Women urged to make leap into 'best career ever'
Prominent role model Sherry Coutu CBE has called on more women to make the jump into technology as it is the “best career ever”.
Cambridge-based Coutu, originally from Canada, has been involved in big name companies from Zoopla to Raspberry Pi and LinkedIn.
She was on BusinessCloud's '100 female role models' list and her influence has also been recognised by many other publications and organisations.
As someone who was more into fabrics then tech as a youngster, we asked for her advice to ladies considering making the move.
“Jump in, it's great. Best career ever. Start today,” she replied.
“I was into macramé and swimming in lakes as a child - definitely not into technology, though my father was a technician at a telephone company.
“With 1.2 million open jobs there is room for everyone and you don't have to be a techie to be an appreciated and critically important member of a tech team.”
She continued: “Tech is all about people wanting to bring about a change and choosing to bring that change about – tech, science and business models are all tools to bring something into being that is better than the status quo.”
Coutu is also a prolific angel investor but is now curtailing her investment work to focus on educational website Founders4Schools.
“It's important for women to visit schools to help children understand that subjects like science, maths and engineering give you magical powers later in life which will revolutionize the impact you have and the hope that you feel with regards to the future,” she said.
Asked about her own role models in the industry, she replied: “I love Jacqueline de Rojas for her insights and humour, Julie Maxton for her convening and curation powers, Julie Hannah for her insights into human nature and her quiet forbearance and Megan Smith for her infectious enthusiasm.
“Also, Martha Lane Fox for both of those things and Sue Black for what she's done for Bletchley Park and for women at The Digital Garage project [Google’s initiative to help British businesses learn digital skills].”
She also told BusinessCloud that curiosity is key to entrepreneurship.