Tech at Mintel: Diversifying and growing in Belfast

March 9, 2022
4 min read

The new 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.

Last summer, May 2021, Mintel advertised for a VP of Engineering to grow their Global IT Department, launching new teams in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This would become Mintel’s fourth location for technical staff, alongside London, Chicago and Shanghai. Mintel’s reputation and the opportunity to start a Belfast office and create engineering teams from the ground up sparked my interest. I applied, interviewed for the position and was ultimately sold by the culture that shone through in the interviewing panel. I joined Mintel as Site Lead and VP of Engineering in July 2021.

Before joining Mintel, I was Director of Engineering for Prudential Financial. I led multi-disciplined engineering teams to execute a five-year cloud transformation project. From my years of leadership experience, I know what successful teams look like and that involves hiring diverse team members. As we formed the Mintel team in Belfast, we wanted to make sure that our culture welcomed individuals from all backgrounds. Due to gender diversity being a particularly significant challenge in technology, we focused on recruiting women.

Recruitment for the new engineering teams was underway when I joined and I was heavily involved in interviewing candidates from the offset. To date, we’ve successfully hired and onboarded 23 people in 8 months, and we’re thrilled that 40% of our new tech roles in Belfast have been filled by women.

How did we attract women into new IT roles?

First of all, we had to create awareness among our hiring managers that we needed to have a more diverse workforce. This involved making our job adverts female-friendly by using different wording and adding a footer that explicitly highlights our intention to support a diverse workforce.

We included a female employee as part of the interview panel and openly discussed Mintel’s work-life balance, which helped promote our diverse workforce during the interview process. Collaborating with external female tech communities and using our network on LinkedIn to promote the open roles both helped in attracting female talent.

How are we continuing to improve inclusion and diversity?

We are proud to be a signatory of Tech Talent Charter, highlighting our goal of improving diversity within our IT department and supporting industry-wide improvement.

We have scheduled regular discussions with all of our new and existing female employees in IT to gauge what went well and what we could be doing better during the hiring process; we’re actioning the ideas from these discussions and have further sessions planned with more established team members aimed at retaining female employees and helping them be successful.

We’re also boosting employer branding by launching social media campaigns, participating in, and sponsoring, ‘women in tech’ events, including the Women Techmakers event taking place on April 30th, 2022, in Belfast.

In 2021, Mintel launched an employee resource group (ERG) called MintELLE which is committed to empowering members to connect with, and support, one another. The ERG delivers inclusive programmes that educate, inspire and validate women in business. In Belfast, we’re getting involved with online activities and coordinating with MintELLE events that are taking place across the EMEA region.

What’s next for the Belfast office?

In December of 2021, we opened the Belfast office in Urban HQ. The team is delighted to have a space to collaborate, share knowledge and enjoy group activities. And we’re thrilled to be able to offer three paid 12-month Industrial Placement Student opportunities this summer, which is a great way to help grow local talent.

Giving back to the community is important to Mintel, and we are planning to volunteer at schools around Belfast to assist with the Learn to Read and Code and Count programmes later this year. Be sure to look out for the Mintel yellow in the Belfast City Marathon as we will have a couple of relay teams taking part on May 1st.

It’s been an amazing seven months at Mintel and an absolute pleasure working alongside my colleagues to help execute our Belfast expansion plan. I’m excited to be helping teams deliver quality features across our full software stack and to continue improving Mintel’s diversity.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Mintel community and culture, check out our Careers Site. While you’re there, be sure to take a look at our current openings.

Janine Crosbie
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.

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