn to keep up to date with all our latest news, pro tips and job opportunities.

Categories: Tsohost News

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