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Expert in the spotlight: Maria, Head of PMO, about the Importance of Lifelong Learning and Network Building in a Technology Career

Hello Maria, Head of PMO at Devoteam G Cloud in the Netherlands. Can you tell us why women should definitely pursue a career in tech?

In this series, we’ll put the spotlight on Devoteam G Cloud’s experts who are always at the forefront of driving progress in the exciting and rapidly-evolving Google Cloud world. In this article you’ll meet Maria, Head of PMO at Devoteam G Cloud in the Netherlands. She talks about why women should definitely pursue a career in tech!

What position do you hold?

I’m working as the head of PMO, the Project Management Office at Devoteam G Cloud Netherlands. In my job, I’m responsible for the delivery phase of our customers’ projects. The projects mostly focus on building Infrastructure foundations on Google Cloud or on data & analytics projects that use Google Cloud technology like BigQuery and Looker.

In my position, I ensure that every project is delivered to our customers with a positive experience. This includes coordinating efforts between both the customer and our team by understanding their project goals and objectives and working towards achieving those goals.

From Project Coordinator to Head of PMO

I started my career at IBM as a project coordinator within the global infrastructure department and that was my first contact with the tech environment. It was a good path to discover my passion for planning, managing, organizing and achieving goals. It was also then that I noticed that my tech colleagues recognised my skills in these areas, and found it important to get guided on the progress of their projects. Once I got my first experience, I had success in leading large-scale projects, such as constructing a virtual data centre and leading migration projects which provided me again with additional valuable knowledge about IT infrastructure, networking and security.

After a while, I transitioned to the consulting side of the business, specifically working with cloud/digital-native companies. I found consulting to be the most fulfilling role for me as it allows me to apply my knowledge and put it to work for the specific needs of each customer and project.

I joined Devoteam G Cloud, which provided me with opportunities for learning and growth. I was placed on a fast-track learning path, including the ability to become certified as a Google Cloud Digital Leader. It resulted in my recently received promotion to the Head of PMO.

Lifelong learning & the consulting experience make this the best job

I see two aspects of my job that make it the best:

  • Firstly, I learn a lot from the engineers and have found that being open-minded and always prepared to learn is crucial. This approach to “lifelong learning” has been the main point of my professional growth.
  • Secondly, I enjoy the consulting experience here at Devoteam G Cloud because I get the opportunity to work with different clients from various industries. Each day and project is unique, and I learn a lot from my clients and often find new ways to collaborate. Additionally, I appreciate the flexibility that the technology industry provides, we use great Digital Workplace tools like Google Workspace, Jira, Slack, Lucidchart and many other cloud-based tools, which allow me to work remotely and give me the ability to have a more flexible schedule.

Women bring valuable perspectives in a men’s world

Women bring valuable perspectives to the table in the technology industry. We often think and perceive things differently, which leads to a diversity of opinions and problem-solving approaches.

However, it is well-known that women may struggle with networking and self-promoting. This is something I personally have experienced, as there are not as many female colleagues in the industry who can provide support, connections, and opportunities for sharing experiences and learning from one another.

Despite the challenge above, I am really convinced that there are enough brave women who have everything it takes to pursue a career in IT.

How do you think it can be ensured that more women choose a career in tech?

Education at an early age is important, especially for girls, as societal expectations and unconscious bias may limit their potential and aspirations. We must work to eliminate these biases and support girls in pursuing their own interests and learning paths, including the field of informatics. It’s important to recognize that unconscious bias exists and affects our perceptions and decision-making. We must actively work to become aware of our own biases and how they impact our actions in order to make conscious and inclusive decisions.
Secondly, creating a positive and inclusive environment for women in the technology industry is crucial. This includes providing opportunities for women to reach senior positions, as well as having more female role models to serve as inspiration and proof that barriers to success can be overcome.

In my experience working at Devoteam G Cloud, I have not felt this bias or limitations. The company values diversity of thought and encourages individuals to share their unique perspectives and ideas. This is why I am currently in my current position as a female PMO expert, and I am able to bring my unique perspective to the table without feeling constrained.

3 tips to women considering a career in tech

  1. Don’t be afraid to recommend a career in technology to anyone who is considering it, especially when they are female. Every woman can rest reassured: the tech industry brings a lot of advantages such as learning opportunities, but definitely also flexibility and a good work-life balance. At Devoteam G Cloud we’re all offered the freedom to decide when and where we work.
  2. Additionally, it’s important to continuously improve both hard and soft skills through lifelong learning. My constant pursuit of knowledge and staying up to date with the latest advancements in technology has been the driving force behind my success. I have gained multiple certifications in areas such as agile methodologies and obtained certifications from multiple leading cloud providers like Google Cloud. Having an understanding of how the cloud works has played a vital role in my professional growth in this field.
  3. Lastly, I recommend to actively build a professional network. Establishing connections with individuals who are already in the field can provide valuable mentorship and role models to look up to. Over time, they even may open doors to new exciting opportunities in your career!

We strive for more women in tech. Are you ready for the challenge?

At Devoteam G Cloud there are infinite possibilities to move as a team and improve as an individual. Find your next challenge today