“Diversity brings rich skillsets, better communication and problem solving” An interview with Kate Ratcliffe
Kate Ratcliffe is here to prove you can be a woman, have a family, be a great leader and support other women at the start of their careers in the tech industry – read that again! Kate has been working in Product Management for the past 10 years and is Head of Product Management at Eagle Eye – a marketing tech company that works with retail and hospitality companies, helping them develop their loyalty and promotions programmes. Women Rock Ambassador Doug spoke to Kate about her love for the tech industry and the incredible Purple Women community – a platform to develop women’s careers in tech and allow them to reach their full potential.
HEY KATE! COULD YOU START WITH GIVING US A LITTLE INTRODUCTION ABOUT YOU AND EAGLE EYE?
I grew up in a small village in Lancashire and was always pretty academic, so I knew I wanted to go to a great university to get my degree but honestly, I didn’t have a clue what I would do once I graduated. Once I finished university I decided to look into graduate schemes for inspiration and stumbled upon one focused on Product. I quickly fell in love with working in Product Management and 10 years later, I still feel the same. Now I am Head of Product Management at Eagle Eye.
Eagle Eye is a marketing tech company that works with fantastic retail and hospitality companies around the world, helping them develop their loyalty and promotions programmes. It’s our tech that powers initiatives such as Pret A Manger’s coffee subscription scheme and Asda’s loyalty program. It’s my role to help Eagle Eye define and develop products and solutions that deliver true value to our clients.
WHAT IS IT LIKE AS A WOMAN IN TECH WORKING FOR EAGLE EYE?
I LOVE being a woman in tech at Eagle Eye. We have a 50/50 gender split in the product team which is amazing. I truly believe the best, high performing teams are diverse; diversity brings rich skillsets, better communication and problem solving. Our senior leadership team is also filled with incredible women who, on a daily basis show you can be a woman, have a family, be a great leader and support other women at the start of their careers.
WHAT ARE EAGLE EYE DOING TO HELP WITH D+I?
We have an ERG group which has provided education and awareness on our diverse group of employees. We’ve learned about different religious festivals, veganism, had some emotional speeches on the Black Lives Matter movement and have now set up a successful women’s ERG group called the Purple Women.
Our Purple Women have implemented a new Family Friendly Policy covering topics such as enhanced maternity and paternity pay, the menopause, flexible working and work experience. They have also been looking at ways to attract more women into the tech sector to try to boost the number of applications we receive from female candidates.
We’ve taken small steps such as adding a slide in our job description deck with a statement around being able to offer flexibility and consider applications from candidates who don’t feel they necessarily meet all the suitability criteria for the role, plus advertising the Purple Women’s Family Friendly Policy and all its benefits.
Lastly, whilst not yet required by law to report on the Gender Pay Gap, we have started looking at this internally and using the data to inform our own salary reviews annually.
WHAT IS YOUR PURPLE WOMEN ERG GROUP AND HOW WILL IT IMPACT LIFE AT EAGLE EYE?
Our Purple Women group was established to represent the incredible ladies in our business and make Eagle Eye a great place for our Purple Women to work. It’s a community that is everything from a friendship group and support network, to a platform for us to develop our women and allow them to reach their full potential.
WHAT HAVE YOU AND YOUR TEAM DONE NOW THAT COVID RESTRICTIONS HAVE ENDED?
I actually had my first baby during lockdown so whilst remote working has been incredible in terms of easing back into work after maternity leave, I couldn’t wait to get back to the office to see everyone. In the last couple of months we have got the whole team together for a delayed Christmas party at Flight Club, and Google hosted us for a storytelling workshop and team builder activity which was great.
We are also having our first in-person Company Day in 3 years in July where we fly all of our international team over to the UK and get together for 4 days of teambuilding. I am so looking forward to finally meeting all of our new team members in the flesh.
FINALLY, CAN YOU LEAVE US WITH YOUR FAVOURITE SAYING / QUOTE THAT REALLY SUMS UP YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE AS A WOMAN IN TECH?
If you think something nice about someone, tell them. Small acts of genuine kindness are exactly what the world needs right now.
Thanks Kate! Keep rocking!