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Spotlight on TECwomen: Holly Patton, Software Cornwall Director

Updated: Mar 2, 2023


What is your Name? Holly Patton


What do you do?

I am a Director of Software Cornwall, based in Pool.


Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I’m Cornish born and bred with two young children. I love the summer and outdoor adventures (lots of camping with friends and beach trips). I’ve always had the desire to have a career with a positive impact on the world and to be successful, but what I have learned is that the definition of success changes over time (maybe it's my age!).


Tech is fascinating and there is always so much to learn which is great and being part of an organisation impacting positive social change is awesome!

What was your favourite subject at school?

I loved PE and Science and whilst they don't directly link to my career - the math, problem-solving, and processes have probably helped. PE and sports don't obviously link to my current role, but they are hobbies and good to get away from the screen from time to time.


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

Sometimes I struggle to explain my job, especially because I do so many different things in my role. But that is one of the things that makes it so exciting. In my job as a Company Director, my areas of responsibility are operations, finance, and business planning. I also do little bits of lots of other things, like project work, proposal writing, problem-solving and event management.


As I come from a financial background, everyone assumes I spend my day working on spreadsheets. Some days I do (and sometimes that’s my happy place!).


What is your favourite thing about your job?

I love seeing results and the impact of our work at Software Cornwall, be that a full conference of happy people or an awesome outcome for our educational outreach. A win for the team is a win for me.


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

I have a background in Operations, education, finance, and HR - I’ve worked in various types of organisation's (playground design, education, car hire, event management) and ended up doing the accounts for Software Cornwall when the organisation was formed, so I have always been involved in some form with the organisation.


A couple of significant things in my life forced me to reconsider my career trajectory. Firstly I had my second baby and unfortunately the business I was working for closed when I was on maternity leave. Then the pandemic hit (I was working for an events agency) so I shifted my focus to Agile on the Beach and Software Cornwall, the rest they say is history...


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

I’m an introvert! Sometimes I sometimes feel like that is a weakness, the key is to work to your strengths and have a team around you that is diverse and have other team members that complement you by having different strengths.


What advice would you give to young girls?

Do something you enjoy! There is nothing worse than spending 8 hours a day that makes you miserable. Be brave and be you!

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