IWD 2020 interview: Jamf’s Melissa Antoine
As a celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re running a series of interviews with women in technology. Jamf’s senior customer success manager Melissa Antoine shares her thoughts.
What does the IT industry need to do to attract more women in the years ahead?
Equal pay, offering flexibility at the workplace to attract talent and having a results-driven approach would attract more women in the IT industry. I joined the IT industry because of my interest in software development. Throughout my career I have observed an imbalance in the male/ female ratio in this industry. I believe it was due to a lack of role models in the industry and a lack of discussions and forums promoting girls in IT.
Back when I started in this field, we didn’t have many women leaders at the forefront of IT-focused panel discussions and events in schools or universities. Fast forward a couple of years and now, we have women in tech movements, girls in code and more discussions reverberating throughout the IT industry.
Women leadership is rife, and we have great role models we can look up to. We as a community need to continue to have open discussions or forums and share positive and powerful stories to attract more women into the industry. We need to use the power of social media to share the pathways of local women in the tech industry that have been successful because we can inspire, we can share our stories and we can influence the community, young and old.
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?
I believe that having a good support model and getting guidance in your career path within the organisation helps immensely in achieving senior leadership roles in the IT industry. We need to continue having conversations of progression between a female employee and management. My personal experience is that this is a pathway towards success.
I am fortunate enough to work at a company where we have merit and pathway progression conversations with managers on a regular basis. As a result of these open discussions with leadership, I was able to progress to a senior position and also be a part of the mentorship program at Jamf. Being able to train and mentor another talented woman at Jamf and ensuring her pathway to success in her role by nurturing her own leadership qualities was a wonderful and gratifying experience.
Through this mentorship program I have learnt that there are not only women supporting women in this industry, but men are also consciously changing the bias – this is the winning combination.
Any other comments you would like to make?
I feel that more and more companies are having conversations about gender equality with their employees. There has been a shift within the IT community in recent years to support women in tech. The IT industry has started recognising talent and has acknowledged that women need to be an equal part of the workforce for a business to succeed. We have a long road ahead of us for gender equality to become a reality globally and I feel that we are on the right track.