“I think it helps that there’s a young culture here that supports diversity in all its forms”
Job title: Senior Software Compliance Specialist
What area of Sky do you work in? Operations Engineering in Technology
How did you get to where you are now? To summarise, my background was as a Stage Manager in the theatre and when I was made redundant from the ballet company I was with, a cousin who mentioned that Sky were looking for people in IT. I had no experience of computers but a lot of life experience. So after 18 years in the theatre world, Sky took the gamble and employed me; training me up in Desktop Support. So at the age of 40 I took on a new career. I started with telephone support, then moved to 2nd line support (visiting people at their desks) and then moved across to the Software Asset Management (SAM) team, where I’ve now been for 12 years.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? My speciality is Microsoft licensing, understanding how to make sure we’re using their software legally and in the most cost efficient way. My daily work consists of consulting with teams on software requirements; helping people with licensing queries; making sure software is purchased and installed properly in line with the terms and conditions of the publisher.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? This is a difficult one as I’ve been here for 17 years! I think the proudest moment was working as Team Leader for the SAM Team when we were able to mitigate over £1m of licensing risk by making sure software contracts were gathered from largely different areas of the business and centralised.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The people I work with on a daily basis and being able to help colleagues with their software challenges.
What does supporting LGBT@Sky mean to you? I’m of the older generation of the LGBT community and have lived through many of the struggles we’ve encountered. I’ve seen many changes over the years and although life is much easier for us now, there is still hatred. Working with the group even more, I hope to keep changing hearts and minds so that we can, one day, all live without fear and be ourselves in every part of our lives.
How have we helped you to be yourself at work? Personally I have never felt the need to be anyone other than who I am at work. My colleagues and management have always accepted me for who I am. It’s still a question each time I meet with someone else I will be working with on whether I “come out” or not to them but here, I’ve always felt confident that when I do, the response won’t be negative. I think it helps that there’s a young culture here that supports diversity in all its forms.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Be genuine, honest and respectful of others. Show you’re hard-working and have an opinion.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I’m probably too open to have things that others don’t know about me! OK. I once understudied Fenella Fielding (you might have to look her up!) in “The Ghost Train”. I went on for 8 performances, opening at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool and playing against Mark Winter ("Venus in Blue Jeans") to great acclaim until the producers told Fenella that she had to come back!
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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@example.com for more information.
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