International Women's Day Profile: Fiona Robinson
In honour of International Women’s Day, we’ve asked some of our inspirational #VCWomen to share a few facts about themselves and tell us about the women they find inspirational in their lives.
The theme this year for International Women's Day is #BalanceforBetter a call to action for accelerating gender balance in business, politics, media coverage and wealth. First up we have our HR Manager Fiona Robinson, as a technology company our HR team has made it their mission to recruit in a fair and balanced manner, selecting candidates who are not only right for the job but will bring their uniqueness and add to our VC culture.
The Tech Nation 'Diversity and Inclusion in UK Tech Companies' Report states that the tech workforce more broadly is made up of 81% men, and 19% women. Industry professionals are claiming gender balance in the UK tech sector will not be reached for another 12.5 years. It is important that we raise awareness of the gender imbalance and work to close it within the tech industry. At VC we have worked hard to ensure we break the stereotypes and give both men and women a fair chance to develop their skills and progress their careers.
We are proud to announce we have a fully gender balanced workforce!
What is your name?
What is your role at Virtual College?
What do you enjoy the most about working at Virtual College?
I really enjoy the broad nature of my role and the fab people who work at Virtual College – no two days are alike!
Outside of Virtual College, what are your interests/passions?
Having just come back from skiing in the Alps, I would say the great outdoors – this time I also tried snowshoeing (which is basically walking with plastic ‘tennis rackets’ on your feet – ‘balancing’ with a set of walking poles (I fell over a lot!). Travel is a big passion of mine – having visited Brazil last year and completed charity walks for Cancer Research UK in Peru and China.
I love socialising with my friendship groups and going to music events. However, Oliver and Emma (son and daughter) are definitely my number 1 passion in life who keep me on my toes constantly!
What piece of technology could you not live without?
Which women both within your industry and your personal life have been an inspiration to you?
Within the industry – Martha Lane Fox, Martha is the co-founder of famous travel website, lastminute.com. She is also on the board of many other organisations such as Marks & Spencer’s. Lane Fox takes to twitter to talk about the digital world, providing great commentary on the economic climate.
Cheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Option B (about resilience).
Joanna Dodd – Employment Law Advisor, Clarion Solicitors.
Hannah Brindle, MD – Virtual College.
Personal life – Lesley Dixon who is the Chief Executive of PSS, Liverpool – I had the pleasure of working alongside Lesley when we were both Trustees of Mind.
Denise Keating – Chief Executive of ENEI – I was in Denise’s team when I worked for Corporate HR, Nationwide Building Society, Northampton.
Give us your best piece of advice
To never give up. To keep perspective. To have a work/life balance. To surround yourself with positive/engaging and knowledgeable people. To give back (I have been a School Governor, Trustee for Mind and Trustee for Emmaus – international homeless charity). The last 3 roles were voluntary and I learnt a lot from them and made great contacts and friends as a result.’
Read the full series of #VCWomen blogs here.