Women in Digital: Susanne Campbell

Susanne Campbell, client director (growth & delivery) – central government services at Sopra Steria takes on navigating her career path as a woman in the tech industry.

Posted 30 January 2023 by Christine Horton

Did you enjoy school?

Yes, I did most of the time when I wasn’t thrown out of class for laughing too much.  I loved learning, taking part in all sports and building friendships.

What qualifications do you have?

I did not go to university, which in the earlier part of my career felt held me back from certain organisations and reaching my potential. I have seen a seismic shift in the last few years though and companies changing their recruitment policies which removes this barrier. I learned on the job and completed qualifications at the appropriate points such as Prince2, MSP, ILM, change management.

Has your career path been a smooth transition, a rocky road or a combination of both?

A combination. I feel its important for people to find an organisation whose values, and culture meet their own ideals. A couple of years ago I transitioned out of consultancy into a business role with support from colleagues and it’s the best decision I have made. I love having more accountability, ownership and like influencing change.

What is the best career advice you can give to others?

Don’t just talk, do! If you believe in something, go into action, show passion and make a difference.

If you had to pick one mentor, that had the biggest influence on you, who would it be?

I have had a few whom have helped me at different points both male and female. They have tried to help me navigate through business problems, times of self-doubt and encouraged me to be authentic and be my best self.

From where do you draw inspiration?

From people who are honest, transparent, imperfect, and happy to share that. I am inspired by people who have faced challenge and adversity but have still succeeded despite that.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced to date?

Aspiring to be perfect but knowing that will never happen. It can also be tough being a young woman in a predominantly male sector/industry, gaining respect and being heard.

What qualities do you feel makes a good leader?

Excellent communications skills and some one who is approachable, can inspire, motivate and coach others. Someone who can make tough decisions, enact change, but keep people on the journey with them.

From a work viewpoint what has the last 12 months been like?

Extremely busy! The world is changing and we must keep up with that and adapt quickly. I have been asked to lead a new digital capability strategy, operating model and business for Sopra Steria and there are many factors like the cost of living crisis and war on talent that makes this challenging but exciting.

What would you say are the biggest tech-based challenges we face today?

Data protection and ethics!  We need to share data to improve customer journeys, but we must not breach individual’s rights. We must also act on the data trends we see and make improvements.

What can be done to encourage more women into the industry?

Create cultures and environments that welcome diversity deeply within their DNA, not just on the surface. Women are needed in tech to represent the user base and create innovation

Give us a fact about you that most other people wouldn’t know.

I am a Cat Queen (sounds better than crazy cat lady) & I am getting into DIY (I don’t always need to pay for it if I try.)