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Spotlight on TECwomen: Hannah Rowe, Co-Founder and Director at Rowe IT

What is your Name?

Hannah Rowe

What do you do?

Founder and Director at Rowe IT

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I am an ordinary woman who could never have predicted her journey through life. Like everyone else, I have my struggles, especially with mental health but I love my life. Having a purpose, friends, and family have been my key to happiness. Everyone needs to feel like their lives matter, and that they make a difference. When I am dead I am not bothered about memorials or being remembered. What matters to me is the impact I have now and the people I have around me. Those are my drivers and they get me up in the morning, alongside walking and wild swimming.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I cannot remember particularly enjoying any one subject. I was a pretty average student. I never felt a calling towards any particular area although I did love Archaeology. I joined the Royal Navy after doing a Law Degree and it was the best thing I did. It gave me friendships and memories which still shine like they happened yesterday. It also gave me a sense of achievement which is important in anything you do. The Armed Forces offer many opportunities. But remember, a career chosen now does not have to last for life. It is just one path on your journey.

What do you do in your role at the moment? What does your day to day work look like?

I am the Director for Internal Ops. This covers everything from People, Culture, Social Values, Governance (including information and cyber security) to Business Strategy and Marketing. I am currently focusing on the organisational structure and functions and making Rowe Net Zero by 2030. No day is the same and I constantly face challenges and opportunities for improvement which I love (most of the time!).

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Two things, people and pushing my boundaries. We are a culture-driven company that underpins everything we do. Everyone in the company is an individual and needs to be given the opportunity to be their best version. Making that happen is important to me and it is something we are constantly trying to improve. It pushes me to be better and to keep learning even when I think it is impossible. As a Director, I cannot simply walk away. I have to find solutions and I relish that.

How did you get into the job your are doing now? What did you do to get started?

Paul and I are co-founders of Rowe. The last six years has seen unprecedented growth in the company. My role has been instrumental alongside others in the team. I have developed in confidence alongside the business. I never thought I would ever be part of a software development company but I am so glad I am. Software developers are intelligent, fabulous, inspiring people and I learn something every day with them.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and how did you overcome them?

I have had to really stretch my growth mindset to develop and learn in new areas; cyber and information security and software development in particular. I do not have an overly logical mind and I placed mental barriers against learning skills in this area. Dogged determination and a lot of chocolate got me through this. It taught me that we can do anything but it may not be what you were meant to do. Whether you live for work or work to live, find something you enjoy and do it. Never let anyone limit you because of social stereotypes. Be weird, be wonderful, be yourself.

What advice would you give to young girls?

It can take time to really know who or what you are. Try and enjoy the journey. Make mistakes and never be ashamed of anything about you. Celebrate yourself and all your female friends. Women are stronger when we build each other up. You are amazing.

Anything else you would like to add?

It is a hard time to be a woman. We have still to reach true equality and equity. Sadly I think we are generations away from that. It is important that every women looks after and creates opportunities for others. We need to bring around societal change and only we can do that.


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