Women in Tech – Evy Knol

Next in our Women in Tech series, we’re meeting Business Consultant, Evy Knol. At Wunderman Thompson, we believe that diversity makes us stronger, and Evy couldn’t agree more. Find out more about her unconventional route into tech, why a role in digital might surprise you, and how sport can help you succeed in the workplace.
Tell us about your journey to Wunderman Thompson

When I graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a degree in media studies, I wanted a role in television. But what seemed like a really dynamic sector from the outside was actually very old school – no one was investing in innovation. After four years of feeling uninspired, I trained in content creation and learned about marketing automation. That kick-started my journey to Wunderman Thompson.

Wunderman Thompson is an international company with a small-agency culture. I felt at home right away and something just clicked. Now I get to spend my days working with an amazing team on a wide variety of projects for our customers. There’s never a dull moment and we’re all learning every day.

Were you nervous about working in a traditionally male-dominated industry?

I was definitely aware of the taboo that still exists – the idea that jobs in digital must be really technical so people assume women can’t or don’t want to do them. Overcoming that mental barrier can be a big challenge for women, but luckily the landscape is changing and there are more and more women working in technology. The best way to build confidence is to find and talk to other women in tech. Share ideas, learn more about different roles, and support each other.

Wunderman Thompson is a great environment for women, and there are more women joining the team all the time. I feel confident and supported here. 

 

Do you have any advice for girls considering a career in digital?

More businesses are realizing that embracing diversity opens up a broader range of skills and strengths to help them succeed, so it’s a great time to break into sectors that were traditionally male-dominated. I would advise girls to be curious and challenge what they think they know about technology. It’s not a load of men sitting in a dusty office full of screens, there are loads of opportunities that don’t involve any coding. 

Soft skills can be really important in technology. I’m quite tech-savvy and I like understanding how things work, but not to the degree that my techy colleagues do! My strengths are empathy and listening to the customer to understand their needs and challenges. Being able to translate that into a solution our architects can go away and design is really important.

 

What other kinds of skills are important for a role in technology?

If you don’t have tech skills it doesn’t mean you can’t work in the tech sector. Life skills and creativity can be just as important. I love to play hockey and socialise in my spare time, and that’s taught me to work as a team and strategise to achieve a common goal. I also enjoy yoga, and learned how important it is to take time for yourself and to prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing. Sometimes you need to take a step back and rest to bring your best self when you’re at work, and I think that’s often overlooked in our ‘work hard play hard’ society.

Yoga also gives me the time and space to reflect on what I’ve achieved. I love nurturing customer relationships and watching them grow and succeed with our support. We’re all on the same team, and a win for our customers is a huge win for us.