Describe your current job? I sit within the PR team, managing social media strategy for the leadership team and online reputation management.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Why? Funnily enough my youngest memory of a ‘dream job’ was to design the interiors of planes (niche, I know!) – maybe my next role will be in the customer experience team!?
What in your job has given you the most satisfaction or fulfilment?
I’ve only been in this new role a couple of months but what I’ve learnt about the business through so many new people I hadn’t met before has been one of the best things about it. I get exposure to teams and people from across all functions and grades which has helped widen my network and understanding of the airline and industry we’re in. Where my role was newly created, it’s also been encouraging to see how interested people are in what I do, and they always ask lots of questions or comment on the social activity they’ve seen from our CEO Shai.
What women have inspired you? We’re lucky to have some really inspiring women in senior roles at Virgin Atlantic and I’m always grateful I originally joined Virgin Holidays in 2017 when Claire Cronin headed up the marketing team. Before she moved over to Virgin Atlantic, I knew I wanted to learn as much as I could from her so asked her to be my mentor and have had some great career advice over the years. She sets the precedent for ambitious women setting out in business and inspires me to think I could follow a similar path to hers.
How do you think women’s equality has evolved and what needs to happen next? Personally, I don’t feel like my gender has held me back since entering the ‘working world’ in 2015 after graduating which is perhaps a reflection of how things have changed from generations before for the positive. However, the two areas I believe need addressing the most across the entire industry (not just at Virgin) are better gender splits in senior leadership teams and equal pay for the same roles / levels. I get so frustrated seeing corporate images of leadership teams in magazines and websites which are either all men or they have one token woman. It sets such a poor example to women at all stages of their careers that no matter how hard you work or what you sacrifice, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be on the board of a large corporation.
How does Springboard help our women? In our final Springboard session where we each had a chance to tell the room how the programme had helped us, I honestly couldn’t believe how much it improved each and every woman’s life (either personally, professionally or both). There were some in the room whose lives were genuinely changed and I feel very lucky to have been a part of something like that. All of us are there for different reasons but to know that everyone experienced a notable improvement in an area of their life is amazing.
How has Springboard helped you? I went into Springboard not 100% sure what I’d get out of it but knowing I was a confident woman, so that wasn’t really an aspect I thought needed improving. It wasn’t until I worked through the course that I realised that maybe wasn’t the case when it came to my career and having the confidence to make my ambitions to progress known. Since completing Springboard, I achieved my long-desired goal of being promoted to a manager from an executive two-and-a-half years after joining the business. A lot of that I put down to feeling confident enough to make my ambitions very clear to the right people that I loved Virgin and my job but wanted to be given the stretch opportunity to demonstrate my skills in a more senior role with greater responsibility. It pushed me out of my comfort zone in marketing, which is all I’ve ever known, and into the PR team in a newly created role and in an area I’m much less familiar with. But I knew I wouldn’t have been promoted if they didn’t believe I was capable. I would recommend Springboard to every woman at Virgin as what you get out of it may end up surprising you.
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