E19 - Hannah Murphy at Barclays

Maddy Norris
Hannah Murphy

By Maddy Norris & Hannah Murphy

On today’s episode of the Women in Tech spin-off series, we are joined by our host Maddy Norris, Principal Network Consultant here at Hamilton Barnes and our special guest, Hannah Murphy, Technical Security Design at BT, soon to be a Network Delivery Solutions Design and Delivery Engineer at Barclays. During the episode, Hannah tells us about her unexpected start-up in the Networking space from her time at college and university to where she is today. Hannah sheds some light on her experience as a woman in the technology space and the benefits and downfalls of that.

From a young age, Hannah had a love for maths. She thought she would pursue a career in physics since it involved a lot of maths. She took up maths, physics, American History, and German during her A-levels. However, she dropped American History and took double maths as she loved physics but struggled with the wordy parts of the subject. Despite knowing that physics would be male-dominated, Hannah’s stubbornness made her choose it. She wanted to go against the grain and prove that she could excel in a field that was not traditionally considered for women.

Hannah’s degree in physics was incredibly intense, but she loved it nonetheless. She found it humbling to be surrounded by intelligent people and appreciated the challenge. Although she loved physics, Hannah realised that there wasn’t much of a career in it. It wasn’t until her third year that she realised she needed to think about her career and saw an internship that caught her eye.

The internship was with BT Security, which was looking for STEM people. Hannah took on the internship; out of seven interns, only two were girls. This was her first exposure to the world of networking, and she found it fascinating. Hannah saw the potential of networking and decided to pursue a career in it.

Hannah’s background in physics helped her gain valuable transferable skills that she could apply to her work in the networking field. One such skill was analytical thinking, which is a crucial aspect of both physics and networking.

Using your ‘Monkey Brain’…

One of the most important things Hannah learned during her time in the tech industry was leadership training. During her leadership training, Hannah learned the importance of expressing emotions healthily and constructively. She was encouraged to tap into her “monkey brain”.

For example, if she found herself in a situation at work that was causing her stress or frustration, she was encouraged to step away from the situation and find a private space to express those emotions. This could involve taking a walk, finding a quiet space to meditate or journal, or talking to a trusted colleague or mentor.

The idea behind this approach is that by expressing emotions in a healthy way, we can prevent them from building up and causing us to act impulsively or lash out at others. By taking the time to process and work through our emotions, we can return to the situation with a clear mind and a more logical approach.

Women in Tech…

Hannah’s experience as a woman in the tech industry also sheds light on some of the benefits and challenges that come with being a minority in a male-dominated field.

One of the biggest benefits Hannah found was that being a woman in the tech space made her stand out. When she was on calls or in meetings, people often noticed her because she was one of the few women in the room. This can be an advantage when it comes to networking and building relationships, as it can help you stand out and make a memorable impression.

However, there are also downsides to being a minority in the tech industry. Hannah has experienced isolation, which can be challenging for anyone. She has also experienced sexist comments or micro-aggressions, which can be demoralising and damaging to self-esteem.

Hannah offers some advice for women who are interested in pursuing a career in tech. She suggests that there is a lot of freely accessible material available online and recommends starting with the basics. There are many resources on platforms such as YouTube and podcasts, where you can learn about technology and get a feel for what interests them.

Tune in on the 02/05/2023 to hear the full episode!