Skip to Content

Making an impact: from resetting passwords to managing 90 engineers across the UK

Claire Hoxworth
2 May 2023

Our Making an Impact blog series will feature stories from women across Capgemini UK and how they’ve made an impact on the technology sector.

Claire didn’t know where a career in IT would take her when she was resetting passwords in her previous role. for Barclays Bank. But 16 years later, she’s made an impact on teams all over the world.

I fell into IT, like many people. I didn’t expect it, didn’t think I wanted it, and didn’t know what I wanted, only that I wanted to ‘do well’. 16 years ago, I was working for Barclays Bank, in their service desk, resetting people’s passwords. Little did I know then that it would launch me into a career which would take me around the globe, introduce me to some fantastic people and ultimately make me the successful leader I am today. I am tempted to put ‘or at least I hope I am’ after that sentence. Imposter syndrome never quite goes away, does it?

Saving the day and going above and beyond meant Claire was ‘doing well’, and Claire’s determination to fix problems (as well as find out what caused the problem) led her to make a name for herself and start building a relationship with the technical teams.

I found working on the desk fun, solving problems, trying to understand what the actual problem was, talking to people and helping people. Was there a better reward than hearing an end user saying that you have saved their day?! I loved it and I wanted to be the best at it. I worked hard and even picked up the second line queues at the weekend when I was on the quiet shift. I was curious, I wanted to know why it worked that way, how did it make sense – was it actually even helping at all? I didn’t always do great on my call handling time because I was determined to fix whatever the issue was. It was because of this that I had a reputation for being ‘one of the good ones’. I built relationships with the 3rd line “tech guys”, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I was building my network and my reputation. So when a role came up in the Service Management team, I was recommended and got the job.

It was being a service management professional which then gave me the opportunity to develop my wider skill set. How to talk to people, how to negotiate and mediate, keeping calm in a crisis and explaining difficult issues under pressure – I learnt all of this and other core leadership skills which gave me the grounding for the roles I would take on in later years. I moved through the ranks in the team, moved sectors within the bank, gained a team in Lithuania and India and expanded my global travel.

Claire started to realise that being a woman in this space was unusual, and that she had an impact on the dynamics and diversity of thought of the team, for the better…

I think it was probably when I moved into managing Technical teams that I had a look around me and realised that I was in the minority. Other than myself and my manager, pretty much everyone else was male. This made for some interesting technical meetings at times, but honestly looking back, I think I used it to my advantage. Being young and female meant that I was the person in the room who people were least worried about and most likely to assume knew very little. So it was fun to take them by surprise and ask them to explain issues to me.

After 8 rewarding years, I made a leap to go to the BBC, staying in Service Delivery but going into a supplier management role. When I landed in the BBC, I realised that the support for Women in Tech was quite different to what I’d been used to at the bank – every week there was something going on under the Women in Tech banner. So I set up the WiSTEM network and started supporting our women working in tech roles. It became apparent to me during this time that not everyone had the same experience as me, and it made me reflect on some of my earlier experiences which might well have been diversity issues that I hadn’t realised at the time. This made me realise I could help people because I had a different approach which could work for other people too.

Claire was ready to take a leap of faith and joined Capgemini UK in 2018.

When the opportunity came up to join Capgemini UK in 2018, I was torn. Here was this amazing technology company offering me a great role, versus a place I had come to call home. At the BBC, I had a great team behind me, I genuinely loved coming into work each day and WiSTEM had gained arms and legs and was a BBC wide community. However, I decided I was too young to settle down at this point and so, with another leap of faith, I joined Capgemini UK the following January.

I got my head down again into a role with different responsibilities, matrix management as opposed to people management for one of our biggest accounts at the time in Northern Europe. Two years later, I took the opportunity to take a UK wide role and was made responsible for a team, starting at 30 engineers which grew to 90 engineers, as of 2022.

This has been a completely new experience for me as I’ve worked through how to run a department, managing leaders and making sure my priorities are right so that my time is spent in the right places. It also continues to open my eyes to just how few females there are in the technology sector today – despite my best efforts to hire females into roles.. But again, it has given me a different realisation; waiting for the next tech generation is going to take years and might not work – but converting women into tech roles and taking a chance on junior engineers who are keen and interested, might just get us to that sweet spot.

This has been one of the best decisions I’ve made to date. I love my role, I love seeing people develop and I really try my best every day to do my best by those people. Everything I’ve learned along the way goes into my leadership style and I’m really keen that we continue to grow careers in the way that I was able to grow mine. My leaps of faith brought me new opportunities each time and I didn’t regret a single one of them.

Claire Hoxworth

Regional Service Lead – End User Services | Cloud Infrastructure Services (CIS)
Claire Hoxworth, based in North West of England, Manchester / Lancashire area. Been in Tech for 17 years, predominantly specialising in Service Provision in line with ITIL Disciplines. Passionate about Leadership and getting more Women into Tech Careers. I live with my partner Joe, a cat who likes to jump on the keyboard called Flic and a dog called Lola who is still shedding the puppy years. When not working I like to keep active by the gym, swimming, walking and running, as well as playing netball. I try to travel to new places regularly and enjoy looking after my nephew who is 1 and adorable.