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TGt Meets...Katie Boot, Marketing Executive at Ntegra - IWD Special
By Katie Boot, marketing executive at Ntegra, which is a technology company based in the heart of Swindon, making digital change happen faster for enterprise clients. The team at Ntegra helps clients create custom digital products that work; curate and validate emerging technologies to unlock new returns.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #choosetochallenge – what would you choose to challenge when it comes to gender equality or inequality this year?
I #choosetochallenge society's old fashioned expectation that a woman must have a career, marriage with children, have a petite figure and a picture book home to be successful.
Success comes in lots of shapes and sizes. It is an individual thing to a person and what they are wanting in life. Not every woman is wanting the same thing in their lives and we all need to be supportive in what path people choose rather than questioning their choices.
Thinking of your own experience in the world of business – which inequalities, if any, have you experienced personally or witnessed around gender?
Whilst I was working for my last organisation that was within the manufacturing industry, I would attend events where on some occasions seeing another young female was a novelty.
When I was there as the most senior and experienced member of the team I would sometimes be ignored for my older, less experienced male counterparts.
I think this is down to some people's out of date ipreconceptions that in a line up it would not be myself that would be the lead authority or decision-maker.
Have you during your career ever challenged a situation where you felt a woman (even it’s yourself) has been disadvantaged by gender?
A close friend of mine was working within a sales role and had successfully worked her way up in a short amount of time to lead a department. She had worked so hard to get there however, despite her loyalty to the organisation and her leading sales record year after year she discovered that she was hugely underpaid compared to her male counterparts in other departments.
Luckily, she had the confidence to challenge her MD about this as she realised that it was the organisation at fault, not anything on her part.
There is a huge stigma around talking about wages and we are raised with the notion that it is rude to talk about money. However, my friend had the facts and figures to challenge this. Women need to be braver in speaking out about their wages whether it is a pay rise, or a gender pay gap.
What do you think women offer in particular to the world of business?
Naturally, women do have more empathy which can help when communicating with colleagues or clients - in my view. However, I do think because we are women, we have a drive and a passion to overcompensate and prove ourselves in the world of business.
It was not that long ago that women were being sacked when they announced to their boss that they were pregnant and how long did we have to wait to get the right to vote?
What do you think men offer in particular to the world of business?
Not speaking for all men but, I wish I could bottle up some men’s confidence and sell it. I admire the way that you rarely see them sweat, they are direct, not afraid to ask for what they want, you rarely see them second-guessing themselves and are sure in their decisions. They can walk into a room and command it within seconds.
Is gender important when it comes to success in business?
Not at all, gender should not be a factor for anything in business.
Can you name any women in business you admire? Why?
Sadie Sharp – What she is doing for the Swindon community is amazing. She knows her goals for The Platform Project and she knows what needs to happen for these to be achieved. Sadie is managing to do this successfully as well as being an all-round lovely person. I was pleased when Andy Langley, Ntegra’s CEO announced that we will be joining forces with The Platform Project this year.
Sian Dennis – One of my dearest friends. Not only does she work full time in PR within the financial sector, but she also volunteers her spare time with The Samaritans as well as with the West Berkshire Food Bank. Despite this, she still manages to be the most supportive friend. The world needs more people like Sian.
My Mum – Not only has my Mum been working full time for as long as I can remember whilst raising myself and my twin brother in a single-parent household, but she is also a domestic abuse survivor that has always kept a roof over our head and we always went to bed with a tummy full of macaroni cheese. Sometimes working two or three jobs to make sure we had the best start in life.
Now my brother and I have grown up and moved out of the family home and started our own families, my Mum has opened her home to vulnerable young adults including those seeking asylum from Somalia they are treated like extra additions to our family by us all.
Throughout the years, my Mum has had plenty of setbacks and opportunities to give up, but she kept on going and is now living her best possible life.
What do you think about the gender pay gap?
It is so sad that despite the laws that have been put in place by our government, this does still happen. The fact that this law evens needs to exist is worrying enough. I think we need more transparency when it comes to wages and tougher enforcement by the government.
What do you think about the International Women’s Day movement?
I hope that one day, we will no longer have the need for this movement. But for now, it is good to have the spotlight on us and the hurdles we face, even if it is for a day. Awareness is key.
To our male counterparts, do not worry, yours is coming later in the year.
For more information visit https://ntegra.com/
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