Skipton Building Society – Sam Campbell-Midford, Application Support Specialist

We interviewed Sam Campbell-Midford, Application Support Specialist at Skipton Building Society on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

1. What does your job role involve?


I work in an application support role and look after a variety of systems (mainly Microsoft). I do a mixture of 3rd line Support, Delivery and system implementation.


2. What made you choose a career in technology?


I didn’t. I worked at the Department of Health running the Video Conferencing Suites, but it wasn’t enough work to occupy me full time, so I asked to help the IT Support Team roll out windows 3.1. Eventually I moved to IT Support Full time – and I found it rewarding and satisfying – and surprisingly easy, despite not having a prior interest!


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


Not at all, I studied Economics and Politics!


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


I started my career in IT in 1995. So, I have had quite a bit of experience. I started doing second line support and then moved into 3rd line support and system implementation and project delivery. I did a brief stint of web development too in the early days of the internet! I have worked in a number of sectors, Banking, Public Sector and Housing.


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


Yes, especially more technical roles. Although it is improving and there are no reasons why women can’t do tech. In my previous company we had several females in technical roles, but we tended to promote within the company, so it was easier to get a balanced ratio.


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


Maybe, but stereo types are there to be broken! I Know there are a lot more men in support than women, which may be off putting to women. Maybe more men tend to apply for technical roles? There are good examples of Women in tech that need to be shouted about such as Radia Perlman an early pioneer of the protocols that enabled the world wide web or Ada Lovelace who published the first algorithm in 1840!.


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


More female role models or knowing about more female role models, as there are a lot of women who pioneered technology that we just don’t hear about.


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


I personally haven’t found this to be the case, but the ratio of male/female may be off putting to some women. I have had some cases where I have found people to be more patronising to me because I am female, but I consider the issue to be with them. It is very few and far between.


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


If it’s something that interests, you go for it. The culture at any workplace now shouldn’t hold anyone back from a career in tech.


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


There are many roles and opportunities in tech and women can be nerds too! (if they want). Technology is so commonplace now that I hope this will change.