"There are some women out there who think that they can’t necessarily do stuff just because it’s a male-dominated field, so I think that its vitally important to break down the barriers and stigmas that exist within the workplace."
Joined in: November 2020
Job title: Security Programme Coordinator
Today as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we commemorate one of Advanced’s employees, Roxy Almond; a woman who is #breakingthebias every day by holding her own in a typically male-dominated field.
After graduating with a philosophy degree at the University of Birmingham she came to Advanced to kickstart her career; initially joining the customer care team, but before long found her true calling in the Security and Compliance (S&C) function as a Security Programme Coordinator.
We caught up with Roxy recently to gather her thoughts on the importance of celebrating International Women’s Day, and to find out what more we at Advanced can do to make sure that women are treated with equality within the workplace.
A Career in Security and Compliance
I think the fact that even though working in security is hard work and can be a challenge at times; it’s also immensely rewarding, and I’ve learned a lot so far, but I’ve still got a long way to go. I really enjoy getting to know both aspects of the role as well because it’s a merge of project management and security, so I’m being given the freedom to go and learn about the stuff that I find interesting.
Another rewarding aspect is that I’m able to see the learning that I’m doing now, pay off later. It’s very gratifying to manage a project through to its completion and know that you’ve helped push towards that. It’s all about getting stuck in, getting stuff done, and then seeing how the learning pays off in the long run.
Everyone in the team is really helpful and if I need to ask about more of the technical stuff, they’re always there to support me. In fact, I’ve found that in general, people within Advanced are always willing to help you out, so long as you reach out to them. So, if you’re struggling with something, you’ll always find that reassurance and support from your colleagues, even if they work in a completely separate area of the business.
Yeah, for sure I think everyone at Advanced is super friendly. I think it’s harder I guess nowadays to feel the culture when you’re working from home having limited interactions with people.
Pre-covid the Mailbox office was buzzing with lots going on every day, and that’s kind of how I got to know the security team. If I’d have been doing my role from home, I probably would have never met those people and wouldn’t be in the role I am in now. Now that I’m going back to the office, even though there are fewer people in there, it’s nice to have that feeling again.
You still do get the same feeling when you’re working with people over the phone, via email, and on teams but it is just a little bit different from what it used to be like.
But I feel like there’s still a sense of togetherness, especially with the diversity and inclusion networks that we have on teams like the Advanced Women Network, Advanced Enable, Black Lives Matter, Team Rainbow, and a men’s mental health network. They all schedule regular meetings and there’s always an opportunity to get involved if you want to.
Importance of International Women’s Day
I guess it’s really important to give women the ability to see what’s out there. There are some women out there who think that they can’t necessarily do stuff just because it’s a male-dominated field, so I think that its vitally important to break down the barriers and stigmas that exist within the workplace.
It’s just not fair that women have to hesitate around applying for a job, just because they feel intimidated coming into the work and not having another female presence. At the end of the day, it’s just important to give people visibility of more women in all different kinds of life, showing them what opportunities are out there and letting them see other women succeeding in the roles they feel discouraged to apply for.
I’m currently in a team where there are around 30 people and only 10% of them are women. However, in our team that’s currently based in the Birmingham office, I am the only woman. When I first started there was another girl on the team, but now it’s just me. It doesn’t bother me too much, but it might just be nice for people wanting to join the team that there are other women around.
I think that there’s starting to be a lot more action being taken by the business; it seems like there’s the start of a movement going on with the introduction of the women’s network meetings, and by celebrating International Women’s Day every year.
Visibility for me is the key aspect, making sure that we keep having people talking openly and that we continue to raise awareness of giving that equal opportunity to people at work. So, I feel like we should make sure to continue showcasing the success of women within the business in a variety of roles.
I have a mix of women in my life who are great role models. In my close family, I look up to my mum. She is always working hard to support others and will be helping to solve issues whenever there’s a problem. She is always looking to learn and try new things and is very creative, so I feel like there is a lot to learn from her.