Following on with our IWD 2019 “Women in Tech” series, we sat down this week with Bridget Kunda, Group Financial Controller at ContentCal, to discuss her thoughts on gender balance and what she has learnt on her journey so far. Let’s hear Bridget’s thoughts…
What first attracted you to pursuing a career within the tech industry?
Tech is a forward thinking industry which allows you to bring new ideas to the table and being able to part of that is what appealed to me, it is constantly changing. It notices a change within the industry and the ideas are put in place which such a quick turnaround to ensure it continues to be dynamic. It, also, offers that flexibility of life style; it is the first industry I have worked in that offers a work life balance within each role.
During your career, what changes have you seen within the industry?
The main changes I have seen are within social media as it is a huge part of the business here at ContentCal, it has become an essential part of business strategy within any company. We do everything on social media, as a society, from advertising your company/ product to socialising with friends. Personally I feel that now you cannot run any organisation without social media. Years ago social media was used purely as social chain now you can discuss anything from climate change to sending out an SOS for someone to come and assist you in a crisis situation. It really is amazing now much it has developed over the years.
How well do you think the tech industry is doing in improving gender diversity?
The tech industry leads on work life balance; a lot of people can work from home within tech, therefore when people start having children you have that flexibility and can work remotely. There are also a lot of training programmes that have been provided for women who want to return to work. The programmes are often aimed at attracting women to the tech industry to increase the number of people with correct skill set. A lot of companies are also assessing the gender pay gap to ensure that we are all being paid equally and the tech industry is really trying to reduce that gap.
The theme for this year’s IWD is “balanceforbetter” – if you were in charge for the day what would be the first thing you would do to improve balance?
The major thing I would do would be around child care, I would like to increase the number of child care facilities that are onsite. As a mother myself, I have experienced difficulty in finding convenient childcare, I know a number of companies are now doing this but it would be great to see this across all companies. Also putting in onsite health care for the children, a lot of people have to take a sick day when their child is unwell. By having medical experts on site it will allow that person to come in and have their child cared for.
During your career, what hurdles did you encounter and what did you learn from them?
It is normally around managing cost, it has been difficult to get people to understand the cost aspect within the business and how they manage the that within their department. In order to get people to understand I’ve always led by example, showing how I ensure all my cost for the department are on track. In terms of my career, I have found that from working in different companies, it has been the ability to adapt to the different business models each tech company has.
What is it you enjoy most about your role?
I have autonomy of my role and in turn I have a lot of trust from the CEO. I am able to manage my work load and create the strategy in what I need to do. This gives me to freedom to innovate and drive forward with the business. I also have a lot of flexibility within here, we have a four day working week here at ContentCal, this is an amazing aspect with us as we work smart to allow us to always deliver. It makes me want give back, as the company gives back to me.
Finally, what advice would you give to a woman who is looking to move into tech?
The tech industry is huge and it allows you to fit around your life style. Here we trust each other, if you have something you are interested in completing outside of work we can work around. Tech is the future; it is the fastest growing industry so it really is one of the most sought after. If you want to be in a place that you want to see ideas growing in front of you, tech is really that industry. It is a lot of work but it’s always fun and exciting.
Bridget Kunda FCCA is Group Financial Controller for ContentCal Group Ltd (https://www.contentcal.io/) . She is a Chartered Accountant with a cross-section of industry experience and holds a BA in Accounting and Finance from the London Metropolitan University.