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Beth Gawthorne

Servitor Developer

Having previously provided technical support on a Civica system when she worked at her local council, Beth now develops that software within Civica's Social Housing team.

Tell us about your career journey to date and about your current role.

I kicked off my career by obtaining my European Computer Driver Licence, a basic PC course, before gaining my degree at The Open University. From there I got a job at my local council providing technical support on a specific Civica provided system. After a few years of learning the business landscape, I was confident with supporting the software so I applied for a job at Civica to learn how to develop the application.

What inspired you to enter a career in tech?

I’ve always enjoyed using computers and I spent much of my free time at school in the computer room (it was quite a novelty back then!). I’ve had a number of jobs along the way, including working in a canteen, but while I was working on a customer helpdesk I decided that I should formalise my computer skills so I could use them for something.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome? 

My own self-doubt and insecurities. I don’t have massive amounts of confidence in my abilities at the best of times but shutting out that little voice in my head that prevents me from trying has been life-changing.

What have been your career highlights so far?

When the GDPR came into effect I built the GDPR solution within our product, getting heavily involved in both the design and development of the module. The end result was a flexible module that allows the customer a complete view of a data unit.

What advice do you have for women aspiring to enter, retrain for, or return to a career in tech?

Make sure you enjoy the work: it’s complex, involved and there will be days when you make no progress but if you enjoy it then no issue will be insurmountable. Never give up! I always think we are born knowing nothing so everything has to be learnt. Have this in mind rather than your own self-doubt.

Why do you think it’s important that the tech industry attracts a diverse workforce for the future? Have you found the industry to be open to diversity?

Diversity in the workplace is essential to allow creativity to flourish. We all think differently and we all bring different ideas to the table. Being able to discuss these ideas with other people and combine them to build something new and unique is truly special. From my experience the industry has been open to diversity, the people welcoming and the work varied. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and put yourself forward for new challenges – who knows where they may lead!