Jenni Riley – Platinum Spotlight

When we embarked on our journey of launching our business back in 2017, I must admit I had little experience with technology, and I certainly had zero experience with starting a business. I was very nervous, especially given the predominantly male-dominated nature of the IT industry.

I often found myself feeling out of my depth. However, I had good organisational skills and the ability to bring people together, which came from my career as a board-level PA and my time spent as a campaign manager. These skills, I believed, would be valuable in our mission which was to create an on-demand IT service platform that connected companies with highly skilled IT engineers on a global scale.

Throughout our business journey, we encountered the usual typical hurdles that come with starting a business. But what took me by surprise were the personal challenges I had to face. When I reflect on the situations that stand out the most, I recall instances where some associates attempted to manipulate me.

There were encounters with managers who overtly attempted to marginalise my role and authority as a woman at the helm, investors that expressed doubts about my involvement in the business long term, suggesting that I should be at home raising a family and – to top it off – one investor even suggested that they would only invest if my husband fired me. And that was on a good day!

For a while, it felt as though I was constantly in a defensive mode, fighting to ensure my voice was heard, and working relentlessly to prove my worth, not only to others but also to myself. I grappled massively at times with imposter syndrome and self-doubt, but I was adamant to not let anyone else dictate my future.

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