Lucy Scott, Technical Specialist Engineer, has shared a blog about her experiences:
“I had a slightly unconventional path into tech, although I was always interested in computers and tinkering with hardware ever since the days of sorting out my parents’ video recorder and stereo. I did languages for A Level and an undergraduate degree in International Business with German before finding myself in the world of work with no plan. I still joke now that I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!
“For me, International Women’s Day is a chance to showcase women working in non-traditional fields, and to try to break down some of the mental barriers to entry and encourage women to consider it as a career.”
“I worked as a receptionist for a few months before finding a temporary job at Wandsworth Community Trust as an information analyst, running monthly healthcare statistics and collating the data from paper forms into spreadsheets. I joined Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust for a fixed term project looking at repeat admissions to hospital. After the project finished I interviewed for the IM&T Helpdesk, and found that I had lots of transferrable skills like customer service, note taking, critical thinking, and the ability to gather and digest information and ask the right questions to get all the information that would be needed to solve a problem.
“Twenty two years have passed since then and I have worked my way through desktop support, all the way up to Senior Systems Engineer, mostly learning on the job. Sometimes it is incredibly stressful and I’ve had my share of failures, but there is nothing better than the feeling when you solve a challenging problem and get everything working again.
“In 2021 we established a Technical Architecture team so now I am occupied with planning and designing our service for the future as a Technical Specialist Engineer.
“I’ve been really lucky to have been surrounded by inspiring women and men in the department in both technical and leadership roles and I’ve never felt there was anything stopping me from progressing here. I’m happy to say I have rarely encountered sexism, which I think is because the Trust has such a large female workforce overall. Despite this, there is still a lack of female engineers in IM&T – there are only three of us in Technical Services which are all the senior technical teams – Systems, Networks, Client Services, Cyber Security and Technical Architecture.
“For me, International Women’s Day is a chance to showcase women working in non-traditional fields, and to try to break down some of the mental barriers to entry and encourage women to consider it as a career. Even if your background is not technical, you may be surprised how your skills can be applied. The image of IT hiding down in the basement not talking to anyone could not be further from the truth. We work with stakeholders throughout the Trust and external parties, and co-ordinate massive projects that affect everyone. The Trust values are very dear to us and “putting people first” is always at the forefront of our minds.”