M&G – Bethan Smeeton, Site Reliability Engineer

We interviewed Bethan Smeeton, Site Reliability Engineer at M&G on her thoughts and experience on women in tech.

1. What does your job role involve?

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

 

2. What made you choose a career in technology?

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.

 

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

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.

 

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

Prior to joining M&G I was an IT Technician providing technical support in a 6th form college.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

 

10. What advice would you give young women today at the start of their career?

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!