International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women across social, economic, cultural and political landscapes, but also a time to reflect on issues impacting women & girls across the globe.

This year’s theme is Balance for Better. Gender-balanced representation is being called for at all levels – whether it’s in business boardrooms, the government, or the media.

At Capita TI, we have some amazing women working across various departments and levels of our business. We’re proud to be a diverse, inclusive, multicultural company – after all, it’s at the heart of what we do, enabling anyone to communicate in any language, anywhere.

Our people are our biggest asset and these 13 staff profiles highlight the hard work, dedication and commitment of some of the inspiring women in our team.

Meet the incredible women at Capita TI


Click on any of the below profiles or scroll to learn more.

 

 

 

Bonnie

Bonnie
Operations Manager

Bonnie, Operations Manager

I am currently Operations Manager for Translation Service Delivery in our Delph office. I’ve been working for Capita TI for 9 years and have held a variety of roles including call handling for Interpreting Operations, Project Management and Vendor Management. I come from a languages background, having studied French and Spanish BA and then a Translation studies MA.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

I’ve been lucky enough not to encounter anything that would be traditionally considered as an obstacle in my working life. However, I took a gamble in moving to China in my mid-twenties, predominantly in order to support my then boyfriend (now husband) who wanted to spend time out there. This was basically a pause in my career, as I had been planning to join the translation industry in 2007, immediately after finishing my MA, but instead I didn’t start until 3 years later. At the time, I felt some friends and even family thought that I shouldn’t be “following a man” instead of putting my own career first. However, I decided that the move was worth doing as I was able to learn Mandarin and work as a teacher for two years. My time teaching has given me skills that I continue to use in the business world now, making me comfortable presenting in front of diverse crowds and tailoring my communication to different audiences. I don’t regret it for a moment.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

Supporting women in the workplace is very important to me and I am happy to see Capita TI is supporting International Women’s Day.

A great benefit of being at Capita TI for me is the flexible working pattern I’ve been able to adopt since returning from maternity leave, in order to work full-time whilst also feeling that I am sufficiently present at home. This does not just apply to the workplace of the mother; my husband’s company has been equally flexible, which in turn supports me in returning to work.

 

Suzan

Suzan
Inside Sales Executive

Suzan, Inside Sales Executive

I’m an Inside Sales Executive with a background in sales and customer service. I love languages, especially French! It’s been a long journey to get where I am today – multiple roles in various industries to get to this point and enjoy the work that I do.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

Entering the localisation industry has been a huge learning curve for me. There’s a lot more technology to understand and get used to than I expected, so having the support of colleagues willing to share their knowledge has been invaluable. Earlier this year, I relocated and the shift to remote working could have been a challenge, but thanks to the support of my management team, this has gone off without a hitch.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

Women are growing in strength, having children is thankfully no longer seen as a disadvantage to your career and does not mean compromise where a family is concerned – more support with flexible working hours is the key here.

I LOVE the localisation industry, the support network at Capita TI and the positive attitude of my manager and colleagues makes life easier. Every day is different and the more proactive I am, the more I get back from it.
 

 

Alicia

Alicia
Senior Account Manager

Alicia, Senior Account Manager

I’m a Senior Account Manager with an educational background in languages as well as 11 years of experience in the localisation industry, working for large multinationals to smaller organisations.

How have you got to where you are today?

Getting my career to where it is today hasn’t always been easy, but I’m a firm believer in hard work, not giving up and having a good attitude towards life. When overcoming difficulties in the workplace, it’s helped me to realise what I did and did not want to do and who I wanted to be professionally. I was made redundant from a role which lead to an opportunity to travel South America for 6 months. I have moved locations several times and each time new, exciting opportunities have presented themselves – I have worked on a lot large projects that helped me learn how to listen and truly work as part of a team. Listening is free and is the greatest education you will ever have.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

International Women’s Day helps women to feel empowered, no matter what age they are. Having gone through different levels of employment from the age of 16, I can testify that teenage girls and women need to be surrounded by positivity and people who make them believe that they can succeed and feed the fire that might be burning inside them.

When it comes to businesses supporting women, I think that it’s all about trust, trusting your employer to do right by you and them being able to trust that you will be able to get the job done, no matter where you are. I think when you’re trying to strike a balance it helps being able to work flexible hours that suit your lifestyle (not just the standard 9-5) and then being allowed to work from home when needed helps.

