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.

As part of our ‘women in localisation’ series, this month we sat down with Leanne, our Global Director of HR, 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?

Being a female in a senior position is, I imagine, very similar to how it is for a male. Exciting, challenging, demanding but extremely rewarding.

Where did your career start?

I started working as a filing clerk in a major law firm in Leeds when I was 17. My role quickly progressed into HR, around 12 months after I joined the company. They supported me with a HR college course ‘Certificate in Personnel Practice’.

What did you aspire to be when you were younger?

I always wanted to work with people. I was never really academic at school and the quicker I could leave the better!  I guess I always fancied being in a girl band, but my singing skills just wouldn’t have cut it!

How did you get to the position you are in now?

I put myself through university in my mid 20’s whilst working full time. This meant that I had to go to night school 2 nights a week.  In my early career, I always went for the promotion (even when I knew I wasn’t ready) and worked hard to learn on the job afterwards.

How do you manage work/home life balance?

I have a daughter who is two, and therefore it is important that I am also available to support her in her early years. With that in mind, I work a condensed week Monday- Thursday working extremely long hours. This allows me to have Fridays at home with my daughter.

Did your career/home life influence each other? For example did you choose to start a family later to concentrate on your career?

Yes absolutely. I waited until after my 31st birthday before I even consider having children, as I was much more focused on my career.

I have a great family support network that enables me to work long hours. However, I wouldn’t like to think of having a new-born whilst working at director/ senior level.

What are the career opportunities like in your chosen sector/area of the business?

The business offers opportunities for its people and we work hard to ensure people get the right development that they desire. I feel like I personally have had some fantastic opportunities and I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and grow as a board member.

Do you find your role rewarding?

Absolutely! I am in a position where I feel very valued which is rewarding in itself. However, we have a great Executive Management Team, CEO & Chairman that encourage me to really add value and make a difference to the direction of the business.

Leanne Bottomley

Global Director of HR