As a business we are passionate about creating equal opportunities for all employees. And that includes supporting all those who have invested their careers with us.

Earlier this year, we were delighted to see Caroline Wilford shortlisted for a prestigious Women in IT Award and we hope there will be many more of our colleagues who follow suit.

Unfortunately, women are still hugely under-represented in the tech industry. Recent findings from Women in Digital and Woman Tech Network estimate that in Europe only 17% of ICT specialists are women. That’s why celebrating and raising the profile of women in IT is important now more than ever. To meet ambitious growth targets, driven by the digital revolution, we need to attract more diversity to the sector while making sure we retain the top talent we have.

So to mark International Women’s Day 2021 we are putting a spotlight on three of our Sales Superstars: Leigh-Anne Whittingham, Zoe Dronfield and Kelly Roddy. Our Business Development Managers have been selected to share an insight into working in IT, including what attracted them to the sector and how together we can challenge gender imbalance in the industry.

About the team

The Business Development Team work strategically across our internal professional services teams and sales teams, and also directly with Trustmarque’s customer accounts to best align our service offerings. The team lead our go to market strategy by ensuring that we remain highly relevant to customer needs, and that our customers are acutely aware of Trustmarque’s full capabilities and the value we can bring to their organisation.

Leigh-Anne, Kelly and Zoe have recently stepped up to take on more of a specialist sales role, driving that strategic go to market approach. As Zoe explains: “We are dynamic strong women who are not afraid to challenge the modus operandi, which is really key when in solution sales.  You need to be able to challenge the business and also to challenge the client.  The only way we innovate is by pushing for change, which can be challenging but we are a tenacious bunch.”

Q&A with our Sales Superstars – meet the team

Leigh-Anne Whittingham, joined in 2014

Describe your role – For seven years I have worked solely within the Healthcare Sector. I am dedicated to helping my customers to use the tech they have access to but don’t know how to use. I try and translate how using tech improves business outcomes.  My specialist areas are Modern Workplace and Data Maturity.

What drives you?  I love change. I refuse to stand still and am constantly pushing the boundaries because I know we can do better. We have an amazing opportunity with a long-standing customer base. And I know we can help them transform the way their work and ultimately improve patient care.   I am passionate about improving care.

What attracted to you IT?  – I returned to the UK after living in New Zealand, and due to the recession there were no jobs in my then profession of Town Planning, so I had to quickly find another career. Sales was the obvious choice, since I always loved meeting new people. I saw a job at Red Bull that I liked the sound of, and I ended up signing up to Pareto. They had loads of jobs for some of the big tech companies and they persuaded me that my future aspirations, could be fulfilled by working in tech. That was 10 years ago now and I’ve never looked back.

How do we challenge gender imbalance in IT? There is a responsibility for companies to encourage women into more senior roles, this would certainly help. But I also think the encouragement in IT needs to commence early, like at school. There needs to be more of an understanding of the type of jobs that are available within the IT industry – and remove the misconception that IT is about computers. Focus needs to be on the wide range of exciting jobs inc. Project Management, Business Analysts, Business change etc.

What do you do outside of work? In my spare time, well there’s not much of that with 3-year old twins but I do love walking with my Cavapoo Mylo, and the husband when he gets invited. Generally I just love getting out into the fresh air with friends and family, ideally with a pint at the end of it (when pubs are open). I also love mountain biking down some fun downhill terrain when I get chance, cooking and eating, and when its possible travel to new places, near or afar.

Zoe Dronfield, joined 2017

Explain your role – My background is 18+ years in solution sales, predominantly in the Healthcare sector. The move to more of a specialist sales role has a greater focus now on data and analytics.  The team is working on some strong projects that will have a huge impact across heath organisations.  I am very proud of the work we do.

What drives you? I wear many hats, so I have different motivations. I am a mother, an avid campaigner around domestic abuse, and a property developer in my spare time.  As you can tell I like to be busy and thrive on challenges.  All of this comes with being a good multi- tasker and delegator, which comes naturally to women.  Being a mother 100% teaches you these skills.

Tell me more about your campaign work? Outside of work, I am lobbying Government to implement changes to the way we collect data around domestic violence and this will also utilise tech.  There needs to be a more joined up, richer approach to collection of data.  It’s an important campaign. Our campaign has racked up over 225k signature to make changes to the Domestic Abuse Bill currently going through The House of Lords. Please sign and share the petition.

What attracted you to IT? I love to fix a problem and Tech is a huge enabler of this. During the pandemic, we have seen huge benefits to leveraging tech.  We have been able to support clients to drive efficiencies within their organisation and deliver extremely useful insights that improve health outcomes.

How do we help bring more women into IT? In the world of IT and Tech the opportunities have such a wide spectrum so it’s important that we talk about this in schools and colleges to encourage more girls to consider this as a career path.  It’s not always about the nuts and bolts, there are roles across the whole sector and IT touches every aspect of our lives so it is definitely the future.  If you are problem solver then this is definitely a career path I would consider.  It would be great if Tech companies could champion more female role models in the industry exactly like Trustmarque are doing with this piece.

Kelly Roddy, joined in 2018

Describe your role – My role is to create opportunities for Trustmarque’s Professional Services business in customer accounts that may have not previously bought these services. I work with a mix of Central and Local Government customers and am starting to work with some Healthcare accounts too. I’m also looking to specialise more in Microsoft Power Platform.

What drives you? I get excited by the challenge of selling end to end solutions from initial enquiry to managed services whilst including the full-service offering: software, hardware, professional services and ongoing support.  I also love the initial discovery phase, listening to the customer and understanding what their pain points are and then being able to solve a problem to help them work smarter.  A recent project I’ve been involved in with a Central Government client is a really great example of how we have totally transformed their operations by deploying new ways of working by deploying the best tools to improve accuracy and output.

What attracted you to IT? It was the fast pace of change particularly. And I love building relationships with customers and helping them to solve their challenges.  I’m still in contact with customers that I worked with 20 years ago.  The career progression prospects are also very attractive.

Who inspires you? All the women that work at Trustmarque are an inspiration. I love working in an organisation where all the women I’ve worked with have been strong and willing to help each other to succeed.  It is an environment where we can all champion each other’s achievements and celebrate each other’s success.

What do you do outside of work? In normal times (pre-Covid-19), I play netball every week with a cracking bunch of ladies and it really brings out my competitive streak (I’ve had a few disjointed fingers).  Recently, I’ve loved watching Netball on Sky Sports.  I also love walking with the family and our mad Cocker Spaniel.  Plus my 13 year old daughter is travel mad, so we love to visit as many different countries as possible. We have a world scratch map which we use to highlight where we want to visit next.

Join Trustmarque for a rewarding career in IT

As we continue evolve our service offering to so that we help our customers with their digital transformation projects now and in the future, we are constantly on the look out for top talent in our teams. We are currently recruiting for a number of roles across the business including Sales, Marketing and Operations.

Visit the Trustmarque careers page to find out about life working at Trustmarque.

By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast