08 Mar 2018
To mark International Women’s Day March 8th Brightwater is celebrating inspirational women. We are championing women who are leaders in their field and make a difference in their community. In this profile we are highlighting Elaine Forde,Test Manager at Davy as an inspirational woman.
Q – What is your current role?
A – Test Manager, Davy
Q – How did you get into your current role?
A – I have been working within Testing/QA teams in Dublin since leaving college. During college summers, I worked temping in various companies and one particular summer was spent testing a new computer system. This led me on to getting my first job after college as a BA/ Test Analyst.
Over the years, I have been afforded a lot of opportunities to work on different systems, projects and use a variety of testing methodologies as part of this.
Q – Do you have any qualifications?
A – I completed a degree in Business from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and over the years expanded my testing and project management knowledge through a variety of qualifications – ISTQB Advanced Test Manager, Scrum Master Certificate, Prince 2 and various management courses.
I have also found it very important to keep up to date with new testing tools and methodologies so I regularly attend seminars in Dublin, read industry journals and join a variety of webinars.
Q – What 3 things do you love about your current role?
The People – There is a very open and friendly attitude within the organisation. As I have only recently joined the organisation I have found that colleagues have been very proactive in getting me up to speed, setting up training times and scheduling time to meet me. I have had a really warm welcome to the company.
The Structure – Davy has a very lean structure so there are great opportunities to learn and work on a variety of different systems and technologies and alongside a lot of specialists and experts.
Enthusiastic – My team are one of the most enthusiastic groups I have ever worked with. Their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn has created a happy and a positive working environment. It also makes the work day really enjoyable for everyone.
Q – What would be your favourite part of your current role ?
A – It is a busy company with a good mix of old and new technologies that have both agile and waterfall approaches dependent on the systems and change so there is a lot of scope and change within the company. My favourite task currently is planning and implementing improvements and efficiencies within the team.
Q – Proudest moment within your career to date?
A – My proudest moment will always be getting my degree; I was the first person in my family so it was a really great moment.
Q – Greatest career achievement to date?
A – I recently saw an old team member and they thanked me for all of the encouragement and time I had spent training them. It was great to hear they had done well and I’m very confident they will continue to do so. If I had some small part in that, then that would be my greatest achievement.
Q – What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed within the workplace?
A –It is really important to work for people you like, interviews are a two way process. I chose companies that I know I can work for and learn from the person interviewing me.
I have been very lucky to work for a number of men and women all of whom I have been exceptional in their roles and have been great mentors and coaches to me. I would not have achieved all I have done without their support
Q – What do you think are the challenges facing women in the IT sector today?
A – IT is slowly becoming less and less a male dominated industry, it’s great to see more and more balanced teams. However there is still a gap. To fill this, more needs to be done to encourage and promote IT and IT development to young girls through fun classes, work placement programmes and competitions.
Q – From your experience to date what have you learned about being in a leadership role
A – It is very important to be open and honest with people, it is impossible to give everyone on your team what they want all of the time but you can be open and honest about what you can do for others.
Q – From your experience to date what have you learned about mentoring others?
A – The key thing I have learned is that you need to be able to tailor your communication style to meet an individual’s preference. Therefore, if you have an individual who prefers visual aids, bring diagrams to your mentoring sessions. Others may prefer an informal conversation – you should try to learn quickly what an individual’s preference is so they will get more from mentoring.
Q – What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
A – I had a mentor who told me told me each time I was promoted “ to find my replacement and pick my next role”. This meant whilst someone was getting training into my role, I was getting the time and opportunity to train for my next move.
Elaine Forde Test Manager, Davy.