To mark International Women’s Day on Friday (8) and National Careers Week, we’re sharing career stories and advice from women in various roles across Bupa. From IT to mental health to care services, read their career journey, who inspires them and what advice they would offer other women. Here, we speak to Amanda Deacon, who is a Business Analysis Manager at Bupa.
Can you tell us a little about your career journey?
I’ve worked at Bupa for 23 years. Initially I worked in the training team, but later moved into HR as a Business Analyst where I gained my interest in systems and data. I worked as a HR Project Manager for a number of years looking after our HR systems team. A few years ago, I moved into IT to work as part of the business partnering team and now manage the business analyst team.
What does your role involve?
It is very varied. I spend a lot of time helping to get change initiatives set up in the right way with the right resources working on them – I look after a team of both permanent and contract business analysts. I also look after the central IT action group that looks at improvements on the back of our staff satisfaction survey. I am passionate about developing our people and have set up a Women in IT mentoring network. I like working with my team, who are all massively committed and talented people.
Can you tell us about the Women in IT network which you helped set up at Bupa?
The Women in IT mentoring scheme came about as part of a newly formed IT Women’s Network which began in 2018. We could see that some of our women colleagues were struggling to work out where to go next, how to balance their careers and their responsibilities outside of work, and to build the confidence to move their career forward. We also wanted to highlight to women outside of IT the breadth of opportunities available and that it is not just about being a technician.
We launched the scheme last autumn, positioning it for women in IT, or women who want to move into IT. We had lots of interest not just from potential mentees but from mentors too, which was open to both women and men. We’ve matched 17 pairs on the scheme so far and they’ve all started their mentoring relationships.
IT is still a very male dominated industry, particularly at the leadership levels, so it’s invaluable to speak to someone who has managed to find the right balance with their career. It’s also a great way to build confidence by giving people the time and space to think about themselves. I’m proud to be a part of the scheme and it’s great to know it’s helping other people.
Who is your inspiration?
A lot of people have inspired me along the way including my managers - one of which encouraged me to do a masters degree, which is the best thing I did in terms of developing my analytical thinking and my writing skills.
Ahead of International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about their careers?
Don’t underestimate your own abilities and if it is something that interests you then you can probably do it. Also, make sure you build a network of colleagues and ask for help when you need it.