In a recent article for Intercity Tech magazine, we interviewed four women in powerful positions across the industry to get their take on the dwindling statistics when it comes to diversity in the tech sector. In a series of four interviews, we learn about the individual journeys they have taken in their careers, who their role models are, and what they feel the business benefits are of having a diverse workforce in general. The fourth and final interview in the series features Marina Koytcheva of CCS Insight.
Marina Koytcheva – Vice President, Forecasting for CCS Insight
“I entered the technology industry in 2005, as a market analyst in Nokia, then the largest mobile phone-maker in the world. I held roles as market analyst and forecaster, analysing the mobile phone market and forecasting the opportunity in the market for mobile services. Since 2012 I’ve led the market forecasting team at CCS Insight, a global analyst firm focused on mobile communications and the Internet.”
Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?
“The most fascinating part of my job is that no two days are the same. The industry moves at a very fast pace and I need to be on top of all the important news, so I read a lot of information every day. The topics I focus on change quickly too. One day I might be working on a forecast for a new area like 5G, the next generation of mobile networks; the next day I’m analysing and commenting on the financial results of large companies like Apple or Amazon; on the third day I’m building a consumer survey to understand what new smart devices people use.”
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How significant an issue do you see the lack of women in technology?
“I believe this is a very big issue! The industry could gain a lot from more diversity. For one thing, there’d be a broader variety of products and solutions if different points of view and more types of creativity came into the picture. But also for women as a whole, getting involved in technology is very important if we’re to break away from the bias and stereotypes that currently exist in society. The new generation of software — artificial intelligence — is being created right now and we can only make machines think in a fair, gender-balanced way if both genders are included from the outset of building this technology.”
“The new generation of software — artificial intelligence — is being created right now and we can only make machines think in a fair, gender-balanced way if both genders are included from the outset of building this technology.”
What is one piece of advice that you would give to woman considering a career in the technology industry?
“Speak up, make yourself heard, put your ideas on the table. It’s not always easy to do this in the technology industry, which often feels like a “boys’ club”. However, we shouldn’t wait to be invited to the conversation. This industry is going to touch every aspect of life in the not so distant future, so we must make ourselves part of that discussion, if we hope to influence the topics, the agenda and the direction of the sector.”
How should the IT channel encourage more girls and women to work in it?
“By fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity, championing women, but most of all, by promoting technology as a level playing field where everyone can make an impact, no matter their gender. Providing a work-life balance by offering flexible working in terms of time and place also encourages women with young families to stay in the IT channel.”
“Speak up, make yourself heard, put your ideas on the table. It’s not always easy to do this in the technology industry, which often feels like a “boys’ club”. However, we shouldn’t wait to be invited to the conversation.”
How do you stay motivated?
“I’m always committed to working to the best of my ability, so that our clients get the most from the insights we give them. It certainly helps that the technology industry is always changing and each day brings something new and interesting to learn. I also find it motivating that our industry changes people’s lives for the better, enabling us all to be more connected, more productive and better informed, and ultimately to make more of every day.”
Read the full article ‘Women in Tech: Celebrating leaders who are redefining the future’ in the Winter 2017 edition of Intercity Tech magazine.