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Manchester Airport Group – Jo Stoddart, Group IT Infrastructure & Service Manager

We interviewed Jo Stoddart, Group IT Infrastructure & Service Manager at Manchester Airport Group on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

jo final photo

  1. What does your job role involve?

I am responsible for everything that is Health & Fire Safety within MAG IT. My responsibility captures the actions of all the Internal Teams and that of Contractors who provide and support the wider MAG IT Infrastructure. I am also responsible for the Data Centre & Communication Rooms Access Control Management.

 

  1. What made you choose a career in technology?

I spent 24 years within the Financial Services Industry prior to joining MAG.  I wanted a new challenge and when the opportunity arose to join MAG in a new technology field, I didn’t hesitate.

 

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

Not at College or University, but have within my role – IOSH, MHFA, Asbestos Awareness, Risk Profile Management to name a few.

 

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

Within the Financial Services Industry I worked on system implementations, development of software and upgrades.

 

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

IT and Technology roles have always been perceived to be male dominated. However, over the last couple of years, the tide has turned and more and more women are now working within the IT/Technology Industry and securing senior roles within it.

 

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

Historically- yes, but the roles within IT and Technology are so varied and primarily now service driven – that the stereotypical image of the IT geek are long gone. Anyone with drive and determination can succeed in this Industry.

 

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

Let us see more examples of the successes of Women in the Industry that have come from diverse backgrounds and adapted their existing skill set to deliver. People skills are vital and often overlooked.

 

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

I feel there are some perceptions of barriers for women to enter the IT and Technology Industries, but they are no different from any other. A more transparent view of the areas within can only help.  You can train people in the specific technical areas of their role, but the right attitude, desire and passion cannot be taught.

 

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

More work experience, Expand on the diversity of the roles within the sector -from Service Management to Project Management to Infrastructure. Early engagement within schools is key. Promotion and recognition for female role models -this then provides a motivating goal to others that they could achieve the same.

IT isn’t as scary as you first think.