IWD2021 – Alison Eustace and Danielle Smith

International Women’s Day is a celebration of all of the achievements of women across the world. At TLA we are incredibly fortunate to have many successful women who work tirelessly to ensure we deliver our mission and vision. This week we’re highlighting some of the brilliant women at TLA.

Today we’re joined by Alison Eustace and Danielle Smith!

Alison Eustace

My name is Alison Eustace and I manage the quality team at TLA. I joined the business in January 2016. 

Part of my role at TLA is managing a team of 6 people who are responsible for checking the quality of the enquiries/leads that we generate. Ensuring that all of the compliance and GDPR criteria has been met and that the call has reached a suitable level of quality. I work very closely with Kathy Fleming who is a constant support to me and the team. I also provide feedback and coaching to our sales agents to ensure they are performing well and achieving quality targets. My role is very varied and I also handle things like requests for calls from clients, putting together scripts or adapting current ones, organising rotas and extra cover from the team when its required, training new team members, a whole range of different areas

I became the quality manager in March 2020, right as the current pandemic hit. I had worked on the team before that for 3 years since joining TLA and in 2019 I became a senior team member supporting my line manager at the time in a number of varied tasks and essentially looking after the team in her absence. It was a role I really enjoyed. When the manager position became available I immediately jumped at the opportunity to step up into this role as I really enjoyed the challenge that came with it and having the experience of working on the team myself for a number of years really gave me a great insight.

When I first joined TLA I was one of few women who worked in the business, so much so the women had one toilet and the men had four – that was a sign of the ratio! So it has been great over the last few years to see more and more women joining the company and bringing an extra dynamic to the business. I think quality is a great role for women to be involved in as there’s lots of problems to be solved and decision making to be done and you’re always kept busy (extra note –  we now have two toilets each 😊). 

For someone looking to move into a quality based role I would advise them to just go for it, with TLA being largely a tech company, which as an industry can be largely male orientated, its been great to see more women over the years coming to work here and I wouldn’t let a largely male environment discourage anyone from pursing a role.

I would like to send all young woman a message to say ‘be strong, be fierce, have confidence in yourself and always push to exceed your expectations’

Danielle Smith

I started out on the internal systems team at TLA a year after graduating from university and joined the company as a graduate developer.

I have worked on many different sub teams within our development team during my almost 6 years at TLA but I now work on the Platform X team. Here I work on a variety of systems that help move and progress leads end to end through the business. Whether this be improving current systems we have, developing something new by bringing  product ideas to life, integrating with client systems, or supporting the business systems we are always very busy at TLA.

I have always loved and had an interest in computers and tech from a young age and I knew it was always something I wanted my career to be based around. When applying for university my degree was IT and Computing as at the time I did not know much about development and actually at the time wanted to be an IT teacher to hopefully encourage our younger generation to have the buzz for tech I had and what my IT teacher had given me while I was in school and college.

It was only when during my first year at university when I started a development module and loved the buzz of developing having an idea and turning it into reality and knowing that you have helped make it happen. I knew that this is where I wanted to go with my career. 

During my time at university we could take a year out to go on a placement year, so I took a year out to work as a junior developer for a software company where I was the only girl within the business at the time, but I learnt a lot over that year, learning from the other experienced developers and loved it. This made me more eager going into my last year at university to do well, finish my degree and get out into the real world.

The development / IT world is male dominated but there is a high demand for software developers right now and I think that if you are a woman and have a keen interest in tech, software development is an amazing career to thrive in regardless of gender.

When I started my degree at University, I was one out of six girls in a large class of male students – this can be daunting – but I loved IT and tech and knew this was what I wanted to do. If you have a love for tech and are aspiring to be a software developer just go for it!

To young women looking for a career in development I would say, be your own person, be strong and independent. Don’t be afraid of failing as this is when you learn the most. Keep learning and building on your skills and push yourself to achieve your goals.