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Ellie Williams: from drama school to People Administrator, Actress & Voiceover Artist

Social media handle(s): LinkedIn

A few words about me:

I trained as an Actress in London straight after finishing school. I worked (and still do) as an Actress and Voiceover Artist across TV, theatre, video games, audiobooks... all the things!

I stumbled across the world of tech in a temp position supporting dxw's founder Harry Metcalfe, as his PA. I then moved into business operations and now HR. The rest, as they say, is history!

Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?

My experience has really been on both sides of the (workplace) coin. I've been an Actress on a film set, with people running around setting things up and telling you where to be and what to do. Working in HR, I now tend to be more on the supportive/supporting side of things.

I've also spent many years as a freelancer, moving from job to job, so I understand the nomadic experience of contracting. There is a theory that the future of work will be much more fluid, so perhaps it's given me a head start!

These days, I see first-hand where technology and people collide; particularly in the voiceover world where we're experiencing AI creep into things like audiobook narration, dubbing and actors 'selling' their voices to tech companies. It's quite unique to have investment and experience on both sides.

Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?

Absolutely not STEM - I went to drama school!

Where did your professional journey start?

My current organisation was the first place that saw me as more than just a 'temp', or an 'out-of-work Actress'. My unique skills and life experience were valued in the tech industry, which surprised me as I was never the best at maths or science at school.

How did you get into tech and what motivated you?

We're living through a technological revolution. Creatives tend to fear technology, which is interesting as it's given us even more mediums to express our work (TV, film, streaming, digital media etc). It's also a thriving industry and lucrative job market; our workplace is leaps and bounds ahead of traditional industries when it comes to the experience we aim to offer our people. It's The Place to Be working, right now and that's motivating.

Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?

People outside of work tend to assume I don't know anything about technology or the work we do. We have some extremely talented folk working for us and I love to read about their experiences as Technologists (even if I don't quite understand it all!).

"Bring what is special and unique about you to the industry, and you'll find your place."

What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...

It takes all sorts of folk to make a successful tech company. It's not just a room full of Developers, they want you there too.

What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?

I can't say too much, but I did a brief stint in a cyber security company. Coolest job ever!

What do you like / not like about working in tech?

I like the innovative side of tech; which is most often rooted in ultimately making things better for humans.

Less good; some areas of the industry don't seem particularly interested in addressing the lack of diversity, particularly for women. A friend recently attended a fintech event, where the all-male panel of speakers was discussing how to bring more women into the industry. A good starting point might have been to invite one of them to speak.

"It takes all sorts of folk to make a successful tech company. It's not just a room full of Developers, they want you there too."

What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?

On one of my first days in my role, a colleague was sharing their interest in astronomy. I responded by saying how interested I was in star signs too! (They were far too polite to correct me). I also love astronomy, but I was too embarrassed to backtrack ...

And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?

If you think there isn't a role for you in tech - think again! Bring what is special and unique about you to the industry, and you'll find your place.


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