Women in tech: where are the women influencing the data centre industry?

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The true dependence on data centres came during the burst of the dot-com bubble in the late 90’s, and the impact women had in supporting this life changing moment is significantly less well documented compared to their male counterparts, to the point where you might wonder if were there at all. Yet, women have not only always been within the technology market, but females studying engineering is growing with 16.5% in the workforce in 2021, compared to just 10.5% in 2010.

In this blog, we highlight just a few of the many women in the data centre industry making their voices heard in government, business and more, helping the sector achieve greater gender equality.

 

Amy Young – Technology Leader

Sales Director and Board member at Custodian Data Centres, Amy Young uses her experience in customer service and passion for technology to proactively create pathways for diversity and encouraging women to pursue rewarding careers in both technology and the data centre industry. The latest developments, being led by Amy, are challenging and changing the definition of dynamic service within the industry; combining agile and energy efficient infrastructure with industry leading engineering support, to provide a roadmap for other businesses in the sector to follow and drive sustainable, technological growth across the South East.

 

 

  Emma Fryer – Key Worker Champion

In 2015, Emma became Associate Director at techUK where she represented the UK data centre sector to government and other stakeholders. With experience in encouraging policy making within government to provide the data centre sector with great support, this was a necessity as COVID-19 hit and many turned to technology to continue education, working, and interacting with others. Emma, along with other members of techUK, made data centre workers, male and female recognised as key workers. Without this in place, data centres would be unable to support the public as we depended on being together in time, as were remained separate by space.

 

 

Sophia Flucker – Sustainability Activist

As a mechanical engineer and achieving Young Mission Critical Engineer of the Year at the Datacentre Awards 2007, Sophia’s career has taken her on a journey to become a pioneer in sustainable data centres. Now being Managing Director at Operational Intelligence, Sophia works on data centre projects which look at a whole life carbon approach to site construction, allowing businesses to focus on multiple sustainable elements which can work together like cogs in a clock. Without Sophia’s experience the sector and knowledge of engineering, the data centre industry may not have started asking the questions of sustainable construction or responsible disposal of decommissioned equipment.

 

 

Wendy Mars – Madame President

Having initially joining Cisco as a Systems Engineer Director for UK and Ireland, Wendy has gone on to become President of the company’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. With a passion for driving digital transformation through culture, Wendy is also Executive Sponsor of the organisation’s Connected Women community where she leads several initiatives to encourage the diversity of people, innovation and ideas which will help shrink the current skills gap in technology. Wendy leads a diverse team specialising in technology architecture, scalable consumption, and software. Her leadership and experience continues to inspire more women to join the technology sector and enhance data, construction, and digital infrastructure.

 

 

 

Nancy Novak – Infrastructure Trailblazer

The construction of a data centre allows more people to utilise data for their personal and professional lives, but for longevity it needs to think about all forms of customer demands. Nancy Novak, Chief Innovation Officer at Compass DataCenters believes diversity of thought is how we can achieve added value, return of investment and more in construction. With her 30 year career, Nancy has gone on to become a member of the iMason’s advisory council and is actively involved in several organisations dedicated to advancing women in business including Above the Glass Ceiling (AGC) who are working with Fortune 500 companies to help advance women in STEM, Women in Government Relations (WGE), Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOE), and Fortune Media’s Most Powerful Women. Nancy’s work in construction has opened the sector to see that the synergies between data and construction is how we can develop sustainable infrastructure that can be used by everyone.

 

Maria Morse – Change Maker

Consultant, founder, and director – just some of the names Maria holds under her belt after a career in the data centre sector spanning nearly 20 years. As an experienced specialist in relationship building and client engagement strategies, Maria has helped the technology sector to reach new audiences and positively contribute to the personal and professional lives of others. Having previously represented HP at the EU signatory event for the Codes of Conduct on Broadband Equipment and Data Centres, Maria has used her knowledge of marketing, business development and design to build her own brand presence as a force for change that empower others to follow.

 

Sometimes, it can be hard to reject the little voices in our heads when we want to change the world, but remember that quote from Jane Austin “it isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do”? Well, it turns out investing our time back into women can make sure it’s no longer as hard to find them in the data centre sector.

By Charlotte Wood, Director and Laura Thorpe, Digital PR & Social Media Manager