Women in Networking – Interconnection Project Manager

Abigail Welsford

Interconnection Project Manager at Equinix

In our Women in Networking series we interview every week a women in the industry about their career. We spoke to Abigail about how she got interested in a career in technology and networking, her daily activities at her current job and asked her what she would advice to other women in the networking industry.

How did you first get interested in a career in technology?

I’ve always loved figuring out how things work and solving problems, through school I enjoyed a wide variety of subjects including Maths, IT and Design Technology. When I was still in school I started looking for roles which were interesting, varied and built on my analytical skills which quickly led me into the technology sector.

How did you end up getting into networking?

Working in networking was an evolution of my career which started at age 17.  My roles transitioned from answering calls to advise on mobile phone issues, which developed into selling mobile phones, landlines and broadband and eventually into selling more complex networking products. Through selling these products I started to understand them and eventually moved into a Product Role which gave me the opportunity to influence product developments and enhancement.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The thing I most enjoy about my role is being at the forefront of innovation at a time of huge change within the way the businesses are operating. Cloud Adoption, IoT and big data are just some of the industry trends I get to get involved with every day.

What is your role and what are your main daily activities?

My role consists of meeting with customers and the internal sales team to understand changing demands so that I can include these on the Global Product roadmaps. I then work on implementing with the operational teams and updating our systems and processes to accommodate the changes before briefing out to the wider organisation on changes have been implemented

What accomplishments in your career you are most proud of and why?

I’m most proud of the difference I’ve been able to make at the organisations I’ve had the privilege to be a part of and to have been given the opportunity to work at a global leader like Equinix.

Based on your personal experience and in your opinion, what are 3 characteristics that will make you successful in the networking industry?

The 3 characteristics I see as most important to make you successful in the networking industry are being

  • analytical
  • adaptable
  • assertive

 

Technology is a field mainly dominated by men, what steps should be taken to attract more women to tech?

The younger generation are constantly using various type of Technology on a daily basis but don’t always connect their interest in these technologies to potential career opportunities later in life. Working with young people, especially young females, to show them the variety of opportunities with help attract more women to tech.

What do you perceive as being the biggest barrier for women entering the tech industry and what would be your message/advice to women trying to get into the field of networking?

I feel the biggest barrier is females being worried that they are not technical enough to thrive in a role in the Technology industry. My advice would be not to worry because there are a huge variety of opportunities in technology with varying level of technical knowledge required and there is a career path for everyone.