Here at SFS we’re incredibly lucky to have so many talented women involved at so many levels of our business, and we’re proud of the work they do in supporting and fostering the development of the careers of women in the industry. One initiative created to do just this, is the Siemens Women’s Network. We caught up with the creators to find out how it all started, and what it means to them.
Account development manager- Block Discounting
In February 2020, I caught up with a group of 8 women to discuss our careers and the challenges we have faced in our jobs. By talking through and sharing our experiences, we provided support to each other, came up with new ideas and gave each other the confidence to address the issues we’d raised.
We learnt that we’re not alone in facing these challenges and that through open conversation and support we can tackle them head on. In order to foster an environment where these vital conversations can take place, we created Siemens Women’s Network and opened it out to the rest of the business for any woman to join.
We have been meeting virtually every other month to explore a variety of topics, focusing on skill sets that are useful to possess both in and out of the office. Each session is hosted by someone in the business who can tap into their expertise and personal experiences making the events engaging and thought-provoking.
The first topic we covered was ‘Networking’ hosted by Jo Harris and Penny Pinnock. Next, ‘Self-Confidence’ hosted by Claire Fleetwood and Mala Joshi, whilst the latest topic covered looked at ‘Self Branding’ by Vickie Lindsay and Dave Martin. These were totally new areas for some attendees and the sessions also gave our new starters a chance to meet up with the rest of the business, albeit virtually. It’s my hope that we can hold future sessions in person and continue to forge those bonds. Although the group is still in its infancy it is continuing to grow quickly, which is great to see. Our inclusive approach considers every attendee an owner of the Network, so we are all steering the path together.
Channel Marketing Manager
Having grown up in a largely female household and with strong role models at home, the only way I knew how society should function was equally. The reality, however, was not always so.
While our generation may have come a long way from how things were historically, there are still a host of challenges faced by women in and outside of workplace environments - unconscious biases, a dearth of female role models, pregnancy and maternity discrimination, gender pay gap, and sexual harassment.
By establishing the Siemens Women’s Network, we hope to create a safe space for women to:
1) share, learn and grow together,
2) validate each other’s experiences,
3) be a source of constant support,
4) develop supportive and proactive allies,
5) push for improvement and change where fair.
We hope the network will go some way in achieving the larger social goal of gender parity, while setting Siemens up to be counted amongst the most equal and inclusive employers in the UK.
Business Change and Improvement Manager
When I reflect back on the biggest learning through my career, it has come with lots of growing pains. Trying something new feels different, and changing people’s behaviour, mindset and culture is difficult. I have found that through the support of empowered, inspirational women who demonstrate that they believe in me, I am encouraged to grow and build upon my skills to meet any challenges that may come my way.
I am part of the Women’s Network because it enables me to explore and learn about new topics and perspectives whilst also sharing my own. It also allows me to aid in the creation of a safe space for others to join in and develop too.