Transforming the workplace for women in technology

Prosperity 24/7 has grown over the last 13 years to be a leading business and technology consultancy headquartered in St Helier, Jersey with offices in Scotland and Guernsey.  The leadership team take their employer responsibilities seriously and ensure that every great mind is employed on merit and supported in their personal and professional goals.  In a sector that has traditionally been male-dominated, the incredible women who work for Prosperity feel they are given equal opportunity and the confidence to take the lead in their roles.

We chatted to some of Prosperity’s amazing women to find out more about their positive corporate culture and how their careers have developed.

Geraldine Evans is Prosperity’s Chief Operating Officer and co-founder.  Following a degree in English Literature and Italian Language and Literature, Geraldine’s first job was on an IT helpdesk for a bank.  “I always wanted to be a primary school teacher, but I had a keen interest in using technology to find easier ways to do things.  I soon realised that the tickets being raised on the Helpdesk were primarily due to a lack of knowledge regarding how to use the applications and technology at hand.  I took on the task of developing and delivering IT training sessions on Microsoft Windows and Office applications for the bank and this was my initiation into the IT Learning & Development world (almost 30 years ago!). Communication, support, and demonstrating the art of the possible is at the heart of what I do, what I’m passionate about and very much what we wanted Prosperity to be about.”

Stephanie Fox, Head of Security Solutions also thought she would end up as a teacher, but after being inspired by the IT she was taught at school, she saw the endless opportunities it presented and went on to complete a degree in Business with Computing. Her IT career led her into the finance industry where she spent more than 15 years leading and managing effective IT environments for global organisations.  She specialised in the design and implementation of scalable IT strategies coupled with successful project delivery.  “From working in the highly regulated finance industry, I developed a passion for IT security and governance which is what I do at Prosperity and have been supported to enhance these skills by recently achieving the CISM – Certified Information Security Manager and APM Project Management Qualifications.”

Geraldine emphasises how Stephanie’s recent qualifications are one example of how Prosperity encourages all colleagues in a fair and equal way, no matter the gender.  “We do this by ensuring equality in pay, opportunities and training.  Personal development plans and training are a key part of ensuring we are supporting our “great minds”.  We also like to showcase our rising talent and encourage all to celebrate successes to the wider team and community, using our new event space at our new offices.”

Skye Mourant, A Senior Consultant in Prosperity’s Strategy and Change team, was the third of our ladies who thought they would become a teacher.  “I did a degree in education and after travelling a friend suggested I’d be good at project management.  All the core skills I’d learned in my degree were very transferable to the project world – planning, organisation, presentations and leadership are all skills I use daily when working with our clients.”

It’s these transferable skills, that Geraldine says are important when overcoming some of the barriers to entry for the technology sector.  “We’re helping females develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, whether in-house at Prosperity or through Digital Jersey’s mentoring scheme. Mentors provide guidance, feedback, and support on technical skills, as well as soft skills such as communication, networking, and leadership, to help women navigate their career paths and develop strategies for career advancement.”

Trudie Lee, another one of our Senior Consultants in Strategy and Change has acted as a mentor to others as part of the Digital Jersey mentoring programme.  “I think educating people on the variety of roles and opportunities available is critical.  IT isn’t just about helpdesk support or coding, there is so much more to it.  We offer some really varied roles across the IT and Project Management spectrum. It’s about the types of experience and different industries you can work in.”  Trudie did an English with Creative Writing degree, then went on to do the Graduate Diploma in Law but decided that she was more suited to a career with British Airways, “I worked my way around the various departments and roles in the company and ended up as a project manager in the engineering department, delivering projects like SAP-integrated vending machines for engineering parts, pipe-bending machines and weighing aircraft.  When I moved to Jersey, I stayed in project management and now have experience of several industries and types of projects.”

Nicoleta Pavel, is a Consultant with our Strategy and Change team, has a Bachelor Degree in Economic Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics and a Masters Degree in Financial Analysis and Valuation. She is currently studying for the BCS (British Computer Society) International Diploma in Business Analysis and a Mum to a pre-schooler too!   “Many of us are Mums and that is often seen as a barrier to progression in business.  From my first contact with Prosperity, it was very clear that they genuinely care for their employees thriving and wellbeing, but for me the most important thing was that I was always encouraged to put my family first and I was as important as anyone else in the company.”

Alexis Halliday-Santos is Prosperity’s Head of Change Management and says the company’s people first approach, doesn’t just apply to colleagues but also to clients. “My background was in Human Resources before moving into project management and continuous improvement.  Prosperity is more than a technology business, it’s about helping people to discover the art of the possible when it comes to making their jobs easier and being more efficient.   Prosperity really does support a culture of learning and personal growth. They are a very supportive employer when it comes to undertaking training in your specialist area and also, actively encourage everyone to attend local networking and training events.”

Izzie Watkins is an intern in the Business Solutions team and joined Prosperity after graduating with a mathematics degree. Her experience is a great example of where Prosperity’s philosophy supports colleagues right at the start of their career.   “I am currently on a gap year and wanted to find an internship with a highly regarded consultancy to gain some experience in technology.” Izzie values the professional, friendly, and welcoming working environment at Prosperity. “I’ve already been involved in a wide variety of projects and appreciate how everyone is very approachable, if you need help with something.” With plans for a Master’s degree in either cyber security or data science, Izzie appreciates the constant learning opportunities both through structured training and from experienced colleagues. “I’m constantly learning new coding languages and applications, and I’m able to use the knowledge from my degree to give a different perspective.”

“Having a supportive employer and/or mentor is key to understanding your value and what you can bring to the table.”  Geraldine summed up, “I think we all feel that we’ve been lucky that our employers past and present have judged us on our merits but that isn’t always the case.  Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.  I have learned that having a different viewpoint isn’t a bad thing, especially in a sector that is male-dominated, so my advice to others would be:  don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts and if they are not received how you want them to be, come and talk to us!”

What is clear is that a career in technology and strategic change can start anywhere and with the right support, mentoring and growth opportunities, women can break barriers and stereotypes.  The incredible women of Prosperity 24/7 are showing that by supporting each other they are living Prosperity’s philosophy, that if we look after each other, we will all prosper.


This article first appeared in Gallery