We interviewed Jo Stoddart, Group IT Infrastructure & Service Manager at Manchester Airport Group on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.
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.
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.
Not at College or University, but have within my role – IOSH, MHFA, Asbestos Awareness, Risk Profile Management to name a few.
Within the Financial Services Industry I worked on system implementations, development of software and upgrades.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.