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Championing gender diversity at CityFibre - Anne Shannon, Director of Customer Success

Category: testimonial, Gender Equality, Staff Networks, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, staff network group, gender and equality, CityFibre


Anne Shannon, Director of Customer Success

At CityFibre, we want to nurture an accepting and inclusive culture for everyone, regardless of their background. We know that diversity of thought brings innovation and we want everyone to feel empowered to create an inclusive workplace and ensure that we all have a voice. That’s why we’re launching our new Employee Networks, to continue making CityFibre an organisation where everyone feels their opinion is important and valued.

We spoke to Anne Shannon – who’s co-leading our new Gender Network alongside Sarah Parsons – about her experience at CityFibre and her plans for the group.

Anne, tell us a bit about yourself

I joined CityFibre three months ago, after working for various FMCG, retail, utilities and manufacturing companies. I enjoy working on big infrastructure projects, setting up processes from scratch, using automation to drive efficiency and putting the customer at the heart of the journey.

What attracted you to CityFibre?

I needed a role with less travel. I have a 14-month-old baby and the last job I was in wasn’t offering the flexibility I needed. I’m used to working with big companies, so CityFibre, as a challenger brand, wasn’t on my radar. But the more I learned about the company, the more I could see the potential. I’m used to having long-established processes to follow, so joining a newer business like CityFibre was scary, challenging and exciting all at the same time.

What made you decide to lead an Employee Network?

Customer experience and employee experience are interlinked, so I’ve always been passionate about an organisation’s people agenda. I was involved in a Gender Network in one of my previous roles and found it very rewarding. They had a great programme of activity, including building confidence skills and coaching for people returning to work after a career break. Seeing how the employees in the scheme benefitted was fantastic, so as soon as Simon Holden, our COO, announced the launch of our Diversity & Inclusion networks, I was keen to get involved.

What makes an Employee Network successful?

When it’s driven by the people. That’s why it’s so important to give employees the autonomy to make decisions and the time away from their day-to-day responsibilities to get involved as much or as little as they choose. Mine and Sarah’s role is to be visible, facilitate events and be the voice and face of the network. Ultimately though, it’s all about connecting people and making sure our message is clear.

What’s your vision for the Gender Employee Network?

We’re keen not to focus on targets and numbers as this can lead to reverse discrimination and tokenism. Instead, we want to champion diversity of thought and challenge unconscious bias to make sure we, as a business, are always open, inclusive and accepting. We want people who work here to know they’ve been hired based on their skills, experience and individual qualities. It’s also important we work closely with other diversity streams to gather a wide range of gender-based points of view and recognise ‘gender identity’ more broadly.

Anne will be leading our Gender Network with Sarah Parsons and in the first network meetings will set up their agenda for the year ahead. We look forward to catching up with them again soon to see how things are going.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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