It was curiosity and challenge that brought me to pursue a career in IT. I grew up in an era when PCs were going mainstream and the internet was only just developing. Everyone was talking about how IT would revolutionise the way we do business, the way we communicate and the way we live. I was determined to be part of that revolution, to help shape its course and be part of something special. So I jumped on board the IT career high speed train after completing a master's degree in physics at university.
Today I am a Senior Technical Architect, for Vodafone Group. I am responsible for putting together unified communications technical solutions which help businesses around the world stay connected, communicate and create value for their customers. Working in an international, diverse organisation is both stimulating and challenging, but above all it's truly exciting.
What advice would I give to women wanting to pursue a career in IT?
IT is a broad church
IT is not just about coding and programming. The IT industry is huge, with many disciplines and job roles from coders, designers, analysts, application developers, architects to CTO. Each role has its unique part to play in the family, so don't be put off from applying for IT jobs if you don't have programming skills, as not all jobs are about coding and development.
Every day is different
No two days are the same. The pace of change in the IT industry is breath-taking. The variety of jobs for you to get involved with is changing all the time. One minute you could be talking to the marketing teams about designing an innovative application and the next you could be presenting your ideas to the Board. With flexible working policies in the workplace, the 9 till 5 mentality is becoming a thing of the past.
Be part of the Bigger Team
We live in a connected world. IT affects and enriches everything we do. IT is evasive and pervasive. It's very much part of the bigger business story too. IT touches every part of the business in a way that probably no other business function does. You will interact with many parts of the business and be part of a bigger family.
Network, network, network
The ability to communicate and work with other teams will really help you advance your IT career. You will develop you networking skills and get to know other teams and people. See things from their point of view, so you can shape and influence opinions and outcomes. Find yourself a mentor. Their experience and guidance will be invaluable to help you navigate your way through your chosen IT career path. Get involved with Women in Technology groups inside and outside of your workplace. These networks will help you build confidence and inspire you.
Go on challenge yourself
Being the only girl in the physics A-Level class or the only female architect in the room hasn't stopped me from pursuing my goals for a career in IT. There have been challenges and equally there have been opportunities too. So go on, challenge yourself - don't watch and wait at the platform, jump on-board! Look for the opportunities - push yourself and be curious too.
Rubi Kaur is a Senior Technical Architect at Vodafone Group. She has 20 years Technical lead experience from previous technology roles at BT, O2 and the UK Government. In 2012 Rubi led her team to win the Business Green IT Team of the year and the Government Finance Award for Sustainability.
She is a Fellow of the BCS and serves on the committee for BCSWomen and on the SteerCo for the Vodafone Group Womens network, where she leads the "Inspiring Leadership" Programme, to further the advancement of women in technology. Rubi has an Msc in Optoelectronics and Information Processing and is currently studying for an Executive MBA at the Henley Management Business School.