We interviewed Dipesh Parmar, Product Manager at Police Digital Service on their experience and thoughts on diversity in tech.
My Job as a Product Manager involves managing and improving products that PDS offer to our stakeholders. This encompasses the full life of the products from development, security and delivery to product improvements, updates and support once the product is live.
I’ve grown up around technology my whole life and have always been into gaming. I was fascinated by how it all worked and this is what led me down the path of technology.
I had the benefit of experiencing multiple technology paths during my working life from cloud computing, coding and development to technology training, community management and support. After a few years of doing these roles and moving from job to job, I eventually found out about the Product Manager role, which I instantly resonated with and knew it was a career for me. The Product Manager career allowed me to learn new skills, but it also allowed me to bring over and use all the skills I had previously learnt and experienced into the role.
At college I studied BTEC National Diploma for IT Practitioners which enabled me to learn the fundamentals of IT systems, Networking and programming. Then at university I studied Computer Science majoring in Digital Media Technology & Game Development.
That was my pathway but In today’s day and age one does not need to go to university to learn these subjects. There are online training and development courses people can enrol in, that are relatively cheap and, in some cases, free! (e.g. AWS skills builder). This sort of availability of knowledge allows anyone to get stuck in and achieve invaluable technology and IT skills that will boost and kickstart a career in IT or technology.
No, I think the technology sector is one that is very diverse as the skills that people need can be learnt by anyone, at any time and at a very low cost. It is all down to the individual to make the decision to pursue their dreams and ambitions. Where there is a will, there is a way!
I do not believe there is a lack of diversity in this sector. As I touched upon previously, if the person (no matter their skin color, sex or beliefs) has the ambition and the drive to work toward a goal and a career then they will get it!
The largest barrier I faced was in the form of not having enough experience in the role I was applying for. Even though the roles were “entry level”, I was still overlooked for them. After being rejected for countless roles, I decided to do a couple months of voluntary work for a local digital media agency, and this was the best decision I made! Even though I the work was very basic, It provided me with great people skills and experiences that I could then take forward into interviews for the roles I wanted to pursue. This got me my first entry level IT job and I eventually got an amazing opportunity as a product trainer for Google and this kick started my technology career.
No matter what you look like or what you believe in you should not be discriminated against and be provided with equal rights and opportunities as everyone else.
I have not experienced discrimination in any of the organisations I have worked for to date. I have always been treated fairly and equally.