To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Astley Media is shining a light on some of the fantastic women in tech across the South West.
Briony Phillips is the Scaleup Lead at Rocketmakers, an award-winning software design and development company based in Bath. With a BSc in Genetics from the University of Nottingham, Briony moved into the business world as a Business Centre Manager for Deloitte, and has since held a variety of roles for a range of companies including web producer, development director, innovation and product manager, and most recently as Associate Director of Bristol-based tech hub Engine Shed. During Briony’s time at Rocketmakers, the company has won Best Tech Workplace Award at the Tech South West Awards and the Employer of the Year Award at the South West Business Awards.
What inspired you to pursue a career in Tech?
In honesty, I found tech by accident. Over my career I have sought out roles that enable me to live my values and have a positive impact, often helping others.
My journey to tech can be summed up in two parts – first working in education as a secondary science teacher and alumni leader for Teach First and second, more recently as a facilitator in open innovation. Those two experiences led me eventually to the Engine Shed in Bristol (as Scaleup Enabler for the West of England) and ultimately to Rocketmakers – where I now work.
Name a woman in tech who inspires you and why?
Martha Lane Fox – co-founder of lastminute.com back in the Dotcom boom and named as the ‘most influential woman in Britain’s digital sector’ from the past quarter of a century in November 2019 – perhaps in part thanks to her philanthropic work and her vision for dot everyone as described in her 2015 Reith lecture.
What words of advice would you give to women looking to get into the Tech sector but are hesitant due to the lack of diversity?
There are more of us than you might think – take time to find your allies and build a network of women who share your values and will champion your dreams.
What is the best thing about working in Tech in the South West?
The acceptance and expectation that we bring our whole selves to work and the warmth and support of our community. Oh, and the proximity to the countryside for long walks and life-changing conversations (when we’re allowed).
What advice would you give your younger self about the journey ahead in the Tech industry?
Consider every conversation an opportunity – to discover something new – about yourself and about an ever-changing sector.