Returner Stories: Ruth

Jun 19th, 2019

I didn’t really imagine that just a few months after starting the course, I would have a new job in software engineering, I've got lots to learn but I'm so excited for the future!

Autumn 2019 will see the publication of first of it's kind research into women returners and the technology industry. The research commissioned by Tech Returners and undertaken by University of Manchester Business School will identify the numbers of women who have left and returned to the technology sector and importantly the reasons why they haven't returned.

Returner Stories shares the experiences of the women who make up the statistics.In this edition we hear from Ruth on how the leap to a tech career just didn't seem possible for her.

At school, I never really knew what sort of job I wanted to do, but was lucky after university to find a career I loved. My job was challenging and rewarding and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But after my two children were born, everything changed. I found it very difficult to get back into the same sort of role that I’d been in before, and once I did, although there were many things about it that I still loved, I was frustrated, stressed and unhappy, and I’d lost confidence in myself. The lack of flexibility was a real challenge and there were very few opportunities for development or progression.

I knew I wanted to change and do something else, but I didn’t really know what. I’d learned a bit of code at school and I started looking at courses online and attended a few coding workshops. I spoke to people who’d moved into a tech career, but I

I applied for the Tech Returners course via the Step Into Tech programme run in conjunction with the BBC. Applying was not an easy decision. I had so many doubts. I wondered if I would find it too difficult, or if I had left it too late in life to change career.

The course was brilliant. It was designed so I could fit it around my work and family commitments.  It helped me to see that I had a lot of transferable skills and having people there who believed in me really boosted my confidence. By the end of the course I’d learned so much and had a new group of friends and an amazing support network.

When I began this journey, I didn’t really imagine that just a few months after starting the course, I would have a new job in software engineering. I’m only a few weeks in, but it’s been amazing so far. I still have so much more to learn but I’m really excited about the future.

Want to be the first to receive our research paper? Sign up here for an advance copy.