We interviewed Bethan Smeeton, Site Reliability Engineer at M&G on her thoughts and experience on women in tech.
As a Cloud Site Reliability Engineer, I help to maintain and support M&G’s vast cloud estate. Some of my main responsibilities include small change engineering, upgrades and improving the observability of our platforms. I also ensure we have a secure, auditable, and controlled Cloud platform and respond to incidents and requests
My interest and use of technology began at an early age. There was always a computer in the house, and I have always been the go-to person for IT support amongst my family and friends.
As I’ve always had an interest in technology, I studied both IT and Computing at A-Level and then went on to study ICT at university.
Prior to joining M&G I was an IT Technician providing technical support in a 6th form college.
I would say the technology sector definitely has a higher male presence however we can see in younger generations that a shift is in progress, but will take time to trickle up the chain.
I think that when people think of a career in IT/technology they often envisage a similar set up to that of the IT Crowd – male dominated teams that are tucked away in a forgotten corner of an organisation. However this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially at M&G.
We need to highlight that working in technology requires a broad spectrum of skills and viewpoints such as problem solving, pattern analysis, data analysis, communication and many more – this will demonstrate how all people could fit into a technology career.
I believe that your own perception of the industry is one of the biggest barriers. In my experience everyone is welcome and they value the contribution and abilities of all individuals.
There is a huge variety of different roles in technology that you don’t have exposure to until you start in your first role somewhere. I think it would be massively beneficial to highlight all of the different roles that are available to women showing it’s not just traditional first line IT support or software engineering.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself, keep an open mind and try things before deciding if it is right for you, don’t fear making mistakes and ask questions!