Smart science to improve lives™

Women in STEM - Technology

To kick off our Women in STEM series, we are catching up with some of the women who work in technology roles across our business. With women only holding 26.7% of roles within the technology workforce we hope to represent and inspire current and, future women in tech! We caught up with a range of women at Croda, from new graduates to senior managers to learn what inspired them to join the technology industry and advice they have for future women in tech. 

Women at manufacturing site

Samah Alkayed - Digital Graduate

Could you give a brief outline of your career at Croda I started with Croda on the Graduate scheme in 2021, my first year was in digital selling, where I worked on promoting the use of AI within Croda’s sales, and I'm currently on my second year in the supply chain team, working on reviewing some of our current order management metrics, and supporting the team in the use of AI in the demand forecasting project. 

What first led to your interest in technology? I have always found fulfilment in solving challenges and problem solving and technology field is the perfect fit, as well as the opportunity to continuously learn and gain more skills. I honestly believe it is one of the fairest fields, the only thing that matters is your contribution, effort, and skills. 

What is your favourite thing about working in the field of technology? The feeling of satisfaction when I solve a problem or learn a new skill, the flexibility it offers in terms of working from home, as well as the opportunity to work with really intelligent individuals.

What advice would you give to girls looking to pursue a role in technology? Never stop learning, the tech field is ever changing, and you must stay relevant. Speak up, be confident in your abilities and don’t shy away from attention.

Susan Smith - User Acceptance Testing

Could you give a brief outline of your career and work at Croda? My name is Susan, I have worked at Croda since 2019 as a User Acceptance Tester. I work within the Digital Experience team and ensure the Croda websites and CMS platform remain in full working order and can handle all required tasks in real-world scenarios. It includes using my time to spot defects and triaging the severity and reporting them back to our development team. My role helps users get the best out of our CMS platform and helps troubleshoot any struggles faced when trying to complete day to day tasks.

What first led to your interest in technology? I have always been quite intrigued by technology, possibly due to early exposure to computers. I am from the MSN and LimeWire generation, the early days of saying “don’t click that one, it’s a virus”. I have an analytical mindset; it does mean I will often need to find the answer on why something isn’t right or if I can resolve it. The digital field is constantly evolving, an impressive industry that will always be relevant and provides different challenges every day. Customers are becoming more online savvy and it is always important to remain focused on giving customers the best online experience.

What is your favourite thing about working in technology? 100% the people. I work with an amazing amount of people, all with different expertise. I am constantly learning new things in Croda. No day is the same, I love that I can help others solve problems and even learn a few things myself along the way. I benefit from being involved with some sectors page creations on the website, exposing myself to information I may have never have seen. I also enjoy the satisfaction of developed functionality being utilised on the sectors websites and being able to communicate its success. I do get excited when I see some creative ideas coming through to development and it's a great feeling to deliver it to the business.

What advice would you give to girls looking to pursue a role in technology? At school I had no idea of the kind of professions that are available within IT, had I of known I could use my eye for detail and strategic thinking, I would have pursued this career a lot earlier. A career in digital is a great idea because it can lead you onto many different journeys, it also provides stable growth in industry. Even if you find you chose a different direction, this all adds to life experience that will still benefit you in your digital career.

Emma Down, Digital Marketing Lead, Croda Pharma

Emma Down - Digital Marketing Lead

Could you give a brief outline of your career and work at Croda? I have now been with Croda since August last year and I am the Digital Marketing Lead, responsible for the Pharma website as well as assisting with paid campaigns.

What first led to your interest in technology? This has grown over time with the change in the marketing landscape having more emphasis on digital marketing channels. Having always worked in marketing, I realised as a marketer, the future is digital so have steered a lot of my interest in making the digital channels within my roles more effective. I really enjoy the technical aspects of what makes digital channels great, not that it doesn’t come with its challenges, but that makes it all the more fun!

What is your favourite thing about working in the technology field? Working for Croda Pharma, day to day, we know that the smart science we use really does improve lives. Within our four platforms, we are innovating constantly and growing as a key player within the pharma field – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!

What advice would you give to girls looking to pursue a role in technology? The sky’s the limit! The digital landscape is ever changing, so if this is something you’re really interested in go for it! There are so many available tools and resources online to further your development and because it is constantly evolving, there are so many routes you can take. There’s no harm in trying different routes, all of them build your portfolio and somewhere along the way, you will find the areas you excel within. 

Jo Hancox, Croda

Jo Hancox - Digital Experience Manager

I’ve worked at Croda for almost 20 years, in a number of departments across the business. Nine years ago the opportunity to work alongside colleagues in IT to build and evolve our company websites was presented to me and I knew it was one not to be missed.  Since those early days, our digital channels, skillset and size of the team have grown into a Digital team that really puts the needs of not just our customers but employees first.  It was a step into the unknown for me, but having great colleagues around me to learn from has meant I’ve developed skills and confidence in an area that is now so valuable to the business.  If you’re offered the opportunity to work in tech….take the leap!

A big thank you to everyone for taking part and sharing their experiences. Stay tuned for our next post where we meet some of the women in mathematics across our business!
Olivia Lennon-Butler, Pharma Key Accounts in the UK & Ireland, ED&I Education and Comms Lead, Croda

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