Published on in Responsible Business

Businesses need to compete, to win customers, to make profit, to delight shareholders and gain recognition as trusted partners on a global scale. Equally, businesses also need to put dinners on tables, buy school uniforms and put petrol in cars, without this they would not survive. People are the most important part of a business.

I never considered myself to have less opportunity as a female. I grew up in a male environment, I lived with my brother, my dad and my grandad. I went to an all-girls school, my clothes were scruffy and my diet was extremely poor, I didn’t fit in with the more affluent girls in my class. I always felt like the underdog there, yet away from school I had a wonderful mix of friends, many of which are still friends to this day, my childhood was a lesson in humility. My twin brother and I shared the same interests, I spent my free time fishing, riding my BMX, playing pool and watching football, my dad taught us both basic electrical, mechanical and maintenance work around the home, I always knew I could learn the same skillsets as my brother.

I left home at 15 and moved into a pub as an au-pair, I was alone in a village I had never been to before, living with a family I didn’t know, and yet I loved it there as the local people were so kind and welcoming, they invited me to their homes and helped me to find my feet, I learnt the importance of looking after one another, I learnt about humanity.

When the pandemic struck people were what mattered the most.  All levels of employees regardless of status or pay grade were equally affected and of equal importance to maintain business levels.  Maintaining operations whilst countries were being locked down was the challenge and people were the key.

At Fujitsu this was paramount, we were all encouraged and empowered to put people first which is how I now find myself a finalist for Women in Tech Awards 2021, Lockdown Legend – Tech category.

Although the pandemic has been a challenging time, it has also been a leveller which I have found to be very rewarding from a people perspective.  Our actions and behaviours will always be remembered and although coronavirus has meant that my peers no longer see each other face to face as we once did, we have worked so hard together to innovate, adapt and to build trust that we are now closer than ever.

This situation has given us a unique opportunity to show how humility and kindness works within a business environment and regarding each other as fellow beings rather than just job titles, has proven to be a very effective business strategy throughout this time.  I hope this continues to be embedded within our future business culture for generations to come.

Deborah has been nominated for Lockdown legend of the year: Tech at the Woman in Tech excellence awards! View the category and the rest of the nominees on the Women in Tech awards site here. We wish her and the rest of the nominees all the best.

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