top of page

Liz Mirecki: from Human Resources to Head of IP Programme Delivery

Social media handle(s): LinkedIn

A few words about me:

I am a busy mum of two young girls and a rather large dog working full time for a global consultancy in the Insurance sector. In my spare time I try to maintain a work life balance with multiple hobbies including mountain biking, weightlifting and CrossFit and some weeks I’m successful, others not so much.

Alongside delivering software with my teams, I am hugely passionate about women in business, digital and leadership and will talk to absolutely anyone willing to listen. My career is far from conventional ... I left school at 16 with my GCSEs and no idea what I wanted to do so settled for a full-time sales assistant job in a supermarket until I spotted opportunities and doors that opened to me resulting in where I am now, a Head of Delivery in a global consultancy.

Born and raised in Yorkshire, you'll often find me hiking up a mountain in the rain or wild swimming in a local reservoir when I'm not sat at my desk doing what I love.

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

Many! When I left school at 16, I worked in a supermarket as a sales assistant and as I had long blonde hair, I was given haircare as the section I was responsible for … not sure that would be an acceptable reason these days. I also spent several years as operational HR in the food manufacturing sector and travelled to the different sites across the UK. One day I would be in a bakery, the next a fish mongers and then later that week an abattoir. All great career opportunities with different people, situations, experiences, and the skills I acquired throughout that time in my career I still apply today.

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

In my early career it was non-STEM related as I was operational HR and payroll however the last 15 years my profession has been STEM, in the Technology space, and will continue to be for a long time.

Where did your professional journey start?

My ‘official’ professional journey began around 2010 when a chance encounter from a project team came to my meat manufacturing site to interview me on the current HR systems. My extensive knowledge clearly impressed them at the time, and I was asked to join them as an SME / analyst. Had I not been part of that interview process and said yes to the opportunity, that absolutely terrified me at the time and was out of my comfort zone, I would not be where I am today.

How did you get into tech and what motivated you?

I got into tech purely by chance and opportunities presented to me that I decided to take a risk on. Swapping HR disciplinaries and payroll execution with business process mapping of HR processes allowed me to step into the world of software development and the desire to stay in tech grew from there. I found a career that ignited a passion in me I’d not found to date, and I've never looked back.

My career went from SME, to Business Analyst, System Analyst, BA Manager, Agile Delivery Manager, Programme Manager and beyond. My skillset really lends itself to Delivery of all kinds and shipping code, launching change, and exciting new tech into customers hands keeps me motivated every day.

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

Plenty. I struggled early on in my career as I was seen as not educated enough to be taken seriously. Although this was never said directly to me, I could see that others were listened to or consulted first and I was excluded even though I had the hands-on experience to warrant my advice or opinion. Thankfully now my experience is vast, I can leverage that and leadership roles, to always try to be inclusive of all no matter what class, status, or education people are to avoid anyone else feeling that way.

A laptop, on wooden desk with packet of biscuits and piece of paper next to it.

"Don't assume you need a computer science degree or be a maths genius to get into tech and be successful. You can be practical, hard working with good social skills and contribute immensely to new tech, projects, business change and digital transformation ... Technical ability can be taught, the other skills not so much."

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

I wish I'd have known how to get into it earlier. Career advice at my school was poor with college or university as the only options however I did not want to pursue either. As someone who is practical and learns by doing, I needed to know about other routes such as apprenticeships and working whilst learning. This has improved recently, and I'm pleased the next generation has other options outside of the norm.

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

Not everyone knows what they are doing and just because people use big words, textbook quotes, and technical jargon does not mean they are more capable or smarter than you. Once you realise this, the tech world opens to you.

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

The flexibility of being able to work from wherever, whenever. My work travels with me in the form of a laptop so I can sit on a train and work to and from London and not be restricted to one place. I also get to operate in a hugely diverse workforce and make new friends along the way whilst visiting big cities in the north such as Leeds and Manchester to network with very little downtime.

A downside is being so readily available to my team and company. I have no 'off switch' so having work at my fingertips all the time means I tend to overwork and check emails and messages later than I should!

"I wish I'd have known how to get into tech earlier."

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

I once sent out highly confidential salary data to junior members of the team without thinking. It was far from funny at the time however looking back I was so careless and naïve and learned my biggest lesson to date. I now triple check my data, email recipients and pause before firing off anything!

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

Don't assume you need a computer science degree or be a maths genius to get into tech. You can be practical, hard working with good social skills and contribute immensely to new tech, projects, business change and digital transformation. These skills are overlooked and qualities I look for in new hires. Technical ability can be taught, the other skills not so much.


bottom of page