International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women in Technology.
Happy International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022. We finish our week long series celebrating our amazing colleagues with three more stories featuring Shona Molyneux, our CFO; Amanda Knights, a Senior Backend Engineer and Kaori Nishimura, a Senior Frontend Engineer.
We have been sharing stories of our colleagues pathways into technology over the past week because we are passionate about International Women’s Day and proud of its mission to “celebrate digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology”.
We hoped it serves to inspire others to follow a path into technology and innovation.
#BreakTheBias #IWD2022 #Mining
As a teenager I toyed with the idea of becoming a Geneticist; I had taken Biology and Chemistry A-Levels and Genetics was really starting to take off as a popular scientific study for Undergraduates.
However, what put me off from taking a science-based degree was the expectation of higher-level mathematical abilities. Maths was a subject that I had to work hard with to understand. I just never really got the way that numbers related to each other in the same way that spatial and physical processes did. The irony is that I have been working in maths-based careers and with mathematicians of all descriptions ever since (Data Analysts, Scientists, Actuaries, Accountants, Bankers, Engineers).
Because IntelliSense.io is heavily involved in the mining industry, I am able once again to use some of the basic industrial chemistry I learned all those years ago and I’ve found that very helpful.
These days, most CFOs aren’t just accountants. Businesses, especially growing ones like ours, need CFOs to be able to sell the business and offer operational support as well as strategic advice for the CEO and Executive team.
During my career, I have always been drawn to young, innovative companies. I’m quite creative at heart and I enjoy being associated with the creative ambition of entrepreneurs who have to get everything off the ground from scratch.
Technology companies thrive on being the first to market and that means you have to be prepared to try things out and change them rapidly if they aren’t having the desired results. That takes a lot of courage and can be sometimes thought of as being opposite to financial control. It means accountants have to be flexible and understanding when it comes to processes and reporting.
Whilst I have always strived to be the best at what I do, something that is reasonably unique in my case was that I have forged my career with a gap in the middle of 7 years to have a family. I strongly believe that allowing men and women the ability to choose how and when to work over their lifetime is hugely important and something which allows underrepresented groups to be present.
I do not see that it makes any difference to who you are or what you can achieve and I would advocate that other employers look to broaden their potential candidate pool. It all comes down to motivation. At IntelliSense.io we want the best, most motivated people to come work with us.
I had worked with Sam and a handful of the founding team for a few months back in 2016 whilst I was getting back into the workforce post having a family. At that time, I knew IntelliSense.io was onto something that was fundamentally going to help the industrial world. If you can reduce cost and increase throughput using AI then why wouldn’t you do that? From a financial perspective, it makes absolute sense. My role is to support the team to sell that logic to Industry and to help the team to understand and minimise the risks of implementing any new change at client sites.
IntelliSense.io was a global business right from the start. Employees were drawn from across the globe and really demonstrated what world-class means. From our Data Science team down to our Product Specialists, we cover 27 nationalities, an amazing achievement for a small company. Working with people from across the globe is one thing that I really appreciate about my job.
I am looking forward to growing the company and bringing in the next generation of hires. I am also looking forward to building IntelliGreen products which emphasise the resource optimisation that is inherent in every product we sell.
Senior Frontend Engineer
I took a year off during my University studies in Japan and travelled to the UK to study. But I ended up staying for 28 years!
I studied computational linguistics and did a Master’s degree and 2 years of a PhD but I was forced to give up because I couldn’t afford the expensive overseas fees. I was originally hoping to get into the speech processing industry for mobile phones using AI, something like Siri, but the idea wasn’t accepted at that time and I couldn’t find any jobs.
So I started to work as a business application developer, as I needed to find a company that would get a working visa for me and I didn’t have much choice. It was very difficult to do anything as a foreigner, but I’ve always had great friends who helped me in every way and I didn’t want to leave.
Once I became a resident, I was free!
I became a freelancer and enjoyed working on different projects for different companies. I saw a job advert from Intellisense.io one day and I applied straight away because it had the keyword “AI”.
Also, I have a very high-maintenance horse and I needed a flexible working style job. Because it’s an animal and not a child, it was very challenging to get people’s understanding.
I really like my role as a Frontend developer now. The projects are challenging. It’s like playing a computer game and once I start I just can’t stop. And when I finally can see it working, it’s really exciting. It’s been a long journey but I think I’ve got my dream job now.
Senior Backend Engineer
I studied Maths as a student as I was pretty good at it and thought it would be a good thing! I ended up doing well with my degree and then followed it up with a Master’s, which was even more challenging.
I then came to get my first job where I ended up writing medical admin infrastructure software. So I have never really used my Maths knowledge directly. To be truthful and for many reasons, I probably stayed in this role for too many years.
Eventually, though a great job was available at Intellisense and after the start of the pandemic, I started on a new exciting journey at IntelliSense.io where I am a Senior Backend engineer.
I have had to overcome many hurdles in my years of work including dealing with poor sight. At one point, fearing I wouldn’t be able to carry on doing the job, I had more surgery. That has helped a lot but at some point, I will have to face failing eyesight again in near future.
For now, despite that challenge, I really enjoy doing what I do. I help the team by building backend services or getting involved in front end bugs and dev-ops work to improve testing.
There always seems to be a never-ending stream of work. When I get to a solution and a finished working feature this really pushes me on and I love that part of succeeding!
Strangely, I had no distinct pathway to Intellisense as I came from a medical background but I feel the move has been beneficial and has helped me in building up my confidence.
We have showcased a total of eleven inspiring stories. In case you missed some of the earlier ones, here are links that will allow you to carry on reading!