 

Nikki

Nikki
Executive Business Support

Nikki, Executive Business Support

Can you describe your career journey to date?

In my role as Executive Business Support, I am responsible for compliance, GDPR, auditing and certifications. My background is quite varied, I started my working life in finance near my home in Bedford. Unfortunately, after 3 years I was made redundant, but I soon gained a new role as a training officer, traveling around East Anglia recruiting and training cashiers. I then moved to Milton Keynes and worked as a PA but was again made redundant after several years – it happened the same week as we completed on our first house and came totally out of the blue, so it was a massive shock.

In 1999 my husband was offered a role in Manchester so we relocated with our young daughter, and I became a stay-at-home-Mum for a few years. I returned to work after accepting a role as at my children’s primary school, which suited me and meant I didn’t need to arrange childcare. When my children moved to high school, I then moved to a full-time role with the NHS, who were also very supportive of parents in the workplace and offered flexible working.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

I have encountered a few obstacles in my life; moving to the North West was a big change, with a small child, to a completely new area – but I’ve never regretted it, I’ve made some wonderful friends and would be very sad if I had to leave the North.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

On International Women’s Day, it’s important that we reflect not only on how far we have come, but also to look at the injustice that is still happening to women around the world: FGM, forced marriage, abuse, violence, lack of respect, inequality in the workplace, being looked down on for being a stay-at-home mum and many more. Businesses can help by offering flexible working hours and they should manage inequalities, so women are not overlooked for roles just because they are of childbearing age.

I have been lucky in the roles I have taken since becoming a parent and have always had a supportive team in the workplace. This has continued at Capita TI – whilst childcare isn’t as important for me now my children are grown up, I have had some personal issues to deal with and I have felt fully supported and trusted to work flexibly whilst dealing with what was happening at home.

 

Jessica

Jessica
Account Manager

Jessica, Account Manager

I joined Capita TI 7 years ago, my first job was as a Project Assistant, then I became Project Manager in 2013 and then moved to Account Management in October 2017. I studied English in Almeria, Spain and have a Master’s in teaching foreign languages. I came here and loved it so much I did not want to leave! One of the things that has made me stay and grow was always the teams I’ve been working with, across the business. I’ve received a lot of support and had some great managers.

How have you got to where you are today?

The main obstacle I’ve overcome is moving countries and leaving my family for such a long time. My initial idea was to move to the UK for a year or so and I’ve now been here for seven. Working in a different language and culture has been difficult too, I am still learning new things every day and trying to adapt.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

I think it’s important to celebrate and commemorate women globally; it’s a day to empower women, protect our rights and shout for full gender equality. Also, this is a day to remember and raise awareness of the inequality and discrimination that women keep suffering in many places around the world. Businesses can help by fixing the pay gap, being more flexible with women who have a family, giving the same opportunities, and having more women in the highest ranks of the company.

In my office, there are a lot of people from different places and cultures, sometimes the way we see things differs, depending on our backgrounds. We can have open conversations about different matters, including feminism – one of my favourite topics! Also, I’ve always loved the way women celebrate this day in my home country (Spain), there is a “women’s association” that organises a dinner party for all women that want to join and celebrate how amazing they are.

 

Sally

Sally
Business Development Manager

Sally, Business Development Manager

I always loved languages at school and studied German and Russian at university, followed by a masters in Machine Translation. I have always worked in translation, starting as an Assistant Project Manager, working my way up to Senior Project Manager, then moved over into Senior Localisation Engineer, heading up the Engineering team for 12 years. The knowledge I built up over the years really helps me in my current role to advise customers on the best solution for their translation requirements.

How have you got to where you are today?

Working at Capita TI means that I am fully supported by our wider teams, especially our fantastic Language Solutions team with all the innovative technology they bring. I really enjoy working in localisation because it’s so varied with interesting and keeps me on my toes. I enjoy taking part in wider industry events, including Women in Localization seminars and meetings, helping others to understand about the issues we face in our industry.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

I changed my working life about 12 years ago after I had 2 daughters; we relocated from London back to North Yorkshire, which is where I had my 3rd daughter and now work from home, with occasional travel to our London and Manchester offices. I enjoy the work/life balance of working from home.

