International Women’s Day: Amy Fenn

Today is International Women’s Day – a global awareness day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

For that reason, we’re keen to celebrate our IT Support Analyst, Amy Fenn. Amy is proud to work in IT – a sector which is heavily dominated by men. According to PWC, just 5% of leadership positions in the UK technology industry are held by women.

Three quarters of Grand Union’s senior IT managers are women, and we’re proud to be tackling the underrepresentation of women working in this field.

Amy said: “As a female working in IT, I’d love to encourage and inspire more women to apply for a position in the sector. It’s been a rewarding career so far and, at Grand Union, I’m keen to develop my skills further.

I enjoy being able to help colleagues from across the organisation – no day is the same and I’m able to work with a variety of teams (which is great, as I’m a people person). My main responsibilities involve ensuring applications used by the business work efficiently, including databases such as Open Housing. It’s an interesting role and I feel I’m constantly learning.”

Amy’s background

“I’ve been working in IT for more than nine years now, but it’s not something I’ve always pursued. I started my career in banking, though I was never too sure about my career path. After a few years, an opportunity to work in a temporary position, in the IT department, came up. I relish new challenges, so decided to give it a shot, and was delighted to get the role. I didn’t think anything of the gender disparity in the field at the time and, looking back, I’m really glad I seized the opportunity and am now flying the flag for women in the sector.”

Working at Grand Union

“Despite the fact I’ve worked in IT for almost a decade, technology is constantly changing and evolving, so I feel like I’m always learning. It was a huge learning curve joining the IT team at Grand Union, which is great, as it keeps me interested and passionate about my role.

Grand Union is a fantastic place to work and it’s somewhere I feel very welcome. There’s an emphasis on celebrating diversity and this shines through the workforce; we’re encouraged to be ourselves and we’re supported by a fantastic network of kind colleagues. The team I am part of is close-knit and has helped me flourish in my role. I’ve really seen my skillset develop in the years I’ve been at Grand Union.

I’m younger than a lot of my team members, but the variation in our ages equips us with lots of experience and understanding. I feel I’ve got the opportunity to grow and develop at Grand Union – my boss has really helped unlock my potential. By constantly adapting my skills, my job never gets tedious.

Last year, Grand Union invested a whopping £1.4 million in IT – from infrastructure, to ensuring our colleagues had the right hardware to be able to work remotely. This came as a huge benefit, when the coronavirus pandemic led to so many of us working from home.”

More than just a job – a wider responsibility

“I’m proud that Grand Union is eager to contribute to women’s equality in society in its day-to-day operations and, personally, I have female role models to aspire to. For example, two out of three members of our Executive Management team, including Grand Union’s CEO, are women.

It’s important to me to work for an organisation with values akin to my own and, at Grand Union, I’m given the opportunity to support causes close to my heart. My colleagues and I were given the opportunity to raise funds for Women’s Aid, charity that aims to eradicate domestic abuse. I’m also proud that Grand Union is committed to helping those affected by domestic abuse, and alongside having a team dedicated to supporting domestic abuse survivors.

Alongside supporting Women’s Aid, it’s been rewarding to raise funds for local food banks particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. Helping those in the community is important to me and I’m glad I can do that with Grand Union.”

A sense of pride

“While I recognise the fantastic work my team does on a daily basis, it was great to receive external recognition of our performance by the Chartered Institute of Housing. We were nominated for a Central Service of the Year ‘Housing Heroes’ award. While we didn’t win, it was an opportunity to celebrate our work and it filled us with motivation (not just with party food and fizz!) and drive for the future.

I thoroughly enjoy working at Grand Union; not just because of my interesting role, but because I feel part of a culture embracing change, celebrating diversity and championing our responsibility in the wider world.

I hope to inspire women to take up a role in IT, because once I did, I never looked back!”