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Being a female freelancer in IT: Christelle's experience.

Joséphine Depoitte
by Joséphine Depoitte Read time : 3min
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On International Women's Rights Day, we’d like to show our support by hearing what women have to say. Today we’re hearing from Christelle, a freelance IT project director. In France, 27% of the IT sector is female. Discover Christelle's career and her experience in IT.

A few words about me

My name is Christelle, I am 42 years old with two children, and I’m an IT project manager! Before going freelance, I worked as an employee in various financial institutions as part of their IT teams. My trigger: a start-up experience with a liberated company (freedom-form company)*, which gave me a taste for entrepreneurship!

Why and how did you become a freelancer?

That experience in a liberated company enabled me to create and manage an IT team that included both employees and freelancers in it. At that point, I realised that it is people who make a project successful. If the team is out of sync, nothing works. At this company, I was a manager and coach which meant I could develop everyone and make project implementation easier.
However, there was a change of management and we went back to a hierarchical structure, so I made the decision to leave and train in coaching.
Organisations move a lot and fast, so there is a great need for support with change. My coaching training enabled me to respond to this demand and to become a manager with the role of facilitator.
After this training, I didn’t see myself returning to salaried work in a traditional organisation. I really like change and I hate getting bored, so becoming a freelancer seemed like a good alternative. Being a freelancer also gives me an outside perspective on the company and the team! With my unusual profile, I can speak freely with everybody’s best interests at heart.

What do you think are the advantages of becoming a freelancer?

As a freelancer I have a lot of freedom! I can get involved with lots of different projects and organise things however I want... Even if there’s a lot of work involved, I still have that feeling of freedom that I didn't have before. And if I can be considered the same as an intern when I'm on a project, that's ideal.  

On International Women's Day, what advice would you give to others who want to freelance?

I would like to stress that I work in IT but do not have a technical background. In IT there are a lot of different options and professions. When I work with an IT team, I never take the place of experts or developers... With experience, you learn other cultures and understand databases, programming languages ​​and networks. So my advice would be to be confident in yourself, not compare yourself to others and to think for yourself!

Did you have any difficulty integrating into what is still a very masculine environment? 

 Yes and no! I experienced some difficulties, due to projections or beliefs, but that was nothing to do with me personally. It was their problem and it didn't affect me much.

Have you noticed that women are under-represented?

Yes, women are still under-represented, even though trends are changing and evolving and companies have set up a lot of arrangements to help. Nevertheless, I’ve still managed teams of 30 men and it has never been a problem, on the contrary.

For you, is being surrounded by men a strength or a weakness?

For me it has always been natural! It can even sometimes be an advantage, because sometimes discussions between men can be rowdy, and you can come up against ego problems. I don't have that kind of interaction with them at all. In fact, it’s the opposite; sometimes they find it easier to discuss personal matters with me.

Do you feel like it's easier to find jobs as a female freelancer?

Today, I have no problems finding jobs! I must admit that the IT sector is always recruiting, and is keen to develop gender parity in its workforce.

What are you most proud of as a freelancer?

My autonomy! Being autonomous as a woman is really key! Being independent and managing my business by myself is a source of pride. I strongly encourage women to be independent; it’s really essential, and becoming a freelancer also enables you to gain this independence.

What are the basics you need to do your job as a freelancer?

Adaptability! Because as a freelancer, people expect you to be up and running very quickly, even remotely during this Covid period. The other essential qualities are not being afraid of change and being open. Depending on the job, you may have different levels of integration, so feel free to contact your colleagues internally.

Why did you decide to get support with your search for jobs?

When I started I already had the experience, but not necessarily the network! I didn't want to be seen as just a resource, so I wanted to be supported by a company where the human element matters! Several contacts in my network recommended Izyfreelance to me.

What does the Izyfreelance support do for you?

Right now, Izyfreelance provides me with good support, human contact and above all follow-up which means I don’t need inter contracts between jobs!

*The idea is to liberate employees, their initiative and their potential in order to boost company performance. Decisions are made by all employees and are legitimised by the fact that they are based on what is actually happening on the ground. Liberté & Cie by Isaac Getz and Brian M. Carney

Also discover our webinar on the topic, or the Alice testimonial.

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