Anna Petts, Head of Learning and Organisational Development (L&OD) at Agilisys, is a finalist in the 2021 Women in Tech Excellence Awards in the Innovator of the Year: Enterprise category.  

In celebration of her nomination, we asked Anna to tell us more about her role at Agilisys, how she thinks we can encourage more women into the Tech sector, and much more.   

Tell us about your current role and what motivates you. What has been the driving force behind your career strategy?   

To say I have a ‘dream job’ may sound corny, but it’s true. Who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning and ask, “what can I create today?”.  

Working in L&OD, I am hugely privileged to have the opportunity to work with a host of different – and indeed ever evolving learning technologies – allowing me to design and deliver innovative learning solutions to diverse customer groups, both internal and external, including engagement with end-users, often teenagers, which is incredibly powerful and humbling. 

Tell us about an achievement in your career that you are proud of 

To isolate one achievement would be difficult, as I am proud of all that I have achieved. Not having a classic tech education background, I have learned through practice, determination and application. When I look back at my career, there are many achievements, including launching a total reward solution, implementing a mentor/mentee pairing system and single handily taking an LMS out of the box and implementing nationwide. Designing a performance management solution to facilitate continuous dialogue and engagement, and more recently, a suite of on-line digital modules for young people to help gain successful employment and a company-wide D&I curriculum, are also notable. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career? 

The three Rs: Resilience, Relationships and Results. 

Resilience – recognising there will be bad days, whilst acknowledging there will be good days, and learning how to quickly bounce back – tapping into and making full use of the range of resources available, including my own personal resilience and resolve. 

Relationships – the importance of making time to build effective working relations, celebrating efforts and working as part of a team – without which things would not get done. 

Results – having relentless ambition for what could be – a willingness to want to make a difference, and determination and drive to succeed. 

How would you encourage more women into the IT sector? 

As an employer: go beyond the narrative around ‘putting women first’ but aim to continually raise awareness around intersectionality and look to the wealth of diversity opportunities in tech, investigating the challenges people from intersectional groups face in the workplace, as well as valuing their unique perspectives.  

The tech industry won’t achieve true balance — and reach its fullest potential — until we see equal representation from every group. 

As a woman: encourage recognition that working in tech is not just about the tech, but about the opportunity to do the things that you love and are good at, be this, creativity, helping others, making a difference, working with great people and continually learning new things. If you’re a woman, and not sure where to start, start by looking at what you would value most from a career – and from there be prepared to work hard (not harder), be curious, grab every opportunity available. In return, working in tech will provide a rich and rewarding career and more, not every sector can offer this.