Achieving Balance: Chris Stylianou, COO UK & ROI
‘If we had achieved equality, there would be no need for International Women’s Day, or workplace gender balance programmes in the first place.’
Hi Chris, tell us a bit more about your role at Sky
I’m also the executive sponsor of our Women in Leadership programme, driving our 50/50 gender balance leadership target. To do this, I work with the team to deliver a wide variety of initiatives to encourage gender parity and female career progression, and sponsor and mentor several women across the business myself.
How do you achieve balance in your life?
Good question… if anyone has the ‘golden bullet’ answer to this I’d pay good money! Balance can be hard to achieve and often we find ourselves swept away by work, but it’s important to take time to remind ourselves what’s important. For me, it’s about spending time with my kids and making sure I take some time to relax and recoup on holiday. I also try to make it to yoga at least once a week, which helps clear my head, as well as play footy with some other old men like me!
What does success look like to you? Is there anything you’re particularly proud of?
Success to me is being the best at my day job that I can and being a good father to my three amazing kids. I’m particularly proud of the work I do in the Women in Leadership space. For example, seeing one of my sponsees go for an opportunity that they wouldn’t necessarily have had the confidence to do so before. I try to challenge them to think outside of their comfort zone, and so when I see someone really go for something completely different to their current role – regardless of whether they get it – that feels great.
Who inspires you?
I’d have to say my passionate Greek-Cypriot mum. I have only got to my position because of her, having watched her work just as hard as my dad growing up. Importantly, she also had just as much to say about our family life as my dad did. She gave balance to our family and was an equal contributor – I never really thought about it any other way.
This year the theme is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” – what does this mean to you?
Gender equality – or inequality – is everyone’s problem. If we had achieved equality, there would be no need for International Women’s Day, or workplace gender balance programmes in the first place. But the truth is, and the statistics show, that we haven’t, therefore it’s essential that businesses lead from the front when it comes to actioning change, and driving initiatives that encourage a smarter, more inclusive culture – which in turn leads to greater innovation. It’s a win-win!
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