The people I work alongside at Capita TI make my role a happy one. I still haven’t lost my interest in languages despite working in the business development side and now that machine translation is being deployed more and more, it’s interesting for me to see the developments in that field compared to many years ago when I studied it for my MSc.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

I think International Women’s Day and supporting women in the workplace is important because often our career can take different turns due to family life and we need support from our employer to do this. I am happy that Capita TI promote flexible and remote working.

Working parents form a large part of the workforce, so allowing flexi-time or remote working really helps. Also, helping a mother to settle back into working life after having a child is an important time because you can feel quite vulnerable returning to work after maternity leave.

 

Jane

Jane
Operations Manager

Jane, Operations Manager

Can you describe your career journey to date?

As a language graduate from Leeds University with a passion for communication and international travel, I first launched my career in tourism, working in both France and Italy as a tour guide. The sunny outdoor lifestyle was fantastic, but after years of study, I missed intellectual challenge, so sought a graduate role in the UK in the language industry. Now I’ve gained over 20 years’ experience, working originally in Project Management, then moving into Account Management and then in Team Leadership roles.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

During the years I’ve faced a range of challenges from managing heavy workloads affecting my work/life balance, exploring the question of whether this is the right industry for me, changes in my personal life which led me to take a work sabbatical, and the stressful situation of fearing redundancy, through to being part of an acquisition by Capita.

During all of this time however, I have been incredibly fortunate to have had nothing but positive support in the workplace from focused, motivated and inspirational women, including directors, line managers and colleagues.

I have never encountered any gender bias or been held back within my career and this was due firstly to the nature of the industry itself, which is traditionally female-led and driven by strong female leadership who acted as role models for both equality and promotion of women in the workplace. Secondly to this, my own belief in my capabilities and my tenacity to demonstrate and promote my achievements within the workplace has helped me to move up the career ladder.

From my perspective, organisations can support women in the workplace by hiring diversely, addressing unconscious bias, having clear growth and career development opportunities, and by supporting work/life balance whatever your situation or role.

 

Laura

Laura
Solutions Architect

Laura, Solutions Architect

I graduated in 2005 with an MA (Hons) degree in Languages in Interpreting and Translating (French and German). As part of my studies, I lived in both France and Germany where I attended the University of Haute Alsace in Mulhouse and Johannes Gutenberg University in Germersheim.

Can you describe your career journey to date?

Following University, I immediately started my career in the translation industry as a Project Manager for a small translation company in my home town of Harrogate. The company was later bought by Applied Language Solutions and again later in by Capita in 2012. This involved relocating to the current office in Oldham, a huge change, both personally and professionally. I have now worked in the translation industry for 12 years, having also taken a year out to travel independently.

How have you got to where you are today?

During my time working in the industry I have held a variety of positions. I started as a Project Manager and my interest in the technology aspect led me to become a File Engineer. I was later offered the opportunity to become the Implementation Project Manager for our translation management system. Following the launch of the software across the business I joined the Language Solutions team as a Solutions Architect. Each of these change in job roles has come about through hard work, commitment and a desire to proactively learn new skills and technologies. I am now fortunate to have a job which combines two things that greatly interest me; languages and technology.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

In my current role I am more closely involved with technology solutions both internally and externally. While there has been an increase in the number of women working in the technology industry, it is still a male-dominated area. Despite this, within Capita, I feel supported and encouraged to contribute to technology discussions and feel my input is valued. This is an important attribute for any business and I feel particularly lucky to work for a company that actively welcomes this. It’s great to see the entire Capita business supporting International Women’s Day, acknowledging how far businesses have progressed to achieve gender equality over the years and recognising that there is still more that can be done.

 

Katie

Katie
Head of Account Management

Katie, Head of Account Management

I’ve been in the translation industry for 11 years, after studying French & Spanish at Durham University, I went on to complete a Master’s in Technical & Specialised Translation at the University of Westminster.

Can you describe your career journey to date?

After gaining my qualifications, I’ve worked in a number of roles within the industry. I started out as a Project Manager and then progressed to Team Leader, managing the translation requirements of the company’s New York and Paris offices. After a 2-year career change, during which I learned about digital marketing, I decided to return to the translation industry and combine my newly gained SEO knowledge with my translation experience and moved back up North to work as an SEO Translation Project Manager. I’ve been there ever since, in a variety of roles including: Service Delivery Manager, Head of Project Management, Head of Vendor Management, Account Manager, Senior AM and most recently, Head of Account Management – I’ve practically worked in every department!

