Who am I?
I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. My dad was a coal miner and my mum worked in a sewing factory. They were both very ambitious for their children, and my brother and I both went to university – the first people in our family ever to do so.
I’ve been married to Dave for 26 years; we met on our first day at university. We live in Liverpool and have a 23-year-old daughter who’s a law graduate and the absolute apple of my eye, even if she works for one of our competitors!
Outside of work, I love to entertain, read, socialise, travel and go to the theatre and rock concerts. I’ve got a very wide circle of family and friends so it’s always very busy at weekends – but that’s the way I like it!
I studied English language and literature at Liverpool University and joined an economics research company as a graduate management trainee. After a “round robin” of the various functions, I decided to specialise in commercial management because I enjoyed it so much and seemed to have a flair for it. After 16 years with a building management solutions company, including seven years as lead negotiator, I was asked to join Capgemini and, having met some fantastic people here (especially one inspirational woman!), I jumped at the chance.
My typical work day
I generally have lots of meetings on new sales opportunities for Capgemini – listening, asking questions, brainstorming ideas, and giving and receiving advice and support.
Planning my career
I wouldn’t say I have an approach – it’s more of a philosophy. Do what you love to do and then work becomes fun and you jump out of bed in the morning. And remember that “this too shall pass” – tough times are a point on the journey, not a destination!
Managing my development
I try to be aware of the opportunities around me and make sure I’m best placed to take advantage of them – but I also make sure it’s the right thing for me, taking my whole life into account, not just my career.
Best thing about working here
The best thing to me is the culture: “people matter” is written through the whole organisation like the words in a stick of Blackpool rock.
Support that I value
The support of colleagues – as someone very new to the organisation, I’ve been delighted that everyone I’ve reached out to for help has been so responsive, friendly and positive.
I’m looking forward to working on more and bigger new sales opportunities and contributing to the initiative I’m currently working on, which I feel passionate about.
Advice for new joiners
Reach out to people, develop your network, don’t be afraid to ask questions and take time to get to know people as people.
Why working in tech is great
Tech touches every aspect of our lives and can bring real benefit to real people. It’s constantly changing; it drives some changes in society and needs to reflect others. To me, it’s the most “relevant” and exciting place to be.
I believe passionately that diversity in the workforce brings massive benefits to companies that embrace it, and to people who work in those companies.
Experience has taught me that women have so much to offer. We do think differently. We come up with alternative views, strategies and perspectives, which can result in better outcomes for our business and our clients.
My role as a negotiator comes with a whole bunch of expectations: that I will be tough, formal, incredibly “corporate” – and a man.
In fact, I’m very warm, friendly and definitely not a man! When I’m in a situation where things are getting a bit fraught (or, let’s face it, downright unpleasant), I often find that my perspective as a woman and my innate emotional intelligence can calm the situation and lead to a positive outcome.
I want other women to be the best version of themselves that they can be – and a big part of that is embracing what is different about us.