For Amber’s new Women In Tech interview series, we speak with female thought leaders from around the world to hear their experience growing a career in tech and to get their advice on overcoming challenges and adversity during their career.
To kick off the series, we caught up with our own Chantelle de la Rey, co-founder of Amber, to follow a day in her life and talk diversity, inspiration and career advice.
Can you tell us a little about what you do and what a typical day looks like for you?
This question made me giggle a little, as being one of the founders of a tech start up, you tend to fall into multiple roles. I am the product owner and lead designer for Amber which is Australia’s first micro-investing, exchange and wallet app. This means I create solutions to problems our customers are having, decide when and what features are to be released, collaborate with the developers, CEO and marketing team, and users, UX design and UI/graphic design. A day in my life means waking up, walking Alfie (the puppy), running to the office, checking emails, team standup, following up with customers, creating backlogs and sprints for the developers, researching our competitors and working on UI and UX design. I also work alongside our CEO a lot.
It is the way of the future, and with my experience as a designer, if I do not jump on board the tech cycle I will be left behind. Plus, tech is fun and exciting as there are always problems to solve. There really is never a dull moment!
Many women in the tech industry have felt their gender has affected the way they are treated in the workplace and industry. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it?
Yes, I have definitely experienced this first hand and it is a horrible feeling. The way I approached it was to just give everything I had to the company and prove to myself that I was a more valued team member than the person who was giving me grief and I did, which also gave me respect from the team.
I still have a lot of personal and professional growth ahead of me (and many more hurdles as a woman in tech to jump over!). Being a woman in this industry makes me a little different which I love, and it feels great to able to show other women it is possible to be a part of this booming industry. I highly recommend a lot more women jumping onboard.
What advice would you give to a woman starting her career in the tech industry? Is there any advice you wish you had known at the start of your career?
Be prepared to take shit! But don’t give, remain yourself and always be the better person. Be prepared for your friends not to understand a thing about what you are doing, but it will give you an interesting talking point with them. Feel free to contact me if you need support or an ear to hear the rant. As humans we have a right to do and be what ever or whomever we want to be.