From Bookkeeping in Botswana to Diversity at Sky Ireland
‘everyone calls me Chedu/Cheds’
What area of the business do you work in?
The HR team.
What’s your career journey been like up until now?
I started my professional career in Botswana working in accounting where I was a bookkeeper for SMEs. I spotted an opportunity in the agricultural sector and set up a trailer rental company, servicing small to medium farmers.
I moved to Ireland in 2011 and my first job was with a 3rd party company selling Sky products, door to door. I was fortunate to join Sky directly in 2014 as a Customer Service Advisor. In my 7 years at Sky, I’ve navigated my career successfully, progressing through the role of Customer Priority Specialist, Customer Service Team Leader and now D&I Manager.
What does a typical day working here look like for you?
No day is typically the same, my work consists of embedding inclusive workplace practises and it really depends on the focus at the time. Generally, this includes supporting our Employee Networks/IRGs and Diversity Action Group on D&I events and initiatives. I also have meetings with our recruitment team reviewing diversity in our applicants and reviewing Diversity Data. I spend time meetings with external HR professional bodies and working with our Group D&I team. So, loads of meetings with my stakeholders, developing projects and supporting the delivery of the same.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here?
On a personal note, being the first Irish recipient of the Women at Sky Better with Balance Award in 2021. I was awarded this for being a Change Maker, which recognises individuals leading the charge to make change happen at Sky, campaigning to remove barriers whilst showing resilience in the face of adversity.
As an organisation, I’m proud of our recent partnership with the Irish Refugee Council. The partnership recognises Sky’s ability to use its voice to empower the communities we serve and was selected by our Diversity Action Group, volunteer employees who have a passion for diversity and inclusion.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job?
It’s tough to pick, there’s plenty! I have a strong passion for social justice, so naturally I enjoy working with our Employee Networks and DAG, who advocate for underrepresented groups at Sky. They are great at holding me and Sky accountable and really promote an inclusive culture. I also enjoy working with our senior leadership team at Sky, they are open and honest about their D&I journey and are vocal advocates for diversity and inclusion. I guess in this sense, I really enjoy the collaborative aspect of the job which often results in positive change.
Describe your work/life balance?
I really love and appreciate Sky’s flexible working model. I’m most productive in the mornings and evenings, so I try to spread my work out that way, taking my stakeholders schedules into account. I’m a foreign national who’s family is based in Botswana, Africa. Sky’s generous annual leave allotment and flexibility around when and how you manage the same, has enabled me to maintain a positive work and life balance.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career?
It is important to understand your personal skills, abilities, and passions. Write them out! Step out of your comfort zone and meet people who work in other areas of the business. This way you get a bigger picture view of how an organisation works, and the opportunities available. Get involved in social work events and networks, that align to your values. Social settings in the workplace are a great place to get to know your colleagues! Be intentional, planned, and vocal about your aspirations and identify the person who will help you achieve them. Always back yourself!
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you?
I’m an introverted extrovert and often fall prey to imposter syndrome. To help manage this I purposely do things that encourage the extroverted part to shine. I recently took up a hobby, a Brazilian dance called Forro and have attended festivals on my own, often dancing with people from all walks of life. Forro is a dance with a foundational base of trust and connection, so it encourages you to make an immediate connection with your dance partner who is often a stranger, so it’s important to call intro and extroverted self to make that connection. Next up is Golf!