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WWL’s IT team celebrate Women in Technology for International Women’s Day


                                 Clare, Cath and Dawn

On International Women’s Day, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s IT Services Department is celebrating Women in Technology. 

Within the IT Services team, based at Leigh Infirmary, there is a representation of 9 women in a team of 30; unusual in a predominantly male-dominated field.

From Apprentices to Managers, many of the women have joined the technical environment at a young age.

Network Solutions Architect / Network Manager, Clare Cassidy says: “I started working in IT at 19 years old.

“I have spent most of Career as a Cisco Systems Engineer for a couple of the leading industry suppliers all over the UK and Europe but was always the only female Engineer in the companies I worked for.

“I have always seen myself very equal to everyone I have ever worked with, male or female, and, if I am honest, I have only experienced a handful of people who thought I should have been at home cooking rather than installing multi-million pound networks!”

Clare has worked for the NHS for four years, following the birth of her three children.

“My oldest child is in full time school so I work five days a week now and will carry on working from home after picking up the children.”

Clare adds; “I am a very strong woman and have learned not to accept anything less than equality in any working environment. 

“I stand up for myself in every way and will not tolerate any disrespect towards me or my sex for one second.

“Respect and self-confidence is very important in the technology industry – especially for women.

“Women, who are surrounded by an encouraging and supportive team, and management, like we are at WWL, will thrive and their self-confidence will grow and flourish, as will their career.

“I am very happy to celebrate International Women’s Day and hope we can educate everyone, everywhere that all people equal in every way and we all deserve the same amount of respect -  male OR female.”

Dawn Morris, IT Change Manager, has worked in male-dominated industries since she was 16. 

“My personal experience is very positive, but I think that is partly down to working in a shipyard for 12 years,” says Dawn.

“It was easier to fall into IT there, as the men mostly wanted to work on the tools or as an engineer and saw IT as a ‘new soft skill’ they were not interested in - it was a long time ago!

Dawn joined WWL over 20 years ago, on the IT helpdesk and quickly moved to an on-site role, out and about installing hardware and software and supporting users in any and all IT issues.

After a taking on a number of different roles within IT services, Dawn has spent the last four years as IT Change Manager.

She say, “I feel it is important for women in technology to be strong and joining in the banter is just as important as proving you know your stuff technically to become accepted in a man’s world.

“Having worked in the IT department at WWL for over 20 years, I have always felt equal, supported and encouraged to learn more and develop to my full potential, including achieving a master’s degree last year through the NHS Leadership Academy.

“I am proud of how many women we have in the department and of the respect shown by the men who work here too.”

Catherine Baker, Senior Infrastructure Analyst says; “Within our team we have a good representation of Women in Technology. Today we are celebrating that women in our department are empowered, we are treated equally and have a strong voice within the team.”

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the team will spend the day fundraising for WWL’s Three Wishes Charity – Women’s Fund.