Inspirational Woman: Lynne Darcey Quigley | CEO & Founder, Know-it
Lynne Darcey Quigley is CEO and Founder of Know-it, a cloud-based credit management platform that streamlines the credit control process so businesses can credit check and monitor, chase for payment, collect overdue unpaid invoices, and more all from one place.
Prior to creating the Know-it, Lynne founded Darcey Quigley & Co in 2007, where she has built up over 25 years’ experience in the credit and commercial debt recovery industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
Hi, I am Lynne Darcey Quigley, Founder and CEO of Know-it Global, a credit management platform set to be launched Spring 2021! Based in Glasgow, I have over 25 years’ experience within the credit industry, currently CEO & Founder leading commercial debt recovery agency Darcey Quigley & Co for over 14 years. I don’t come from a tech background having worked in finance my full working life. However, tech fascinates me along with my natural business curiosity, which is why I have submerged myself in the industry for the past 4-5 years.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
No, not in the early years, but having started my career within a credit control role I soon realised how important a very good credit control process can be for a business. Having a healthy cash flow and getting paid is key to running a successful business, which is why I started my own debt recovery company 2007. I saw a gap in the market providing a professional and transparent service to all sizes of businesses across all industries. 14 years later, I still love doing what I do. However, with the rapid increase and accessibility of technology, I realised very quickly that I could create a platform which could help even more businesses across the broad spectrum of managing cashflow and debtor days. No-one was doing this … this is how Know-it was born!
Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?
One major challenge has obviously been the Covid-19 pandemic! With the world put on hold for some time there were numerous challenges that I faced as a business owner. However, during this time we have increased our digital capacity and spent a lot of time planning, so when the world is ready to start again we will be ready and waiting.
What has been your biggest career achievement to date?
Creating Know-it! Although I am not from the tech world, I have created a platform that is a first of its kind using my 25 year experience in credit management. I have hired a formidable team who have designed and built the platform leveraging my domain knowledge to help organisations manage and make good credit decisions. The team has been working on this for the last two years and the work they have done will be key to the success of the product.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Me, my drive, my perseverance, my knowledge and my sheer determination to succeed in the early years; this has never left me and it still burns bright. My passion to help other organisations is also a key driver for me, especially for the development of the Know-it platform, which I hope will go on to help thousands of businesses.
What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?
I think two top tips are building your network and your own perseverance.
As someone who does not come from a technology background but is now running a tech business, I think the key thing is to leverage your network and surround yourself with great people who have diverse backgrounds and experience. Those around you, whether in your team directly or part of your network, are your key to success and how to excel. I have found it incredibly useful to have people to call on for their expertise and advice as well as accessing their network for help. So, whether you are just starting out on your journey get building your network, I am certain they will help you all the way through your career.
I also think that perseverance is critically important, especially when you believe in something and have a passion in a certain area. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, because you can, build that determination and drive which will see you through your career and achieve great things.
Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?
I think there are still some barriers that we should be aiming to overcome. I am not sure the tech sector has as good a reputation for welcoming women and other minority groups, but there are some great opportunities to work across a wide range of domains and industries no matter where your passions lie. I think more can also be done to promote the work of tech for good, which may help appeal to a broader and more diverse workforce than classic tech firms. Technology underpins our business and society now and it is critically important we have diverse teams working in areas such as Artificial Intelligence.
We are also not keeping girls in school engaged with tech-based subjects, which unfortunately just leads to fewer and fewer girls taking those subjects later in their school years or into further/higher education or the workplace. We are not exciting them enough and we need to think broadly about the attractiveness of the roles, providing great role models and the content in schools curriculums and higher education courses.
What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?
The first thing is to recognise there is a problem, then we can do something about it. We have come some way in this area over the last few years, but we are not changing the numbers as much as we need to. If we break it down into several areas, I think the first is around participation in communities to excite more girls to tech as a career area from talks and participation in school activities, work experience, apprenticeships etc. The next is focusing on recruiting a diverse set of candidates from other backgrounds who, with support and training, could work in the tech sector. For existing employees, depending on the size of the organisation, work can be done to attract women into tech roles through retraining or upskilling, providing suitable support structures and role models, and fundamentally supporting women as they progress in their careers.
There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?
If it really was a magic wand, I would want to increase to over 50% the number of girls participating in tech courses at school, college or university. This would significantly increase the diversity of the talent available to join organisations, to build their own tech businesses and support the economy and society.
What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?
We are very fortunate to have so many resources available now both locally and globally, so I won’t be able to cover them all, but some of the areas I enjoy learning from especially considering I am building and launching a new fintech platform include:
and of course, https://wearetechwomen.com/
One benefits of having more virtual events is that you can now access and hear from brilliant speakers from around the world from home. I like personal recommendations from my network and generally find some great resources through them to engage with and learn from.
This article was originally published by WeAreTechWomen.