Languages has always been a passion of mine since I first started learning French at school, so working in the language industry where I am surrounded by like-minded people is great. I love learning about other cultures and am privileged to work with a diverse group of people from all corners of the globe.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

After studying for my MA in London, I lived in Windsor for 4 years, but the North soon called, and I moved to be nearer to family. I also spent a year abroad living in Paris and then Barcelona as part of my studies which was a fantastic experience but rather challenging at times, especially being away from family and friends and adapting to a different way of living.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

Supporting women in the workplace is extremely important and something which I think we do well at Capita TI; we have a mix of genders, background and experience across all departments and levels within the business and everyone is treated equally.

I am heavily involved with a local musical theatre group which takes up a lot of my time outside of work and leaves little time for relaxing! So, I need to be very organised and disciplined with my work to balance the 2, but I think it’s extremely important to have a work/life balance and I encourage my team to do the same. Sometimes you need to put in the extra hours to meet an important deadline, but it should be the exception and not the norm.

 

Sarah

Sarah
Business Development Manager

Sarah, Business Development Manager

Can you describe your career journey to date?

I didn’t start out with a languages background; I studied Fashion Design at University in London and then spent 6 months in Brussels as part of a product design placement for C&A. I then got the travel bug and took a few months out of my career to travel around South-East Asia, Australia & New Zealand. Whilst I was away, I started working in Sales and Promotions for a B2B company and realised that I had a passion for this line of work. After returning to the UK, I joined Capita TI as an Inside Sales Executive. When the opportunity to live in Chicago for a year came up, I just couldn’t turn it down, and moved out there to understand the US localisation market and help to drive the Capita brand overseas. When I came home, I became a junior Business Development Manager, and then progressed up to my role today.

I find the languages industry so interesting – it reaches so many different sectors and companies and when dealing with international markets, you realise how important multilingual communication is.

How have you got to where you are today?

During my time travelling and living in the US, I spent a lot of time on my own, where I learnt a lot about myself and how to be independent.

Luckily, I’ve always had encouraging and supportive managers, but I also learnt a lot from my peers and colleagues – looking at how they handled projects and set-backs. Learning from others shouldn’t be underrated.

At Capita, I feel part of a bigger team; Capita plc has 70,000 people worldwide. At a recent conference in Manchester, I got the chance to meet other Sales team from across the entire business – a great learning and networking experience for me.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

I believe that we have a duty to encourage the next generation. I have young cousins and nieces, and I feel responsible in leading the way for them, helping them to understand the workplace and career opportunities from an early age.

Careers advice in schools has come a long way in recent years – roles or subjects that were previously considered ‘masculine’, such as engineering, are now being opened up to girls too. I chose to study fashion because I enjoyed, I didn’t really know what my career options were.

I deal with a lot of customers in the manufacturing sector – a traditionally male-dominated industry, but when I go to customer meetings and events, I’m confident that my background and experience have positioned me well in understanding their translation requirements and how to help their sector reach new markets.

 

Katie

Katie
Content & Bid Producer

Katie, Content & Bid Producer

My experience is based wholly in marketing rather than the language industry, but I had the transferable skills needed to take on the role. I have 16 years’ experience in B2B marketing in the media sector, and 5 months in the languages industry! My degree in Retail Management included strategic thinking and marketing, so it was a good starting point for my career.

How have you got to where you are today?

I had two amazing female mentors and one male mentor in my early years in the media industry. All of them offered me invaluable learning opportunities. The female mentors not only taught me key skills to do my job (strategic commercial marketing) but also encouraged me out of my shell and helped me find my voice. All three sometimes putting me in situations I wasn’t comfortable with and didn’t think I could cope with, to show me that I could rise to the occasion. There are lots of inspirational women in Capita to learn from too!

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

On returning to work after my first maternity leave, the team I was on had doubled in size and I had new responsibilities. On the other hand, when I returned to work after my second maternity leave, I had no team at all, as they’d all been made redundant while I was off. Two different scenarios, both very testing!

