Sarah became Director of MSOC (Apogee’s UK based Service Operations Centre in Maidstone) in November 2019 and has developed and grown at Apogee since she joined a few years prior. Sarah is regarded as an inspiring and motivational leader within Apogee and currently has a number of female Team Leaders and Managers within her team. She sets the perfect example to a large team and drives success through her dedication and expertise. Sarah is also at the forefront of many of Apogee’s charity fundraisers taking part and inspiring those around her to also join in.
- What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life?
On a day to day basis, we are challenged to deliver the best experience possible for our clients, we are also encouraged to challenge the status quo, to think differently/outside the box. Without these challenges, we won’t change, evolve and grow. I don’t think challenges are a bad thing – they encourage me to succeed, each and every day. I choose to face the challenge.
- What influenced you to pursue a career in Technology?
Actually I fell into the technology sector by chance but I’m so glad I did. Technology continually evolves and I was enticed by the opportunity to be part of the progression of the business, in a sector that continues to move forward and push boundaries. I knew that I’d be challenged to keep ahead of the curve and continually improve.
- In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up powerful & successful roles?
Why not!! Gender shouldn’t be a factor in whether or not a person can be a great leader — a person’s leadership abilities should depend on their individual strengths and personality traits. Follow your aspirations and do everything you can to succeed in the role/career you choose. We all have brilliant ideas that should be heard and an opportunity to challenge.
- What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman starting out in her career?
Challenge your thoughts – the best thing you can do is to go out there, experience new situations, challenge your doubt, make suggestions and ask questions.
- Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to high-powered females?
I’d like to think not but they do. Think of powerful leading ladies in films, Devil Wears Prada – the Ice Queen or the stereotype that powerful women don’t have families & spend all spare their time working. The high-powered females I know are a diverse array of successful women who have seized the opportunities they have been given. We are mums, nans, sisters, wives – we are no different from everyone else plus we love a good glass of wine and a chin wag!
- What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women within the tech industry?
It’s the “glass ceiling” – being considered for those roles in higher management and barriers to stop them from progressing. I’m fortunate that with Apogee I have been given the opportunity to progress my career and the support to continue to do. However, that’s not the same for all companies. It’s great that businesses like Apogee, HP, IBM, YouTube are championing women in leading roles.
- How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you? We are all, regardless of gender, encouraged by praise and recognition and even more so when our peers and colleagues recognise our achievements. It often gives us that little boost we need. For me, empowering my female colleagues at Apogee means we are creating opportunities in what has historically been a male-led industry and shaping our future.
- On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers? Be open to opportunities. Be yourself and be self-aware. We don’t grow unless we can recognise our weaknesses and improve them.
- How can our colleagues support our quest for equality?
I strongly believe that Apogee offers an inclusive workplace. Women are given the same opportunities as men and treated fairly throughout. We should all champion each other and celebrate each other’s’ successes.
- “Only 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women” How would you react to this?
It’s a sobering statistic and more importantly, a missed opportunity for women but also for businesses. Having a more diverse workforce, including an equal gender balance, is key to the success of the business. The sector is heading in the right direction and there are loads of initiatives such as the Women in Tech group that champions women, offering graduate opportunities, forums and training. Check it out: https://www.womenintech.co.uk