In celebration of International Women’s Week, Deborah Mason, one of BridgeHead’s Professional Services Engineers, shares her remarkable journey from military life to the tech world. From her early days navigating the complexities of communication technologies in the Royal Navy, to her invaluable contributions in healthcare IT at the NHS, and her more recent role at BridgeHead Software, Deborah’s story is one of resilience, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Roy: “No, Jen, I’m sorry. But the Elders of the Internet would never stand for it.”

If you have watched the IT crowd, you’ll recognise the plight of Jen, the lone woman in the team who unfortunately becomes the scapegoat. Due to her lack of knowledge, she’s convinced the entire Internet can fit into one box and can’t be moved without permission from the ‘elders’. I love this series and whilst I watched it on DVD during my time with the Royal Navy, I never imagined I would end up in an IT office of my own…definitely not as a Jen!

From Military Cadets to Tech Innovator

My family has a strong military background, with my dad and uncles all serving in the Armed Forces. I grew up surrounded by their inspirational stories, eagerly anticipating my own adventure. At 18, I found myself in the Armed Forces career office flipping through a booklet on current shortages. The careers officer pointed me towards ‘communications’, sparking my passion for technology, innovation, and discovery. For seven years, I was immersed in the Royal Navy, mostly deployed on operations, and managing internal and external radio communications. Handling encrypted traffic and crucial backups for mission-critical applications fuelled my interest in communication technologies.

Transitioning to Civilian Life: The NHS and the World of DICOM

Leaving the Royal Navy gave me a baseline understanding of various IT applications, but I knew I needed to specialise to excel. Having a passion for self-learning, and being a disciplined and driven individual (moulded from the Navy), helped me find that next role in the NHS. I wanted to continue developing my interest in IT, and naturally found myself drawn to the dark art of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine)! I found myself working for a subsection of IT in the Radiology PACS team, whose focus was to support users with a range of radiology IT queries and maintain the PACS and RIS system. Over the course of 10 years, I gained extensive experience in imaging system integrations, system administration, DICOM, HL7, and more. The intricate web of interoperable systems used to track patients’ medical journeys fascinated me – it was like learning another language.

Joining BridgeHead: A New Chapter in Professional Growth

Three years ago, an advert for a Professional Services Engineer role at BridgeHead Software caught my eye on LinkedIn. Intrigued by their products, and seeing how my NHS experience could benefit their customers, I reached out directly. BridgeHead has been instrumental in my professional and personal growth, fostering an ethos that values and nurtures talent. Working remotely has allowed me to balance my career with family commitments, but it does come with its challenges, especially in an industry that can feel isolating, particularly for women seeking a sense of community and connection.

Promoting Women in Tech

I think we could and should encourage more women to start a career in tech. But my view is it needs to start much earlier at the ‘grass roots’ level, creating awareness and generating interest throughout the  learning and development in our formative years. This requires a greater focus, by schools, on education in technology to encourage younger generations of women to pursue roles in the IT field. There are already programs in schools that are improving childrens’ (and parents’) awareness of the hazards and precautions we need to take to ensure online safety, which is really important. But, given that we all use smart devices, check in on multiple platforms, and stream our lifestyles and life goals, I would like to see more in our curricula that introduces and explains the technology that sits behind these devices. Unfortunately, there is also still industry stereotyping, and we need to work on removing those barriers to encourage women to look further than simply the devices they use every day. I hope my journey highlights the importance of breaking barriers and empowering women to pursue careers in technology, inspiring the next generation of innovators to embrace their unique paths, and bring gender parity to the industry.


Deborah Mason is a seasoned professional with three years of experience as a Bridgehead EMEA Services Engineer. Her primary responsibilities revolve around delivering remote technical solutions and implementing intricate company solutions within healthcare environments. Deborah excels in product deployment, custom configurations, installations, and fault finding.


With 13 years of expertise in Clinical Healthcare, Deborah has a diverse skill set that spans areas such as DICOM, HL7, RIS/PACS, and data management. Beyond her professional endeavours, Deborah finds joy in Warhammer and miniature model building. She also cherishes quality time spent with her young family in the picturesque region of Devon.

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