We are thrilled to be supporting International Women’s Day 2020 by celebrating some of the women at 4C in a special four part blog series.
In the first part of the series, we’ve asked Tineke Schrier, Business Unit Manager for our nonprofit team, 4C4U to take a look back at her career and offer some tips on how to make it in the tech sector.
What does International Women’s day mean for you?
To me, International Women’s Day is a chance to cement and celebrate the successes of all women. We are all owning each day, in our own way (and yes men are all doing it too) and we don’t often take the time to stop and reflect on our achievements. What a great chance International Women’s Day provides for us all to do this collectively.
Why did you choose to become a Consultant within the technology sector?
I love technology and pick it up quickly, so it is natural for me that I have fallen into a role in the tech sector. A few years after graduating from University, working in temporary roles, I yearned for a career. An old manager told me about Salesforce consulting and I thought “Yes! This could be the career I have been wanting!” When I moved to London from New Zealand, I landed a Salesforce consultant role at CloudSocius (which then went on to be acquired by 4C) with very minimal knowledge. Fast forward 5 years later I have my own Business Unit and team of 10! It is safe to say I got the career that I yearned for so badly.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
Women and men are different, we think and act differently, we experience the world differently. I feel that women tend to think a lot more than men and we think about EVERYTHING!
Due to this, I feel that women are more sensitive to what people think of them and replay days/months in our heads on repeat. (Guilty!). I have always had feelings of imposter syndrome and that I am going to be “found out” for not being able to do my job properly. It was common for me to stay quiet in meetings, for fear of saying the “wrong thing”. It is so common for me to not give myself credit where it is due and instead think “it was a fluke”, “I was just lucky”. It is so easy to fall into this way of thinking. For me personally, I don’t think I have completely overcome these. I read the book The Glass Wall and it made me completely aware of my thought patterns. It takes hard work to change the daily dialogue in my mind to such sentences as “I am enough”, “I am doing a good job”, “I am successful due to my actions and not luck”, “I take pride in my success.” When this dialogue is the default, I cannot tell you how much of a difference this makes in my day to day.
What inspires you (either inside or outside of work)?
I love listening to podcasts, such as Fearne Cotton - Happy where well-known and inspiring individuals talk to Fearne about their stories. This podcast really demonstrates that no matter how famous or successful, we all go through the same challenges. Meditation and wellbeing is becoming more and more important to me and I regularly practice meditation and yoga every day which helps me slow down and appreciate the small things.
At work I am inspired by our CEO, Gareth, who I admire greatly for his perseverance, friendship, ability to create a team spirit and motivate others towards a common goal.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It is so important. We are so quick to judge others and compare ourselves to them, especially women. We’re not out to get each other! Once you realise that you’re only in competition with yourself and not others, you open yourself up to genuine connection. The act of lifting someone up is just as great as being lifted! What is more powerful or unstoppable than a sisterhood, there isn’t a bond that is stronger than between two or more women. What this means to me is taking the time to listen to the women in our lives, we can truely support each other by inspiring confidence through understanding. This means more smiles and hellos! This means that when I have the “oh, she looks nice” thought in my head that I actually tell them.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
You can do it. You can absolutely do anything that you put your mind to. If you don’t feel that you know enough, learn. If you don’t feel like you have enough experience, ask. If you’re good at telling people no, you’ll be a good consultant. If you’re not good at saying no, again - learn. If you feel nervous, that feeling is excitement! Don’t be afraid to knock on doors that seem to be closed. Keep an open positive mind. Trust in the uncertainty of your future - everything will work out exactly how it is supposed to.