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MAG – Helen Bett, IT Service Director

We interviewed Helen Bett, IT Service Director at MAG on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

helen photo

  1. What does your job role involve?

I am responsible for all technology that allows the airport to operate. From car park barriers to boarding gate readers, check in desks to baggage hall belts. My team and I work to make sure that these systems are operational 24/7 365.

 

  1. What made you choose a career in technology?

I was a translator working for a manufacturing organisation and was asked to be a part of their IT team as they set up a multilingual helpdesk.

 

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

No – I have a degree in French literature and an MBA.

 

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

Yes I have worked in technology roles for the last 20 years.

 

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

It is predominantly a male environment; much like other science and engineering based roles. This causes challenges when trying to build balanced teams. Of the last 2 senior leadership teams that I have been a part of half of them have been women.

 

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

People need to consider technology in its broadest sense – so it is for service professionals, Service management and programme management and security not just developers or your traditionally stereotyped ‘geeks’

 

  1. What would entice women to study technology related courses?

I don’t think you need to to be honest; study what you are good at and then the job will follow.

 

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

Only barriers that you create in your mind. Tech roles are no different to any other roles; the main barriers being the glass ceiling and gender paygap. The stereotyped ‘female’ roles in IT ; service and projects do tend to attract lower salaries than the coveted CTO type roles – this is down to supply and demand of the market place.

 

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

More work experience to break the ‘geek’ stereotypes and to show that IT is not just male orientated in terms of its environment.

Offer roles that are gap year placements