Janine Crosbie
Janine joined Mintel in 2021 as VP of Engineering. Janine leads multiple software engineering teams and is the site lead for Mintel's Belfast office.

The Tech at Mintel series shines a spotlight on our global IT department and how some of the industry’s best and brightest build Mintel’s modern, agile, and scalable technology backbone.

Mintel Technology teams have grown significantly over the past year, but women are still hugely underrepresented in the tech industry. Part of the challenge is changing the perception of what our career in technology offers and attracting women to apply for roles.

At the end of 2021, we examined our gender diversity metrics, and the results showed that 21% of our Engineering team and 27% of our Engineering leaders are women, across four locations (Chicago, London, Shanghai and Belfast). We knew we needed to improve, especially in our UK locations. During our growth expansion in Belfast, we had the opportunity to focus on building diverse teams with a key focus on gender diversity. We used Belfast to prove adjustments to our recruitment processes including:

  • Creating awareness among our hiring managers that we need to have a more diverse workforce.
  • Signatory of Tech Talent Charter, highlighting our goal of improving diversity within our IT department and supporting industry-wide improvement.  
  • Adjusting the wording on our job postings to ensure they were female-friendly. 
  • Adding a footer that explicitly highlights our intention to support a diverse workforce.
  • Including a female team member as part of the interview panel and openly discussing Mintel’s work-life balance in the interview.
  • Collaborating with external female tech communities and sponsoring events to show our commitment.
  • Using our network on LinkedIn to promote open roles to help attract female talent.

To date, we’ve successfully hired and onboarded 29 people in 14 months in Belfast, and we’re thrilled that 35% of our new tech roles in Belfast have been filled by women.

Let’s hear from our engineers and leaders in Belfast

 Eimear McClafferty, Engineering Manager
“I felt energized reading the Mintel job description. The first word that comes to mind when I read it was ‘friendly’. I got a sense that the company valued its people and, straight away, I wanted to be a part of that. This feeling only intensified when I delved more into the ethos of Mintel and how they support their people and continue to have a strong focus on women in tech. From the interview process to the upper levels of management at Mintel, I can see a strong female presence, which is so inspiring. I have to say after nearly a year in Mintel I have not been disappointed. Within this time, several sessions focusing on women in tech have already taken place where Mintel senior leadership have sought out recommendations from myself and my peers. It is refreshing to be part of a company that thoroughly values its people, gives them a voice and places the highest importance on ensuring they feel supported.”

Kirsteen Cannon, Security Engineer II
“As a candidate, particularly as one applying for a junior position, I was looking for a company with a good culture that would allow me to expand my skill set. Mintel appealed to me because their job advert highlighted their aim to provide flexible working options and a supportive environment for employees to develop. I liked that they were focused on building a more diverse workforce and specifically mentioned win tech as an area they were looking to grow in the company. Communication was fantastic throughout the recruitment process. HR kept me in the loop at every stage and I felt valued as a candidate. I also appreciated that a female employee was included in the panel for my interview. It was great to get different perspectives from each of the panelists and hear about their experiences with the company. I’m just over six months into my role now and I’m happy to say I’m a part of the Mintel team!”

Sharon O’Sullivan, SDET
“I was actively looking for a new opportunity and a former colleague recommended a position at Mintel. They described the Mintel culture as respectful, flexible and transparent but, more importantly, inclusive with a particular focus on women in tech; which was very much the type of organisation I was hoping to be a part of. This was immediately apparent from my first dealings with the recruitment team but especially during my interview, which consisted of a diverse interview board which included two women. I felt energized and excited after my interview and hopeful to be chosen as a candidate. Thankfully, that was the case and I can verify that my colleagues’ description of the Mintel culture is very true. I have constant opportunities to develop my skills, partake in different internal groups supporting diversity and inclusion and represent Mintel. I am proud to be a member of the Mintel Team!“

How are we continuing to improve gender diversity in the UK?

At the end of last year, when we combined our UK locations (London and Belfast), our female representation was only 14%. We have increased this to 17% across both locations and, we believe the success is from adjusting our recruitment process and introducing part-time roles in the London office, which led to the successful hire of two females.

Let’s hear from our newly hired engineers in London

Karin Heger, Software Engineer
“Looking back at the interview process, I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the panel. It included people of different ethnicities, genders, ages, and roles in the company. This certainly made a very good first impression on me, gave room for broader questions to be raised during the meetings and, consequently, made conversations highly interesting and enjoyable. A cutting-edge industry such as IT, should not only allow diversity and progressive thinking but advocate for it as Mintel has done with initiatives such as Women in Tech, the Colours of Change Employee Resource Group, and flexible working policies.”

Akankasha Sapra, Software Engineer
“I joined Mintel four months ago after finding the position on LinkedIn. I visited the Mintel website to learn more about the company before applying. I was drawn to the website’s advertisement, which promoted ‘women in tech.’ I felt more confident applying for the position as a result. Considering that I was seeking a part-time position and that there weren’t many part-time positions available, I wasn’t overly optimistic about getting the job.  However, the recruiter was supportive and granted me almost a week to finish the take-home assessment while I went on to my first technical interview. Out of the three interviewees, one of them was a woman. That reassured me that Mintel is delivering as per the commitment. Even though Mintel had not previously had a part-time employee in this role before, they gave me the chance to prove myself. Every week, I have been working half-time while assisting with the sprint commitments and advancing my career. Overall, I want to say that onboarding at Mintel has been a fantastic experience for me, and the crew was friendly and the interview process went smoothly.”

Looking Ahead

We’ve made gains this year by adjusting our recruitment processes, introducing more flexible roles and using our networks to promote tech roles for women — but we’re only getting started. Over the next couple of months, we are introducing a recruitment strategy aimed at improving talent pipelines available across each location, which will help increase access to a diverse pool of talented early-career and experienced hires.