Yvette has been into tech and computers as long as she can remember. When she was five years old, she recalls her older brother taking an IT course. “I would meddle with an old Windows 95 PC with him – and often times break it!” she says.
“As I reached high school, I learned how to fix PCs and set up home networks,” Yvette adds. And even back then as a high school student, she had a nose for turning her burgeoning skills into a career – setting up home networks to make some money to buy more cool tech.
Yvette graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering from Treston International College in the Philippines, and landed a gig at Microsoft Philippines straight out uni.
In her current role as Asia Pacific Technical Architect, she’s helping businesses and organisations set up their workplaces to be able to call and collaborate remotely, using Microsoft products and services. “I love it because I think it will make a big impact especially for us in metro Manila, where [road] traffic is so bad that we need businesses to enable employees to work more mobile and yet still be connected, accessible and secured.”
Hurdles and challenges
Yvette’s passion for computers and tech has never waned, and she’s currenty most excited about innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data “and how they have powered up all other fields in technology,” she says.
As a young woman in a tradionally male-dominated field, Yvette says her career hasn’t been without challenges. “One of the recurring hurdles I had to overcome was to establish credibility in front of customers and partners after a first impression of looking like a female fresh out of college, even after years of work experience,” she says.
“It shouldn’t feel like a disadvantage for young women working in STEM to meet new people in the industry and feel the need to prove their technical capacity that I feel men in the same age bracket as me don’t experience.”
Yvette dreams of building her own company one day, and when she’s not working in tech she’s currently trying to learn violin!
You can follow Yvette on Twitter at @yfwatson.
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.