International Women’s Day – Jackie Childs

As part of International Women’s Day, we interviewed our Senior Business Analyst Jackie Childs about her role at Polaris and her journey as a woman in tech.

What does a Senior Business Analyst do?

Well I like to communicate so I do it by talking a lot, and asking a lot of questions!

Aa a Business Analyst, you’re looking at ways to make digital trading better. That means you have to have good domain knowledge – you’ve got to know your industry and your subject really, really well so you can work out the businesses need and help developers create the systems to meet it.

At Polaris we don’t just do that for individual companies, we create standardised processes and systems so everyone can collect information the same way and respond in the same way and ultimately trade more easily.

What’s the best bit about your job?

The people. I get to talk to a huge range of different stakeholders – and reconcile a huge range of wants, needs and budgets. That’s something I really enjoy, which is probably why I’ve been at Polaris now for 23 years…

How did you get into tech?

I started out in motor insurance, and then took a job as an IT administrator at the ABI (Association of British Insurers) – who at that time looked after digital trading standards. I was convinced the role would be techy and boring and a quick stop-gap – I was very, very wrong.

International Women's Day quote

What myths do you want to bust?

There’s lots of different types of roles available, and not all of them are particularly techy-focused. Working in IT can be really engaging, and really worthwhile.

Does tech need more women?

Definitely. Women don’t bring in more than men, but they don’t bring any less, either – and there is no good reason for there to still be so few of them in the room. I think discrimination clearly still exists – it’s just harder to spot these days.

Have you had any other role models?

I’ve learnt a lot from lots of different people over the years, and I’m tickled now to find that I am a bit of a role model! Both my nieces have gone into insurance – one into insurance IT – and I think that’s because they saw me having a good time and making good money.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

Spend time with my family – including my mum who’s 88 now. I like going to the Bingo with my friends, and going for walks along the Dover cliffs collecting sloes to make my own sloe gin, brandy and port.