Do I belong at Crimson?

Diversity and inclusion are important across Crimson and the rest of the Harvey Nash Group, and Crimson Academy aim to improve the diversity of the cohorts year on year. A diverse workforce provides different viewpoints, and results in a more successful business overall.

With a drive to hire and train a diverse group of apprentices, the Head of Change & People Development at Crimson, Cat Halstead, is keen to encourage more women to begin careers in technology.

Since Crimson onboarded their first Academy cohort in 2019, we have gradually increased our gender balance. We recognise we still have much work to do in achieving a diverse workforce overall and will continue to challenge our approach.

Crimson Academy’s 2019 cohort, the first group of apprentices to join Crimson, included three females and five males, and the 2020 cohort was made up of four females and six males. The aim for 2021 is a 50/50 split for gender, while continuing to encourage diversity surrounding race, age and social background.

In 2019, Crimson created its very own tech community for women, known as Women in Tech, which includes social gatherings, webinars and a podcast channel, The WIT Diaries. Crimson’s Women in Tech community is ideal for women in senior IT roles, or those who aspire to be in senior IT roles, where they can share stories, insights, and advice to encourage and empower one another.

“If you are looking to be valued and to make a real difference, then Crimson is the right choice for you. Our award winning apprenticeship programme (Crimson Academy) provides a brilliant opportunity to springboard into a tech career. We provide all the technical skills you will need, so don’t worry if you didn’t study IT at school. We are looking for a diverse group of candidates with different backgrounds, experience, and aspirations. If you are thinking ‘I can’t’, just put a ‘yet’ at the end – ‘I can’t ….yet’ which opens up endless opportunities for personal growth”

- Cat Halstead, Head of Change & People Development, Crimson


"I grew up with two brothers, and from an early age was always far more interested in their cars, lego and trains than I was in the stereotypical “girls’ toys”. In school, my favourite subjects were maths, science and computing so I guess I was always destined for a career in IT!

I followed the typical route from college to university, where I studied Computing and Management, before going on to begin my career in IT and CRM support, working for companies including Microsoft and Gap (the clothes company, not the consulting firm) before moving across to Dynamics 365 consultancy."

- Becky Carr, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Functional Team Lead

"I’m a project Coordinator in our PMO team so I am at the heart of our solutions team making sure everyone has what they need to get on with their day. I have such a varied role that I’m never doing one thing for too long and that has opened up a world of new knowledge and skills for me, as well as refining and strengthening my existing abilities."

- Siobhan Hughes, PMO Coordinator

Why did they begin a career in tech?

"I recognised a passion for technology that developed as the world of technology advanced, I wanted to be part of the growth and innovation in any way I could. Starting from the bottom enables me to understand the sector from the ground up and home in on the specialty that I would like to pursue in the future, whether that includes coding or not. There are so many more roles and fields of expertise within the sector than I realised - it isn’t all about being able to code as some assumptions may lead you to believe."

- Andrea Kahle, Junior Consultant

"My career in tech essentially took off after I first supported the implementation of a new system as part of my BAU role. I had always been fascinated by systems and tech and enjoyed getting hands on, teaching myself how to adopt/adapt new technologies and since I caught the bug I have been fully hooked. I continued to pursue a career in IT Project Management because of the opportunities it presented me with to learn new things and challenge old fashioned views that typically used to be associated with Project Management."

- Chrissie Felthouse, Senior Project Manager

What advice would they give to other women considering working at Crimson?

"My advice to women who are considering starting a career in tech is to be passionate, be confident and recognise, and embrace your uniqueness. Being a woman in a heavily male dominated field means you are going to have a unique voice, and that is invaluable."

- Sabrina Bano, Junior Consultant

"My advice to women who are considering a career in technology, you don’t need to know everything but just have the passion and curiosity to solve problems will lead to a successful career in the IT field. Pursing a job in the IT field allows you to work in any area you are interested because technology branches out to all sectors and future prospects. The possibilities technology can grow into are endless."

- Natasha Hall, Junior Consultant

What advice would they give to other women considering working at Crimson?

"Tech as an industry is male dominated, without reason to be. I would encourage anyone to explore the opportunities within the sector as it continues to grow and would love to see more women joining the industry (and our team). The variety in roles within the sector is vast and isn’t just limited to hand on developer/configurator roles."

- Charlotte Heron, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Functional Consultant

“One of my favourite quotes has always been: ‘men are great managers because they often see the bigger picture. Women are great managers because they can often spot the tiny details’. For me, it really puts emphasis on the importance of both gender roles in an organisation. No good company can exist without either one. Variety and different skillsets are so important.”

- Megan Casey, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Junior Consultant