Happy International Women's Day! Today, we thought we'd share a few words from the women of our Senior Leadership team here at IT Works Health. Hear about their career stories and experiences...
Frances Newburn - Operations & Marketing Manager
Today on International Woman’s Day I can honestly say I am proud to be a woman. For years I didn't feel this way. I struggled with being unapologetically myself. I was unsure of whether as a woman it was realistic to aspire to be everything I wanted to be:
A present Mother for my kids
A full-time working woman
A successful professional growing and progressing in a career
Supportive of my partner’s progression without needing to sacrifice my own career goals
I remember consciously thinking at a young age that I should choose teaching because I could see a greater potential to achieve all the above. Being young, I thought this because it was the only career where I had examples of women achieving these same goals. I could be a teacher and a good Mum at the same time. Lots of other Mum’s I knew were also teachers, so surely it was possible for me.
Growing up, my mum worked in our family-run business as part of the Accounts team. Meanwhile, I saw it was the men that were responsible for making the business decisions. My mum worked flexibly whilst running after me and my siblings whereas my dad was left to focus on driving the business forward. With this in mind, I decided to continue my studies with a degree in teaching. Whilst completing my degree, I worked part time in a Recruitment company. It was there I got the bug to get involved in business operations instead of teaching. Since then, I can safely say that I’ve never looked back!
Fortunately for me, all my early limiting beliefs were proven wrong by my workplace experiences. Eventually finding my way to IT Works, it is here I found a company and leadership team that believed in equality, judging my career prospects based upon my actions, my capability, and my commitment to succeed. After working here initially as a temp back in 2009, I am now proudly a part of a management team made up of 75% woman. I have worked with male and female Directors alike, and I now lead a team which is made up of 50% woman and 50% men.
My employer has always supported me as both a woman and a mum, seeing my potential from the start. Despite being a young mum with no experience in business and no formal qualifications in IT/project Management, they always believed in the talent I had to offer. From maternity leave through to management progression, I have been (and continue to be) supported in every step of my journey.
My Christmas card this year from my MD had this message inside: “Remember that you are a successful businesswoman and Mum, on tough days remember that you’re always those successes in equal measure”
The photo you see below was the gift enclosed to me as a reminder of this message everyday, a bracelet with my children’s initials attached.
My message on IWD is to find an employer that empowers you to achieve all of your personal and professional goals. If this is not your lived experience, I hope my story has shown that it can be. You deserve the endless opportunities that are out there for you!
Tiffany Bowen - Performance Manager
“As a woman in an established sales environment, I feel it’s only right to share a voice on International Women’s Day.
I’ve worked in the recruitment industry for 12 years now, with 8 of those being in management. Although I recognise that gender inequality within the industry exists, I have been fortunate as a woman to have never experienced an indifference based on my gender. Some statistic suggest that we often see male-dominated leadership teams and hear mostly from prominent male voices within our industry, at IT Works this isn’t the case. Irrelevant of gender, everyone is held in the same regard with shared values at our core. I truly believe that our unbiased beliefs are consistent within our culture.
As well as being Performance Manager, I am also the first point of contact for internal recruitment within the business. Hiring talent, I have seen a significant imbalance of female to male applicants. Like the industry as a whole, we struggle to attract female talent. It goes without saying, we are unable to hire those who don’t apply; but I believe the environment here at It Works is one that actively encourages and supports women and their ambitions. My message to those thinking of joining recruitment is to not hesitate in applying.”
Sarah McMurray - HR & Management Accountant
“One of the reasons I stay here is because it’s like a family, not a business. Thirteen years ago I started twenty hours a week as an admin assistant, and now I’m full time in Accounting and HR. I’ve had the opportunity to develop my skills and advance my career, and it’s given me stability as I’ve raised my family – two of whom have come along while I’ve been working here.”
Charlotte Maguire - Chief Financial Officer
“I’d qualified as an accountant elsewhere. After a career break, with my youngest getting into primary school, I looked for any opportunity I could to get back into the working world, even as a part-timer, and for the longest time I couldn’t get the opportunity I needed – until I found my way into the Group during someone’s maternity leave. That led to a chance to show what I can do, and I received more responsibilities as I proved myself. Today, I’ve found a space that suits me, in a place where my work is recognised.”