TechSPARK has teamed up with Manchester Digital to deliver you Digital Her, a project from the Institute of Coding. We want to showcase talented women and non-binary people from across the entire tech and digital sector who are doing amazing work in the South West.

The objective is to create a platform of role models for young women and non-binary people to encourage and inform anyone who may have been dissuaded away from tech, about the opportunities in our region. Through talking to a range of individuals with various roles and experiences, we will be highlighting the various available career paths, whilst reaching out to people who didn’t know there was a perfect role in tech for them.

This week we have Inclusive Marketing Consultant & Founder, Joyann Boyce, talking us through her journey, experience, and thoughts on working in tech. For the full interview, please check out the video below!

To kick things off, we spoke about Joyann’s unconventional route into marketing and eventually becoming a founder.

From being encouraged to take art subjects at A-Level, to studying Psychology at the University of East London, to volunteering in a psychiatric hospital in Sri Lanka in her 20s, Joyann decided clinical psychology wasn’t for her.

After living out the travelling dream, Joyann had to find a new place to start from. This took the shape of recruitment, which paved the way for her next crucial steps.

She tells us, “It exposed me to LinkedIn and social media work. That’s when I started helping charities and businesses.”

This all led Joyann to the Prince’s Trust, who helped her start her own business, The Social Detail. She says, “They said to me, you can’t get hired doing it, so why don’t you just do it and get people to pay you?”

More than coding and the matrix

Transitioning into tech was an exciting time for Joyann. She tells us, “What led me to where I am now is being exposed to all the various types of tech, going to meet-ups and seeing that it’s more than just coding and the matrix.”

When asked about her favourite part of being in tech, she tells us. “The rabbit holes.

“I love how deep everything goes. Tech allows you to start one journey and end up somewhere completely different.

“It’s forever a mystery – I don’t think anyone who works in tech or digital could ever say that they’re bored. And if they are, they’re not doing anything.”

Joyann is now getting stuck into a Master’s in Data Science, embarking on the next stage of her career in tech!

Knowing your worth

As we spoke about some of the challenges to being a woman in tech, Joyann tells us about her biggest mantra not to undervalue her skills and therefore underpricing herself.

She explains more: “I’m always telling any entrepreneurs, particularly people of colour and women, up your prices. I don’t know what your rate is, but double it, because it’s probably too low.”

Joyann has dedicated a huge part of her career to championing inclusivity, specifically in marketing. When we asked how tech can start to do better, she tells us, “Embed diversity inclusion into your quarterly business plans like you would with any other initiative.

“Ask the important questions: What’s the goal? We’re going to achieve? What are we going to do let’s do it next to keep building with it? It’s not a host one conference, what’s the ongoing initiative?”

We finished by talking about Joyann’s advice for anyone looking to start their career. She says, “You don’t need someone to hold the door open, you can get started now.”

Joyann encourages everyone to hop onto “the University of Youtube” to learn about anything you want.

Joyann says, “I think it’s still very prevalent in society when girls have big ambitions, or techie ambitions, that’s not the norm for girls. They get held back but I wanna say, just build your own bridge. Start now.”

To hear more about Joyann’s journey, advice and a snippet about her latest upcoming plans, watch the full interview here:

Thanks to Joyann for taking the time to talk to us! Find out more about The Social Detail on their website, and give them a follow on Twitter here: @thesocialdetail. You can also keep up with Joyann’s story by following her here: @joyannboyce