IWD 2020 interview: Nintex’s Sarah Mainprize on women in tech
As a celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re running a series of interviews with women in technology. Nintex APAC regional sales director Sarah Mainprize shares her thoughts.
What does the IT industry need to do to attract more women in the years ahead?
Educate earlier: Throughout my school years, IT as a subject was not something that females often selected. It’s an incredibly rewarding and exciting industry to be a part of; we can do a better job of making the younger female generation aware that technology offers a wealth of opportunity and success is well within their reach.
Create a deliberate strategy or corporate goal around diversity: A recent McKinsey study showed that having a more diverse workforce correlates to better corporate financial performance. As an ambitious female that has worked in the tech industry for over 15 years, it’s important to me that the company I work for employs a diverse workforce, and it should be important for them too!
Put benefits in place to support work/life balance – for both parents: Paid parental leave, childcare coverage and flexible working arrangements help with the practical side of parenting. I have been lucky enough to be supported as a mum to my little girl while working at Nintex, all made possible by maternity leave policies and work flexibility. It is equally important that my husband’s organisation provides him with flexible working arrangements, so we can share the load of day-care drop offs and pickups, and support one another’s careers which require frequent travel. We are a team, and we both require support from our workplaces in order to succeed in our professional roles, and in our roles as parents too.
What does the IT industry need to do to ensure that more women have the opportunity to achieve senior leadership roles in the industry and within the organisations in which they work?
To look for opportunities to empower women in the workplace by implementing mentorship programs. Moving into my role as regional sales director at Nintex, I was supported by my predecessor who is a talented female executive and someone I’d worked with for many years. I felt empowered to step into my role, as I had spent years watching her ace her role as a mum to two young kids whilst also achieving great things professionally, with the backing of Nintex. Through her fine example, I felt that I too could successfully embark on that journey.
Any other comments you would like to make?
Sometimes women think they need to act like men to be successful in business – particularly technology - but they don’t. I look forward to seeing more women owning their power, leading with authenticity and making peace with the fact that while they may bring different qualities to the workplace than their male counterparts, those contributions are just as valuable.