E25 - Amy Arnold at Fortinet31 August, 2023
On today’s episode of the Women in Tech spin-off series, we’re joined by our host Andrea Perez, Network Consultant here at Hamilton Barnes and our special guest, Amy Arnold, Systems Engineer at Fortinet. During today’s discussion, Amy shares how as a collective, we can encourage more women in the tech space and how she is actively doing more to get more women into the industry. Amy also talks about what the most beneficial route to take is if you’re interested in starting your career in the technology industry.
Amy’s introduction to the tech industry wasn’t the conventional one. She initially went on a journey towards becoming an attorney, enrolling in law school with high hopes. After five days, she knew the legal path wasn’t aligned with what she wanted to do. This led her to a coding and networking class. The turning point was when her teacher introduced a routing class, and after that, she became hooked on the idea of networking.
Amy secured her first role as a Network Engineer in the outer city which she did for most of her career. A few years ago, she recognised the need for a fresh challenge and saw an opening at Fortinet and has been there ever since.
The Power of Diversity
Currently, diversity is not just a buzzword; it’s a driving force behind problem-solving and innovation. When a team has individuals from diverse backgrounds, each member brings a unique perspective to the table. This difference in viewpoints leads to more analyses of challenges and the generation of more solutions.
The tech industry, traditionally dominated by males, is undergoing a shift. As Amy puts it, “Diversity is always good.” With the inclusion of women in tech, we break down gender stereotypes and open up opportunities for fresh ideas to come through.
IT is a world of opportunity, offering a variety of paths for both men and women to explore. It’s a field where skills are highly valued and can lead to rewarding careers. The tech industry’s fast growth ensures a consistent demand for skilled professionals, making it an option for anyone seeking a stable career path.
Empowering Women in Tech
Women, like their male colleagues, possess the same capability to excel in the tech world. It’s vital to create an environment where women are encouraged to pursue tech-related careers, feel valued for their contributions, and are provided with opportunities to advance.
Amy’s journey through the industry has not been without its challenges. One particularly glaring issue she’s faced is gender biases, often manifesting in subtle yet impactful ways. Instances, where she’s been mistaken for her male colleagues’ girlfriend at conferences, reflect a huge bias—one that assumes women aren’t meant to be in the tech world and must somehow be affiliated with a male presence to be present. These incidents show the extent to which stereotypes can happen, even in an era when women are contributing hugely to the tech industry.
Changing your mindset
Amy has changed her mindset over the years. She asks candidates in interviews about their learning experiences since they started to show how they are learning. As her career unfolded, she experienced a shift in perspective—moving from a desire to know everything to embracing the beauty of not having all the answers.
Tune in on the 31/08/2023 to hear the full episode!