Women in Tech Profile: Brittany Heath
New York, New York
Tell us about yourself.
I love to travel, drink coffee, eat Thai food, organize, and plan everything. I put God first in everything I do and I am a proud Christian. I love NYC and my Georgia roots follow me everywhere I go to keep me grounded. I have been at Verizon for 5 years and it is where I started my career in tech.
How did you decide to get into technology?
In high school, I took classes on computer hardware, database management, and computer networking. At that time, I was not sure what I wanted to do once I graduated but I knew it would involve computers. When I enrolled in college at Penn State University and signed up for courses learning about IT systems integration and information security essentials.
How would you describe your experience in the industry so far?
I have had a great experience in tech. I have been in the field for about 5 years now and I have connected with many individuals who have taught me and supported me along the way.
What does a typical day in your job look like?
No day is like any other, surprisingly! Each day comes with new challenges therefore I have to really just be open to learning something new and working with new people to resolve whatever comes my way. I spend a good amount of time working with my colleagues to improve processes and test new security implementations.
Has your expectation of what the tech world is like matched the reality? How?
My expectation of what the tech world would be like was based on what I had seen in the media and college.
I knew that I was going to be in a male dominated field that had little diversity.
However, when I started my career at Verizon I was surprised at the number of women and people of colour around me. I see female leaders in the company, and it is very encouraging.
How do you navigate working with men daily (if you do) and how do you make sure to get your voice heard?
I do my best to remain confident and allow my skills to do the rest. I think oftentimes we are hesitant to speak up even when we know exactly what we are talking about. When I allow myself to have a positive mindset and remain confident that I know what I am doing (even if I do not) I always have the reception needed to get the tasks done with a group of people.
If you could change one thing about your journey in tech so far, what would it be?
I would not change anything. The journey is not always smooth or easy, but I feel that everything I experienced happened for a reason and has allowed me to be where I am today. I am thankful for having an early introduction into tech.
"There were many challenges trying to learn how
technology works but those moments made me work even harder.
I think that anyone who is interested in tech should keep
moving forward even if it does not seem like
they can understand the field right away."
What was the best professional advice you ever received?
Dress for the job you want. I used to overthink how my appearance affected others. My mentor told me to dress for the position I want and not the position I have. At the time I had just started my first full-time job. When I started dressing for the job I want, I realized I was comfortable and confident. That confidence helps me every single day.
Appearance is not everything but if you know that there is something you can do that will make you more comfortable and push away the imposter syndrome then do it.
What advice do you have for younger ladies aiming to pursue a career in technology?
Do not allow outside influences to steer you away from what you are passionate about.
There are many stereotypes about people in tech and they can have an influence on younger women who are just starting to figure out what they want to do. If you like tech, keep on it. No matter how hard it seems it will be worth it in the end.
I would like to send a massive thanks to Brittany for taking the time out to do this interview. I enjoyed learning about your journey into tech and your experience so far. I wish you all the best with the future.
You can visit Brittany's socials and websites and connect with her via the links listed above.
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