INFORMATION Technology engineer Joanne Milligan may be a woman in a man’s world but to her customers she’s the queen of their PC screens.
For whatever the problem that causes them to contact the Pro-Networks IT support help desk, the 29-year-old mum-of-one – the only female IT engineer at the centre – can draw on 10 years’ experience in the industry to calmly talk them through their computer crisis.
“It’s not something I think about very often but I guess some people may find it strange for a woman to be in this type of job,” said Joanne, who lives in Hoole with her son Jake, four.
“In fact I’ve worked very happily in the IT sector for more than a decade so to me it seems perfectly natural.
“I joined Pro-Networks just over a year ago and I’m one of the IT support team who help clients deal with glitches in their IT networks. Modern technology means I can get into their IT systems wherever they are located and correct the problem,” added Joanne from the Pro-Networks Sandycroft HQ.
“When I arrived I immediately found that my female voice would confuse callers. When I answered the phone the first question would invariably be ‘Can you put me through to an engineer?’
“When I replied that I was an engineer and how could I help there was often a stunned silence. Mostly those who had difficulty coming to terms with a female IT engineer were men.”
On the other hand, female clients of Pro-Networks gave Joanne’s arrival at the help desk a warm welcome.
Joanne explained: “Since I have been here one or two lady clients have confided they prefer dealing with a female engineer because when they talk to men they are sometimes embarrassed by their poor IT knowledge.
“In fact the guys here at Pro-Networks are brilliant at dealing with people with IT problems and a caller’s level of IT knowledge is simply not relevant– we’re here to solve their problems as quickly and smoothly as possible.”
Joanne believes the IT industry can offer great opportunities for women with the right skills and qualifications.
“In fact I’d like to see more women on the help desk too,” added Joanne. “Why? Because women tend to naturally have good people and communication skills, add IT qualifications and the end result is the perfect IT support engineer.”
Pro-Networks MD Paul Crudge said: “We are delighted to have Joanne as a part of the team. Although she is currently the only female support engineer at Pro-Networks we would welcome female applicants as long as they have the appropriate qualifications and know-how.
“After all, all our IT support engineers, whatever their sex, are there to ensure our clients’ IT systems are running efficiently and effectively at all times.”
For further information about Pro-Networks click onto www.pro-networks.co.uk.