‘Women in Localisation’ is a topical movement surrounding diversity and equality in the workplace, particularly in the localisation industry. At thebigword we believe it’s important to support all employees, regardless of gender, race, religion and beliefs. We’re proud of the diversity amongst our employees and take pride in having a large number of senior women in localisation.
This month we sat down with Susy Harrison, Customer Success Director, celebrating 25 years working at thebigword, to discuss her views on equality and what it’s like to be a woman in a senior position within the business.
What is it like to be a female in a senior position?
Historically, the localisation industry and thebigword has always had a balance and a good track record of females in senior roles.
Focusing on our customers, a senior position is great as it builds credibility and trust quicker. Every day I am dealing with senior level people from other businesses and it enables the development of relationships with Executive level decision makers and taking a collaborative approach to creating solutions and long term partnerships.
Where did your career start?
I’ve had so many roles with thebigword! Having completed BTEC National in Business & Finance aged 18, I joined thebigword at apprentice level as HQ receptionist. With varied roles over the past years from Project Management, to managing transactional customers, I progressed to senior roles such as Business Development Manager, Global Internal Sales Management, and Business Development Director. Today in my roles as Customer Success Director, I am responsible for retention and growth, working with our Top 10 customers within thebigword’s Enterprise portfolio.
What did you aspire to be when you were younger?
From a young age I always wanted to be a police woman, however this changed due to my career path with thebigword and having two wonderful children.
How do you manage work/home life balance?
When my children were younger, my job roles fitted around them. I didn’t completely put my career on hold but at the same time I didn’t push for senior roles. I had flexible working patterns to support my work/home life balance and a good support system at home. My husband helped massively, as we shared the workload between us. Now my children are teenagers, I can perform in my current role more effectively.
Do you find your role rewarding?
Yes extremely! From a customer perspective, I’ve built honest relationships as they trust us, we become more of a partnership rather than a supplier. It’s rewarding to win contracts and retain customers based on long term partnerships.
What are your thoughts on the push to encourage greater female Board members?
Society has changed in terms of equal opportunities. Women have the capabilities to deliver and progress within organisations and exceed in their chosen roles, and they should be encouraged to progress and be part of Senior Leadership Teams.
Many colleges and universities are running ‘female futures’ campaigns, do you have any thoughts on this or are you involved in any initiatives?
It is a great idea to encourage the younger generation to be ambitious. Women CAN do it in any industry! I believe that opportunities should be open to everyone.
thebigword manages equality and diversity by offering fair, courteous and equal opportunities to all individuals, regardless of gender, race, religion and beliefs.
Susy’s experience at thebigword highlights the diversity and opportunities for progression within our company – from developing through various roles to winning contracts with well-known companies. Keep your eyes peeled for next month’s discussion!
Susy Harrison – Customer Success Director