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 want to highlight the various career paths available whilst reaching out to people who didn’t know there was a perfect role in tech for them.

This week, we spoke to advisor, mentor and Company Director Jane Garrett. To find out more about how she helps businesses grow to the next level, using personal experience to guide them, check out the interview:

What do you do? 

Create entrepreneurial programmes to support the transition of academics to be CEO or CTO of science/technology focussed startup businesses, in particular quantum.

What skills do you use most in your job? 

People skills! Understanding where someone is in their business development and supporting them to the next stage. Having been through founder to CEO of a listed businesses and got both the success and the scars, I use my knowledge gained from my personal journey to help others.

What’s your educational background? 

Degree in Physics & Post Grad Certificate in Education, a long-time ago.

What inspired you to go into digital & tech? 

Interest in Science and its application to solve real world problems.

How did your tech & digital career start? 

Working in the computer industry for many years and gaining technical skills, then forming my own startup business in software application development. From there moving into supporting others on that journey.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve worked on in your career so far? 

Creating something where nothing existed before and making successful things people tell me I will not be able to do. Working and guiding very early stage science-based businesses.

What challenges have you faced along the way? 

Almost too many to list. Managing family with business life, having to walk away from the business I created. Managing cash flow crises.

What is your favourite thing about working in the sector? 

Seeing people grow and develop, seeing the change from academic to business leader.

What advice would you give to young people thinking about a career in digital and tech or unsure what to study?

To do subjects they are passionate about/interested in – don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

Thank you to Jane for taking the time to talk to us about her career in tech. To find out more about her career, check out her Linkedin here.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.