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ALTRAN UK – Frances Fox, Nuclear Safety and Risk Management Consultant

We interviewed Frances Fox, Nuclear Safety and Risk Management Consultant, ALTRAN UK on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

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  1.  What does your job role involve?

Assessment of Nuclear Engineering and Safety Assurance of Complex Systems.

 

  1.  What made you chose a career in technology?  

I had an amazing female physics teacher in secondary school who encouraged me to go into physics.  I also had a male teacher  who told me not to waste my time, nothing like someone telling me I can’t to push me to make sure I can.

 

  1.  Did you study an IT or technology related subject at A-level or University?

Yes. I studied physics, maths and graphic design at A-level.  Then my BSc was in Physics, Particle Physics and Cosmology and finally my MSc was in the Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors.

 

  1. Did you get any work experience in IT or technology before this role?

As part of my Masters I did a summer placement at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy which then developed into my first job.

 

  1.  Do you think there is a lack of females in the IT and tech sector?

Sadly yes, but it is improving slowly.

 

  1.  Do you find there is a stereotype that a career in IT or technology is just for men?

I’ve never experienced this myself.  However if you consider the popular TV series the IT crowd where men are the intellectuals and the female manager is the “ditsy – thinks the internet is in a black box” representative for the gender, you can see media is trying to push a stereotype.

 

  1.  How could we encourage more women to start a career in tech?

I can only go by my own experiences, but women/girls need encouraging at a young age.  Make sure they know that technology is an exciting career option available to them.  I also think companies need to look at applicants without gender to avoid any unconscious gender biases, and once hired, to encourage the females to advance and progress equally to their male counter parts.

 

  1.  Are there barriers when it comes to women getting into tech?

Yes, but these are the same barriers most women will have experienced.  These barriers include considering starting a family and needing a career break, or barriers such as old fashioned prejudices that women need bubble wrapping.