Frances – Senior Change Manager, Technology
Frances started her career in international voice and data networks, and has since dipped in and out of technology roles over the last 20 years. She worked for several years in contact centre solutions and Customer Relationship Management systems, then later in a Business Partner role linking IT and Engineering, before joining Virgin Atlantic in 2016. All of her roles have incorporated elements of customer service and communication. She describes her current role as a great blend of technology and people: ‘the former will struggle to deliver benefits unless the latter is part of the thinking from the outset’ says Frances.
Working in Technology
‘Working in Technology gives me a strategic view of the whole business. I have the opportunity to work on a huge variety of projects at Virgin Atlantic covering all aspects of the airline, from Crew and Pilots to Inflight Services, Cargo, HR and Sales. One way or another, the Technology department is involved in much of the change that takes place in the organisation, such new customer products and inflight services, a new intranet, or business tools to work more efficiently. My role is about ensuring the audience is factored in to the way those changes are delivered and communicated. I need a foot in both camps: a sound understanding of the technical solution or new process, as well as insight into the business areas that will pick up and apply the change. My key focus is collaboration across the business so that projects that impact people are delivered smoothly, and benefits are realised to their full extent.’
Addressing gender balances
Frances aims to overcome some of the barriers and misconceptions between other parts of the business and Technology through her role: ‘the relationship should be one of collaboration and being willing to step into each others’ shoes to see the bigger picture’.
She states that there is a good gender balance in the community of project managers and business analysts at Virgin Atlantic, and while she hasn’t encountered any barriers she does observe that there are fewer women working across the infrastructure & architecture roles and there is capacity to improve the balance in the ‘talent pipeline’.
‘I’m a member of the steering group at VAA for Diversity and Inclusion, so I’m always ready to champion a better gender balance in leadership and technical roles, or any area of the business that has been traditionally male-dominated. If we can emphasise the wide range of roles that we have available and skills we need, this could make a great difference in highlighting what a rewarding career option Technology can be’.
Career Opportunities at Virgin Atlantic
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