Ann Carrick is an IT Project Manager with a large organisation who she has been with for 25 years, working in a number of roles. Ann has been in IT for about 20 years. Let’s see what Ann had to say.
1) How do you define career success?
Enjoying your work at whatever level that may be. Too many people focus on climbing the ladder without enjoying the position they currently have. Advancement should not be the only goal.
2) Do you think female execs get the support they need from their work environment to be ambitious?
I am with the public sector and my organisation is very family friendly, enabling me to work part time. However, that only applies up to the level I am currently at. In order to get promotion I would have to work full time and this is a barrier for many women. The statistics show a drop in the number of women applying for promotions at this level compared to men. I suspect this is mainly due to the lack of part time opportunities available at this level.
3) How does one create a supportive environment at work and home? How do you balance work and personal life?
Juggling this is always a challenge and women definitely bear the responsibility for organising childcare and ensuring life at home runs smoothly. The reality is some weeks I get that balance right and others I struggle through. At the same time, I’m not aiming for perfection.
4) What do you think is the biggest issue facing women at your age today?
Like many women of my age, I am balancing work, young children and caring for elderly parents. I see many of my friends at the same age dealing with the same challenges. I am lucky that I don’t encounter gender inequality in my workplace but I’m sure that’s not every woman’s experience.
5) What advice did you receive early in your career that has stayed with you throughout your journey?
To be honest, 25 years ago there was no culture of mentoring or advising young staff. Now I would tell my younger self to embrace new opportunities and not be afraid of change.
6) What is your superpower? or what is your spirit animal and why?
I actually think my superpower is my ability to admit I’m far from perfect. There is far too much pressure now on younger people to attain these ideals – successful women having it all. I think we need to redefine our definition of success and promote realistic ideals.
7) Why do you think diversity is so important in the workplace?
It challenges old ideas and brings a gradual change in perceptions and work practices.
This was the final in our series to mark International Women’s Day, we hope you have enjoyed them.