I was made redundant in July 2018, which was scary at the time. The prospect of job hunting and interviews after 16 years of working for the same company was daunting, but it opened up a whole new opportunity for me, a whole new industry to learn about, which was a challenge, but one I was ready for.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

Supporting women should be high on every business agenda, not only for equal opportunities for women but also for the greater good of the business. Research shows that those businesses with women at the exec level perform better. Having said that, we have some way to go to remove the ingrained assumptions that are woven into society. Most of these are down to language – the phrase ‘man up’, or the idea that men can show ‘leadership’ when women show ‘bossiness’. All of these have to change before I can truly believe we’ll ever see a representative boardroom, so there’s a huge cultural shift needed.

The opportunity to utilise flexible working is invaluable to working parents. What’s more, it’s mutually beneficial; employees who feel listened to and valued enough to be offered that flexibility, in my experience, will work hard and remain loyal.

Whilst I do feel that we’ve still got some way to go before the workplace becomes a fully balanced environment in terms of gender, I can see from my own experience how far we have come in just the last few years. When I was 19, I was temping in a design agency and I was the only female employee at the time. My colleagues were all lovely, however we did have one client who came into the office and referred to me as ‘a bit of crumpet’. Thankfully, he was tactfully dealt with, but I’m certainly glad we’re moving away from that era!

 

Marga

Marga
Vendor Manager

Marga, Vendor Manager

Can you describe your career journey to date?

I studied translation and interpreting at university and have worked in the localisation industry for most of my working life. My family and I moved to the UK from Spain in 2014 and then in 2015, I joined Capita TI, working in the Vendor Management team.

The main reason why we moved to England was to offer our sons the opportunity to live in a different country and enrich their experience. My husband also works in the translation industry and we both had lived in other countries before we became parents, so we appreciate the importance of cultural learning.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

In my career, combining motherhood with work has probably set the biggest challenges to the date. I took some sabbatical time for a while and when I was ready to work full time, it was very hard to return to my career path.

Nowadays, I’m grateful to work in a company like Capita TI. I can work in my field of expertise but within a big corporation and a family-friendly work environment, where inclusion and diversity are intrinsic.

 

Nahid

Nahid
Project Manager

Nahid, Project Manager

Can you describe your career journey to date?

I was born in Afghanistan during the war. I remember going to school when rockets and bullets were being fired – we had to change classrooms to go to the ‘safe side’ of the building. Back then, there was a rule that if a student can study the main school subjects during 3 months of summer holidays, they can take an exam at the start of school year and if passed, they can jump to the next school year. I did this twice and completed 12 years of school in 8 years and missed 2 other years when schools were shut. Mostly I was home schooled by my parents. After graduation from school, I attended Kabul University and studied English Literature. In 2007, I won the Chevening Scholarship (funded by Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK and managed by British Council), which allowed me to do my MSc degree in Human Resources in the UK. I was one of the 12 who was awarded this scholarship, after a thorough selection process of 1500 applicants from all over Afghanistan. I have lived in the UK ever since, working in different roles.

Capita TI has been the longest I have worked for and I love my job – my colleagues are great, and this industry is growing fast and I like the challenge of keeping up with it.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?

Growing up, I haven’t had the best of childhood and education experiences due to war but I made the most of the little opportunities with my family’s support.

Here in the UK I’ve faced a bit of discrimination in a previous workplace, and to some extent the law wasn’t on my side there, so I left and got a job in the localisation industry, which suited me much better.

Living in the UK has taught me a lot and I am grateful for the opportunities in my life, and the struggles growing up. It’s made me the person I am today, and I am happy.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

There are some key issues that should be addressed throughout the year, not just on International Women’s Day, such as domestic violence, the gender pay gap, harassment, period poverty, flexible working.

Women make up half of the workforce. Businesses should help and support women by being flexible and understanding when it comes to maternity and parenthood. We need to talk more openly about what many consider to be ‘taboo’ subjects, such as periods, for example. Some women go through painful periods or experience other related illnesses, and this isn’t always discussed or fully understood in the workplace. Women shouldn’t suffer just because it’s part of who they are.

Flexible working across genders and industries is becoming more widespread and I think this is key. Businesses need to build trust with employees, and this works both ways – the employee puts in the required work and hours, in the knowledge that the company is looking after them. The pressures of work should also be evaluated on a regular basis so that it doesn’t affect the employees’ personal life.

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Fiona

As well as being a self-confessed language geek and baking fanatic, Fiona is the Digital Marketing Manager at Capita Translation and Interpreting. When she's not writing blogs, she often dreams of touring France one patisserie at a time.

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