Here at Virgin Media we have so many amazing, strong and empowered women helping our business thrive. We caught up with Michelle King, Director, Corporate Development and Strategy for Virgin Media Business, who shared with us what it's like to be a woman in Virgin Media, the importance of gender equality and how you can have a successful career in Virgin Media.
Here's what Michelle had to say:
Can you tell me about your role? (What you do, how long you’ve been doing it and what you enjoy about it)
My role is the Corporate Development and Strategy Director for Virgin Media Business and I have been in it for nearly four years. I develop the corporate strategy to drive organic and inorganic growth and ensure it is aligned to Liberty Global’s strategic objectives. I also lead the businesses long and mid-term operating plans, aligning our people to our business goals. I also lead an MIBI and analytics team which drives the information management strategy and advanced analytics that enable the business to be a data driven organisation and make better decisions for our people and our customers.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is definitely my team and their ambition to continue to make good things happen for the business. Even though our roles can vary day to day, as a close-knit team we come together often, sharing insights, and ensuring we make time for team development. We’ve had some great memories along the way, including bumping into none other than actor Will Smith during a team event!
What’s great about working for Virgin Media Business?
The best thing about working for Virgin Media Business is working in a fast paced growth business with great people at our core. As the executive sponsor for the graduate scheme, I am passionate about developing our emerging talent and helping our grads become future leaders. Our strategy has nurturing our talent and empowering our people to do their best at its core and it’s great to be part of implementing that.
What does Press for Progress mean to you?
Simply put it’s about ending inequality, both in culture and reward. We’ve seen over the last few years, more women and men are speaking out about inequality across many industries. Change is happening and Press for Progress is an opportunity for us all to play a part in creating something better.
In your opinion, what does Press for Progress mean to Virgin Media?
We all have a responsibility to achieve equality, the more people who embrace and adopt an inclusive, equal working and social environment the better. By enabling all our people with the correct tools, opportunities and behaviours to promote and instil a supportive working environment for everyone, Virgin Media will continue to work towards equality in the workplace.
What more could we be doing to promote gender equality?
We are driving gender balance by ensuring we have plans that deliver tangible outputs. Currently Virgin Media gender mix is 30% female and 70% male and by 2025 we want to achieve a gender balance of 50/50. Virgin Media is making great strides to improve the balance of female employees and those in executive roles with support for the female workforce, from new management and leadership frameworks and training, to women in the field pilot. It’s great to see gender parity is a core deliverable for Virgin Media in 2018 and beyond.
What challenges have you faced? How did you overcome them?
I have four children; there is a reason keeping up with the buzz of daily home and work life is called juggling! Working together and frequent communication at home and with my team is key to keeping up with the pace of everyday life. Having a supportive network can make all the difference, it helps me thrive under pressure rather than just exist.
What impact do you feel you’ve had?
By setting the strategic direction of Virgin Media Business, I am responsible for steering the business towards achieving our goals and targets. Within the Senior Leadership team, we discuss every aspect of the business and meet regularly to ensure we are all aligned. It’s great to know we are all working towards the same goal, across every area of the business.
From a personal perspective, I always aim to be a positive role model for my daughter. By driving forward a more equal playing field for women in the workplace today, I endeavour to make a difference for the next generation to benefit, as many women have done before me.
How has the Virgin Media brand helped you and your career?
Virgin Media has opened the door to some great opportunities working with some really inspiring and talented people. From launching Voom to our spectacular annual Sparkle awards, celebrating all the great talent. I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of recognising our people, products and achievements across the UK with those who inspire me to do more and do better.
What advice would you give to someone interested in working for Virgin Media?
Jump in and join the business, you’ll meet some amazing people and have brilliant opportunities. And strive to do something different and make good things happen for the business whilst having fun along the way.