At Hastings, we value the expertise of all our professionals, yet we recognise we need to do our part to help bring more gender balance to the data and tech industry. We're committed to celebrating and supporting women in these areas, building a more diverse pool of data and tech professionals, and changing the profile of the industry over time.

This month we hear from Mehala, a Senior Engineer working on our Home Insurance products, who talks about her career in tech so far...

Talk us through your background and what led you to Hastings Direct 

Before starting my professional journey, I did a degree in Computer Science Engineering and also completed an internship in Software Development Life Cycle. 

Straight after graduating, I started in the tech industry as a programmer in modern computer languages. I had worked across various organisations including Verizon, World Bank Group, and Lloyds Banking Group before moving to Hastings Direct in July 2020.  

What got you interested in tech? 

Computers and IT technology were new fields of study when I was in my teens. Since computers were starting to make human life easier, I was intrigued to learn more about them and as a Computer Science Engineering graduate, I wanted to contribute towards simplification. 

What skills have helped you in your tech career? 

In this digital era, adaptability is the key. As a soft skill, adaptability allowed me to learn new skills and technologies, accommodate regular task changes and adjustments, and respond well to challenges. I believe that networking, team building, critical thinking, leadership quality, communication skills and time management have also played a role in my career.  

Knowing industry demand and keeping up with technology growth is also essential. From my experience, not only the ability to write code but the ability to communicate, managing quality assurance in every step you take is important too. Good listening skills and ability for critical thinking are some of the inevitable skills for a successful career in tech. 

Why is it important to have more women working in tech? 

For the technology sector to be innovative and grow to fulfil society's demands, there must be a greater representation of women in the field. The industry can also provide excellent job prospects for women. 

Furthermore, men and women have different perspectives and provide different points of view. Better problem-solving is made possible by this, which can improve overall performance of the industry. Having more women in tech will help to inspire and mentor other women to take up roles in the tech industry as their profession. 

What advice would you give to inspire the next generation of women wanting to start a career in tech? 

My advice for women wanting to start a career in tech would be to not be afraid to move out of your comfort zone and be willing to try new things. Often, you may land on opportunities that you think you cannot do, but the truth is that you really can. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable and try things you’ve never done before. Do not be afraid to reach out to a mentor whom you can look up to for support as well. 

Are you interested in starting a career in tech with an inclusive, supportive company? Take a look at our opportunities and apply.