As part of our Meet the Team and Women in Tech Series, we catch up with Kirsty Alderton, our VP of Operations.
Let's start with you telling us a little bit about your role here at ThoughtRiver.
With over three years under my belt, I am one of the old-timers at ThoughtRiver. During this period, my role has changed many times to meet the needs of a vibrant and evolving start-up.
I joined as a Project Manager, to handle big customer projects, but quickly took on board Technical Operations, Product Management and now I look after all company operations. This includes day-to-day running of the ThoughtRiver platform, company finances, and HR. I will often joke that I manage biscuits too, but in Covid times this has been a rare treat! However, I cannot take credit for all this; I have a fabulous team that does most of the work.
Describe a typical day.
No day at ThoughtRiver is ever the same! This keeps me alive and on my toes. Be it applying the latest updates, or organizing the next social event. Cutting across so many areas allows me to collaborate with everyone and help build a thriving organization.
What did you do before joining the world of AI contract review?
I started my career in Technical Operations for Barclays Bank, more years ago than I wish to remember! Back when it was still a very traditional, male-orientated, industry. But times were changing, not for me but for my colleagues as they had to adapt to having a girl on the team and treating me the same. Barclays gave me a solid foundation in my knowledge and amazing career opportunities. Even without the existence of LinkedIn, these colleagues are still some of my closest friends.
Keen to see the world and move into software, I spent the next 15 years on a plane. Or at least it felt like it! I got to meet new people, experience different cultures, and work in amazing locations. Over those years the companies changed, and the roles I did evolved; I started in pre-sales, then moved into training, and then product management.
And what was your experience as a women in tech at this time?
Progress was slow, but it's been good to see the increase in the number of women in IT-related positions over the years. It is still too rare an occurrence, but things have definitely improved.
Working across almost every region of the world I never questioned that I was a young, single girl, travelling alone in a foreign land. I just enjoyed the opportunities. Only once was I concerned: when I jumped into a taxi in Athens... and so did three strange men! As always, the Greeks were ahead of the times and had invented their own early version of Uber Pool.
Finally, are you optimistic about the future for women in tech?
The world is a changing place and I am pleased to see an ever-increasing number of women entering technical roles. Of course, there is still some distance to travel.