Version 1 Named a Best Workplace™ for Women in Ireland – Nancy Hendy Interview
The Best Workplaces™ for Women Award recognises workplaces that go above and beyond to ensure that women employees are treated fairly when it comes to pay (see our Gender Pay Gap Report here), recognition, training, and promotion opportunities. This also includes taking time off to attend to childcare or other family commitments, and where women are encouraged, empowered, and supported to do their best work.
Reflecting on this important recognition Version 1 Head of Employee Experience Amanda Kelly said: “We are delighted to be recognised as a Best Workplace™ for Women once again. This is not something we take for granted. We continuously ensure that we create an environment where our people feel like they belong, can be themselves, and have all the support needed to thrive at Version 1.”
“From our managers, to our Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging and Women in Tech committees and our People teams. Everyone has put in tremendous efforts to support women in the organisation, from creating our reproductive health policies, menopause and fertility supports, and newly launched mentoring programme”, Amanda adds. “Version 1 will continue to create a best workplace for women, ensuring that we support our people in moments that matter, encourage a positive work life balance and empower our people to fulfil their career ambitions.”
To celebrate our recognition as a Best Workplace™ for Women in Ireland, we spoke to Nancy Hendy to learn more about her journey in Tech, the highlights of her day, and what she values most about working at Version 1.
Q&A With Nancy Hendy, Associate Consultant, Version 1
Q. How has the Version 1 Women in Tech network helped you?
That’s a long story! I graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Egypt and worked as a radiologist for a couple of years before I got married and came to Ireland with my husband. While I was a stay-at-home mum, I continued my medical studies in Ireland and got myself registered in the medical council, but I reached a point where I realised that I want to be able to work from home, have a better work-life balance, and care for my kids. During Covid a lot of courses were online, and I felt that there would be a good chance to shift my career to the IT field, which I have always been interested in.
So I took a 6-month scholarship course in data analysis, which I really enjoyed, and while I was on this scholarship, I came across the Women Tech-Start Academy, which is an intensive 3-month full-time technical training course for women from different backgrounds to enter the IT field. It was led by the Early Careers department & Women in Tech Team at Version 1. I registered, got interviewed by Version 1, and got accepted, along with 17 other brilliant ladies. We learned Programming using Java, about Cybersecurity, Azure, and many other things. I successfully completed the course and gained well-recognised certifications, then I got my job in Version 1. That’s how I reached my place here.
Q. If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day on the job?
I begin each day with a stand-up call with my team and manager Michelle, to acknowledge what each of us achieved the day before, go through what we will be working on for the day, and agree on our priorities. My daily morning routine includes monitoring the Autosys Jobs that ran overnight and reporting if there were any failures.
We use ManageEngine to assign the tickets for those tasks, so that every progress/update is documented and traceable. The rest of the day is then spent completing my tasks. Sometimes I team up with other people from my team, and we share screens to collaborate on tasks together.
Q. What types of projects do you work on? What are some accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I worked on a database migration project (Phase 1), which is a huge project that the team have been working on prior to my joining. But I am happy that I got the chance to be majorly involved in this first phase and I look forward to getting involved in the second phase soon.
I enjoyed working on the database migration project so much because I was able to learn a lot, and I also received a ‘Call Out’ (an internal employee recognition initiative) for it several times because of my performance and the skills I showed through this period.
What I cherish the most is that I am learning new things and up-skilling every single day. In just a couple of months, I was able to migrate databases from one server to another on my own and also debug errors. This sense of achievement and success in my humble opinion is the most enjoyable part of any project.
What I cherish the most is that I am learning new things and up-skilling every single day
Q. What do you like most about the job?
I like that to be a DBA (Database Administrator) you must proactively solve problems, so you must search and scan your system and database for any errors or abnormalities and solve them before they even get recognized and/or impact users.
But to be honest, what I like most about my job, is the people that I am working with and the environment that I am working in. I’d be happily working in any role as long as I am working in a great place like Version 1.
Q. What motivates you every day?
My largest motivator is the environment that I work in and my team. They have the biggest impact on how I am motivated. I am lucky to have such a supportive workplace environment that keeps pushing me forwards and beyond my limits. I am also the type of person who really enjoys learning new things and loves to have a positive impact by achieving even little pieces of work, and here I get all the cheering and encouragement for every little step I make.
Q. What skills do you use daily? Do you have to draw on any skills in ways you didn’t expect before you were in the role?
I didn’t expect to use documentation this much but now I must write documentation for everything we do It’s something that’s really outside my comfort zone, but I admit that I’ve started to get used to it and be good at it too!
– Attention to detail (I have been praised multiple times on this skill, which I didn’t know I had before joining Version 1!)
– Ability to prioritise tasks
– Communication skills
-Technical skills, like SQL, shell scripting, system administration, Microsoft office; excel, and word.
I didn’t expect to use documentation this much but now I have to write documents for everything we do. It’s something that’s really outside my comfort zone, but I admit that I started to get used to it, and be good at it too!
Q. What are the hardest parts of your working day, and how do you navigate them?
My hardest part is when I must speak out loud in front of customers or people that I’m not interacting with on daily basis. But I push myself, and my supportive team pushes me too, beyond my limits, and supports me to increase my self-confidence.
I tend to forget to take breaks/finish on time, but Version 1 encourages you to take your full one-hour lunch break daily. My manager and my line manager have both asked me before to make sure I am achieving a good work-life balance, and that I don’t overdo work, which is something I haven’t found in any other work environment.
Q. Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the day?
My top productivity tips that I practice and that help me greatly are:
– Always create a realistic to-do list for yourself. And keep updating it at every single step.
– Prioritize your tasks, and focus on one step at a time.
– If you’re stuck, take a break, wash your face, open the window, and breathe some fresh air, just a couple of minutes can work wonders!
Q. What three tips would you give to women entering the Tech workforce today?
– Be confident and never underestimate yourself!
– If you are coming from another career or background, don’t underestimate all the life experiences that you had there.
– And finally, and most importantly, don’t fear pushing yourself way beyond your comfort zone.
Q. Do you feel you’ve had to work harder than male colleagues to advance your career?
No, not at all. I believe that Version 1 appreciates the presence of women and that they strive to have gender equality. My academy is a true example of that, we were 18 women from different backgrounds, and we all got the chance to choose our IT career in Version 1. Not one or two. All of us!
I push myself, and my supportive team push me too, beyond my limits, and supports me to increase my self-confidence.
11. The theme for Women’s Day this year is Equality VS Equity. What does equity mean to you?
To me, equity is all about acknowledgment and fairness. So, to acknowledge who the employee is, their capabilities, limitations, background, and everything really, and according to that acknowledgment and recognition, be fair by giving each employee the right opportunities and the appropriate resources required to reach an equal outcome across the company. And I can gladly and proudly confirm that I am seeing this in Version 1 all the time.
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