Chloe Crutchlow: TechWomen100 Winner
“Awards like this encourage women to achieve and strive for the best within their roles, and shows the world that women in STEM do exist, and they are achieving amazing things!”
Can you tell us about the industry you’re in and the role you play?
I work in the automotive industry for Jaguar Land Rover. Currently as a Degree Apprentice within the Analytical Measurement Technologies team. I look after equipment for vehicle test cells, enabling the certification of vehicles for sale against current emissions legislations.
I am coming to the end of my apprenticeship, due to graduate in March 2021 into an Engineer role, and have been with the business since September 2014. In my role, I look after three technicians and one fitter, working shifts to provide support to the test facility by maintaining equipment, checking calibrations, completing legislative checks and ensuring good data quality.
Tell us about your award win and what does it mean to you?
I was announced as being on the TechWomen100 shortlist back in October 2020, being part of a 200-strong cohort of Women in Technology. The shortlist was then judged again, and 100 women chosen – I found out about winning one of the 100 awards in December.
For me, this award is recognition for all of the hard work and dedication I have put into my apprenticeship, academic studies and my job role and still continue to do. It feels great to be showcased with so many amazing women with a variety of technology backgrounds. And it also looks good on my CV!
To me, winning this award shows me that I am respected and well-thought-of within my workplace and within technology. The public vote also provided support in my progress from Shortlisted, to Winner. I am thrilled to have won!
Showcasing Women in Tech
Why do you think awards like TechWomen100 are so important?
Awards such as TechWomen100 are very important, to showcase women in STEM subject areas and industries, to recognise the hard work and achievements of women in STEM, and to develop and promote women in STEM to wider audiences.
I would like to think that the social media drive for TechWomen100 was seen by a large audience, via Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms, which I believe encourages people to find out about the awards and what they represent.
Awards like this encourage women to achieve and strive for the best within their roles, and shows the world that women in STEM do exist, and they are achieving amazing things!
Do you think people have any misconceptions about women in Tech?
I think that people do have some misconceptions about women in technology. Like they may not be as capable as men or have been hired just because they are women. I have faced these misconceptions myself. Due to the engineering industry historically being a male-dominated environment; and being a female apprentice within an all-male team.
However, I believe this has only made me strive to work harder and make my mark within my team and change perceptions. I hope I have achieved this and winning the TechWomen100 award shows recognition of my skills to my team and wider group.
What challenges have you faced, if any, in your career?
I struggled with confidence during my career, as being in a male-dominated engineering environment which was alien to me. As I has just completed my A-Levels when I started at Jaguar Land Rover. However, working with a supportive team, receiving on-the-job training and attending JLR courses for confidence and assertiveness at work. Being given responsibility and opportunities has enabled me to become the confident person I am today. I am happy to talk to management and work individually.
I also face the challenge of trying to change the mindset of the industry and those around me to be more inclusive of women in STEM – for example, encouraging the uptake of gender-neutral email opening sentences to replace the usual ‘Gents’ emails I receive, even when I am referenced in the email.
What do you think would encourage more women to work in the tech industry?
More real-life role models are needed within STEM, to show women that the industry isn’t just for men. And that it is ever-changing to be more inclusive and supportive. So, STEM job roles and careers should be discussed more in schools/colleges/sixth forms. Including apprenticeship options and university courses, to showcase the wide variety of STEM to those who have been excluded from these conversations previously.
Telling stories of women in STEM and making these publicly available; this would help to introduce the industry to people who may not be aware of it. Providing evidence of the changes being made with regards to women in STEM would be very beneficial.
What advice would you give to other women looking to begin or further their career in the industry?
I would suggest trying to visit the STEM industries in which you are interested. Get tours, attend open days or virtual meetings to try and see if the industry seems right for you. Try to contact other women at a workplace you are interested in; either through social media or LinkedIn. Or by seeing if the workplace has any Gender Equality / Women In Industry Networks; which could provide information to you.
Use websites such as Wise, WeAreTechWomen, and Everywoman to read about the stories of women in STEM. Join networks and follow people you admire. Try to visit industry locations, and don’t be afraid to give things a try – you can always change your direction!
What piece of advice would you have given yourself at the start of your career?
I would say to myself, not to be afraid to be heard; in meetings, in education settings etc. Stand up, raise your hand, give your input! It took me a few years to build up enough confidence to say my piece. I was taken seriously and listened to when I did (which I was worried about).
Try to introduce yourself to others and make contacts – they are useful later on! Ask lots of questions and try lots of things, you will have fun!
Be part of our series!
Do you want to take part in our Focus on Women in Tech series? Email us at [email protected]