Working at the forefront of innovation

Jessica Kyte

By Jessica Kyte
Global Product Lead at Centrica Hive

Ahead of International Women in Engineering Day, Jessica shares her passion for technology and reflects on her career.

How did you get into your role?

I took up my first job working in the retail division at BT, which gave me the chance to lead projects and gain experience in a fast-paced industry.

While there, I was able to move into a role that gave me exposure to product development, specifically. 

Two years ago I joined the Hive team here at British Gas and since then I’ve been developing products that give customers access to technology that makes their lives easier. Hive is one of the UK’s leading smart home providers and we’ve got a suit of products and services that connect you with your home – whether it’s a new camera, sensors, active plugs or lights – we help people to make more time for the things they love by making daily living easier.

What do you love most about your job?

Working in technology means I get to be at the forefront of innovation. Whether that’s working with the latest software, developing new-to-market products or working with inspiring people that are shaping and influencing the way we connect with the world around us. It’s a constantly evolving industry and I love being on the front-line.

Being a leader in the product development team means I get to try out the latest technology and make sure it’s adapted for what our customers need – it’s a really enjoyable challenge combining consumer demand with the art of the possible!

What has inspired you the most in your career?

I feel constantly inspired by the great work of the people around me – whether it’s coming up with new software, or technology - the team is so brilliant to be part of. I recently worked on the development of the new Hive View camera – taking it from conception to launch was one of the most rewarding and important moments in my career so far.

The project was complicated. It involved working with multiple suppliers, new and evolving software and a major hardware build. It also meant we had to work with different people across the wider British Gas business. Everyone had to roll up their sleeves and pitch in, but it brought the project and team to life.

What advice would you give women who are new to the sector?

Every single person has their own ideas and experiences and it is absolutely vital that we can tap into this if we want to build technology that works for everyone. The best advice I could give is to get involved and ‘lean in’ whether it’s working on a new project, or with new people, there is so much you can learn. It is only though bringing everyone’s combined experience together we can refine our ideas and build the technology products and services of the future.

I’d add too, that where you come from shouldn’t stop you from seeking out opportunities in STEM sectors. I came from a humanities background but with the skills I’ve learnt during my studies, combined with my experience and passion for the industry, I’ve become part of an innovative company where I’ve been able to make a lasting and positive contribution.