Catherine

 

Tell us about your journey into tech?
I graduated with a degree in Computer Information Systems and Design at University. Then I moved into consulting roles with various organisations, then moved into more technical roles e.g. SQL Server DBA for a large law firm. Whilst at CPA Global from 2004 – 2013, I was promoted from a junior software implementation consultant to a Senior Manager role managing a team of five functional consultants as well as managing major implementation projects in the EMEA region. Then I pivoted my career to a Project/Programme Manager roles, where I have managed projects in a 12 country, £3M+ Implementation of Medallia (Customer Experience SaaS Platform for a leading Telco in Europe.

Whilst at Kantar as Head of the Implementation team, I defined a working PM model with other business divisions within Kantar TNS. I also have extensive Global Stakeholder management skills: working with C-Level, IT teams, Programme and Project Managers, Business and Implementation Analysts.

How do you feel you have made a difference in what you do?
I have made a difference to my clients day to day working lives by providing them with the ability to simplify and achieve data insights that ultimately affect their customers experiences. Whilst I was at Kantar in the Consulting manager role, I managed the end to end implementation of the Medallia CX platform for 3 major markets for the Liberty Global Group, Unitymedia in Germany, Telenet in Belgium and Virgin Media in Ireland. I was the main point of contact, acted as the client’s trusted advisor, run all the weekly project meeting calls, fed back product issues to the development team and managed the whole project life cycle from the kick off meeting to handing over to the Medallia support team.

Whilst in the Head of Implementation role at Kantar, I managed implementations of Qualtrics for major enterprise customers which included Telefonica for all 3 markets, Movistar in Spain, Argentina & Chile, 02 in the UK and Vivo in Brazil. I also managed projects for Rolex and the Royal Mail.

The majority of the projects were large revenue generators for the company with total revenue ranging from £250,000 to £1 million per annum.

In my role at Riversand, as part of the European Leadership team, I managed implementation for clients based in the Nordics which was my geographical remit. The clients I have worked with as Programme Manager are IKEA, Nordiska Kompaniet, Fellespoket and BAMA.

What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Being a mother to 2 energetic, boisterous boys whom I love dearly. They have given me a better perspective of life and our journey through life is fulfilling.

How do you think people can go about making a difference, in regards to spreading awareness of Black Women in tech?
Organisations /People need to raise Black Women’s voices in a positive and inspiring light. This will in effect show young black girls to pursue a career in tech because they see that a woman who looks like them is successful and therefore, they can make it to. That message is compelling and inspirational.

What do you believe are the most effective ways to engage other ethnicities and genders to embrace diversity?
1. Raise voices of BAME men/women so that they are seen in a positive light and their achievements are known.
2. Provide a working environment whereby employees of colour feel comfortable to voice their negative experiences.
3. For large tech, well known organisations that hire thousands of people who have a publicised there D&I initiatives, they should be more aware that diversity is not just about the colour of people’s faces that you hire, it’s about the rich variety of view points and life experiences that those faces bring to the table.

What is the best advice you ever received?
1. Do not take criticism from people you would not go to for advice
2. ‘Don’t make decisions based on fear, make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t’ – I love this advice from my inspiration, Michelle Obama.
3. ‘To be African is a nature, it’s a being, it’s an essence’ – From a dear friend who is an artist.
4. The people in your life should be a source of reducing stress. Not causing it. No jealousy or hate. No drama or negativity. – A dear friend.

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