We interviewed Jenny Murphy, Project Manager at USS on her thoughts and experience on women in tech.
I was working as a Retail Assistant in a Pharmacy whilst at University studying Computer Studies. My role at the Pharmacy was a Saturday job, I was there for 5 years giving out tablets and prescriptions to customers.
Currently, I am an IT Project Manager and directly manage one other in the team. My role involves managing projects from start to finish working closely with the Group Transformation team. Each year, projects are outlined from the Group Transformation team and are delegated across the team and Project Managers. Projects could be upgrades or changes to systems for example in HR and Finance. My role is to understand the business owners, timescales and delivery deadlines and manage this through to completion.
I was studying for Computer Studies as a sandwich degree, which incorporates practical work experience after the second year. As I neared the end of my second year, I started to look for opportunities and USS appeared in my searches. I hadn’t heard much about USS at the time but completed some research and applied through my course. I was invited to an interview and had an office tour which went well and really helped me to understand the role on the service desk in more detail. I was successful and completed work experience on the IT Service Desk. As I started the third year of my studies, USS kept me in a role part time within the Service Delivery team.
I really enjoyed the role in service delivery as the work was planned and implementing systems whereas the service desk was more problem management and thinking on your feet.
Every day can be a challenge, we have plans in place and things can change quickly or go wrong. As a Project Manager, I’m working with different internal teams, have different business resource and external suppliers so I’m trying to make sure everyone can work together. It is a challenge at times but also exciting as well.
Definitely the people! I get on well with everyone in the IT team, everyone is friendly and want to help one another, there is mentoring and support across the team.
I would be really keen to stay in the management world, ideally a larger or wider team. I really enjoy people management, watching people learn and develop their skills and passing on my knowledge to support others. Although I manage one person at the moment, I still like to support others across other teams.
I’ve always really liked IT and at the time it was quite new and upcoming. I really like that it’s always changing and developing as sector and you can’t predict what will change in the next 5-10 years. New things are always released, and I keep up with the sector through my work.
Yes, there is a lack of females in the industry and when I was studying there were few women studying IT. It was actively encouraged for women in STEM and it needs to be encouraged much more in the early years and throughout education.
I think similar things to this, published case studies so that women in IT can relate more to the sector and not be afraid to work in male dominated teams. It needs to be a collaborative effort across all businesses especially technology organisations with more female leaders speaking about their experiences in the industry. Also, for IT to be instilled more throughout education and schools encouraging females from a younger age.
Looking at my experience, I was offered lots of support and mentoring along with attendance of external training courses to help develop my experience. USS invested lots of time to support my career so I could continue to learn alongside and following my degree.
If you are interested in the sector then apply, don’t be fearful that the industry has a stereotypical representation, it’s not like that at all