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#BreakTheBias – Q&A with Katie Contreras on International Women’s Day 2022

Katie Contreras
Katie Contreras VP Customer Experience




To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th, we interviewed Katie Contreras, from our Senior Leadership Team, to get her thoughts on gender quality and how to #BreakTheBias within the world of tech.

Can you share a little bit about what you do? What does your typical work day look like?

I’m Head of Professional Services and Support at Dayshape so there’s a mixture of line management activities such as holding 1:1s with my direct reports, dealing with any escalated project or support issues and managing interlocks with other departments across the company. My teams are busy implementing and supporting our software into our customer environments so it is key we are close to our product and engineering teams, knowing what our future product development looks like and making sure we get what we need to support our projects at the right time.

I like to be hands-on and spend time building relationships with our customers, getting involved in early discussions alongside our sales team and I get to write the contracts so that there are no surprises downstream! As I’m on the senior leadership team, I get to be involved in strategic discussions and decisions, hire who I need to fulfil our commitments and manage the finances for my departments to drive profitability.

What made you decide to pursue a career in technology?

I grew up on a farm but it’s a tough life and wasn’t something I wanted to make a career out of. I was delighted to see John Deere as one of IWD’s sponsors this year though and it’s great to see some amazing role models for women in the farming industry like the Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen.

Languages were my passion and I studied French and German at University, then taught myself Spanish. Technology wasn’t even a subject at my school (it was the 80s!) so I accidentally fell into it. After I graduated university, I applied for a role with IBM as a Customer Services Specialist dealing with customers across Europe, lured by a move to Scotland, and impressed that the Greenock site had its own train station, the ‘IBM Halt’!  From there I moved into Project Management and got to travel to some great places during my career, managing a variety of projects and learning what I needed to know technically along the way. My last role at IBM was managing large outsourcing contracts as a Delivery Partner Executive. 

18 months ago I made the move to Dayshape as I wanted a change from corporate life and I’ve never looked back. I love the software development environment, the agility of a small company, the strong relationships we have developed with our customers, and the fact that Dayshape is scaling so fast; it’s super exciting! 

Do you feel that women have the same opportunities as men in the tech world?

I find some of the statistics around gender equality really alarming and it’s clear we still need to take action. There’s a real lack of role models for women, and it starts within schools. I think some opportunities are there but if we haven’t taken the steps needed from an early age to address bias and get more girls into STEM subjects, they are not going to be able to take advantage of the opportunities. I went into my kids’ primary school each year to do a talk on careers and presented tech as a fun subject, not something ‘nerdy’. Even in films, you still see the tech specialist depicted as some stereotypical male nerd character. This isn’t necessarily the role model that many girls will see themselves in or want to aspire to.  

Do you feel this has changed over the course of your career?

I feel like things have improved but there’s still such a lot to do. Frustratingly there is still a gender pay gap, there’s still a lack of women in leadership roles, and Covid has had an overall negative impact.   

I often used to be the only woman walking into a meeting room and felt I had to wait politely for the chat about football or golf to conclude before I could join in.  I am really happy to work for a company that embraces diversity & inclusion. Half our senior leadership team are female and we are working hard to attract more women into our Engineering roles. We have established a D&I Board to promote diversity and inclusion within our workplace and our product and there’s been really positive discussion across the company to do even more. Bias is clearly still an issue in tech generally, hence the theme of this year’s IWD campaign #BreakTheBias. There’s some great training material available via LinkedIn which my teams will be taking advantage of.

What advice would you give to women who would like to start a career in tech?

Do it! And encourage your friends to go for it. Don’t feel you have to behave like anything other than you, be yourself, help create that environment that makes it a safe welcoming workplace for everyone regardless of sexuality, gender, colour, background etc. Get a mentor, it can really help to have a sounding board with someone who has some experience under their belt.  

Remember a lot of men are fathers of daughters, or have working wives, and most people recognise the importance of gender equality. And to everyone working in tech, call out any micro aggressions or bias and help educate each other. It’s not just enough being aware of bias, we need to actively address it to make the change. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

To find out how you can join the IWD community and get behind this year’s campaign visit

Interested in a career in tech? Check out our current vacancies and join our team at the fastest growing tech company in Scotland.

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