Lead Enterprise Architect, CGI
Encouraging more women into the IT industry is key to ensuring the next generation has role models to look up to.
“The intellectual part of the challenge is what inspires me: solving a problem for the client. By using my experience and conferring with colleagues, you can help add real value to projects. After all, there is always someone more experienced willing to help,” says Kyra Quinn, Lead Enterprise Architect who is determined to inspire the next generation of females. Quinn studied Computer Science at university, before joining CGI as a graduate trainee in Edinburgh.
“I am particularly proud of being one of the main architects of the Edinburgh office team that helped to get the first Smart Meter in the UK up and running. That project has now turned into one of the biggest projects in Europe which supports critical national infrastructure. There are lots of aspects to that programme around security, performance and working with many stakeholders and suppliers. Because it was using cutting-edge technology, there were lots of problems to solve. Fortunately, there were lots of accomplished people in the team, and by working together, we solved things, which is an aspect of our approach that I love.”
Showing women the examples of how females
have overcome challenges to reach
their career goals is a powerful tool in
inspiring more female recruits to our industry.
The importance of role models
Quinn adds: “When I started, there were very few women in the industry. It was people from the same localities, normally men, who looked the same. There are now many more women and much more mixing of nationalities. We are in a truly global business; and I really enjoy working with people from India, China and Europe: different cultures and different ways of working,” says Quinn.
She partly credits her rise within CGI to having supportive peers: “Ever since I started, there have always been role models who would support me by saying, ‘good job’ or by offering supportive feedback. That is like ‘gold’ when you are forging a technical career,” she adds.
Inspiring other women
“I think showing women the examples of how females have overcome challenges to reach their career goals is a powerful tool in inspiring more female recruits to our industry,” explains Quinn.
“For example, my way of dealing with teams that have over-powering personalities is to focus on displaying my knowledge. I also think we need to communicate the industry perks including overseas opportunities and that, above all, it is really fun to work in IT.”