Lighting the way - here’s to young talent at Ericsson
One thing I enjoy about my leadership role is that I get to hire fantastic people and see them flourish. I love that element of my job. And even though I’ve only been at Ericsson 18 months, I’ve overseen a broad range of appointments at different levels. I love that sense of new blood, energy and fresh ideas flowing into the organisation. When you mix those fresh perspectives with the experience of our colleagues who’ve been with us for decades, it makes a great combination.
I’m particularly keen to support young talent in finding a home at Ericsson. I clearly remember my own experiences in my first full-time job after university. I know those first few years in the world of work can be formative in shaping our careers for the decades to come. I try therefore to give those starting out as much help as possible, in particular young women. I’m always keen to see more women join the company - after all, it’s part of our commitment towards greater diversity and inclusion. Women make up 63% of my team, and whilst the female ratio in our market area improved during 2020, I know that more needs to be done in order to increase female representation across the company.
I’m passionate about Ericsson, and what we do here. So in this blog, I’d like to pass on the virtual microphone and give some of those young voices a turn in sharing their own experiences of working here. I’m delighted to share the story of two young rising stars in my marketing and communications team, Billie Rimell and Beth Mitchley, who give us the scoop on their journey so far and why they love what they do.
Moving on up
Billie joined Ericsson’s graduate scheme three years ago after completing an International Business degree at Bournemouth University. In October she starts her new role as global campaign manager. Billie tells me she’s excited about this role and is relishing the new responsibilities it will entail. I’m so pleased for her. It’s wonderful to see women like Billie rise up through the organisation.
And what impresses me about Billie in particular is her go-getting spirit. Always very active in the company, she often goes above and beyond the job spec to put herself out there. For example, Billie was for some time a member of the Ericsson Young Advisory Board, a volunteer programme here in the UK that gave her a lot of exposure to the UK leadership team.
Billie has also embraced one of our Ericsson on the Move focus areas, ‘Speak Up.’ Speak Up recognises the need to provide a safe space to colleagues, enabling them to share crazy ideas, ask questions and provide feedback. Billie tells me being able to speak up has been really important to her, so much so she feels its advanced her career. I admire how she strives to build relationships. Before the pandemic changed our working patterns, when she was in the office Billie sought out people outside of her department, including fellow graduates in different disciplines. This active networking and connection-making has given her a unique perspective on the organisation as a whole.
Even during this prolonged period of working from home, Billie tells me she’s enjoyed building relationships with new colleagues who have been onboarded remotely. She's looking forward to returning to the office, now she’s got all these great Ericsson women she can grab a coffee and hang out with. I love that!
Day-to-day Billie admits she’s driven along by her own energy. She loves being active, and regularly goes to the gym and enjoys playing tennis and netball. Before the pandemic she started a weekly lunchtime running club at our Reading office. In true Billie style, not only did this give her the fit-hit she was looking for, it was another great way for her to meet people from other departments. Billie even organised an Ericsson team to enter a half marathon, raising money for charity.
A passion for comms
Now let me introduce you to Beth who’s just been promoted to junior communications manager in our MELA team.
It was Beth’s determined attitude that landed her an intern role in July 2020, after having her options severely limited due to the events of last year. She’d finished her marketing degree at Southampton University and then the pandemic hit - all the opportunities she’d lined up to meet prospective employers were cancelled.
Beth’s drive wasn’t dented however. She went back to her part time job, still determined to find a marketing internship. Beth filled out numerous applications before coming across an opportunity at Ericsson. She had a feeling this would be her ideal position. She was right! So much so in fact, her six-week intern role was extended to September 2021.
So what is it about Ericsson that’s kept her with us, leading to her well-deserved promotion? Beth tells me that she loves the technology side and the fact we are a global company. Most of all however, she loves the team. Everyone, she says, has always made her feel like she belongs. It’s heart-warming to hear she’s always been made welcome, even as the most junior member of the team. What’s more, she was given the confidence early on that opportunities were hers for the taking: her manager told her she could go into any area she wanted.
As someone who’s spent my career in marketing and communications, I’m always curious to hear why it attracts others. Beth tells me her interest came from her psychology teacher at school. The teacher suggested it would be a good discipline where she could apply what she’d learned about human behaviour and her fascination with what makes people tick. Her new comms role sounds ideal, as Beth says she really enjoys the people aspect of the role. And, something which is close to my own heart, she loves using stories to create human pieces of messaging.
Beth admits she never imagined being at this level in her career so soon after leaving university, and says she’s grateful to be at Ericsson, in an industry and role she loves. I think she’s done incredibly well, particularly considering how tough job-hunting’s been for graduates like her.
Lighting the way
So, to the young women of Ericsson - keep on being the brilliant role models you are, and leading with your determination and energy. Light the way with your human-centered spirit and your continued championing of what you believe in. I’m proud the company gives space to the future generation, supporting and nurturing such talented individuals, while also listening to and respecting them.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know these two women. And to Billie and Beth, congratulations on your achievements so far. Thank you too for being inspiring examples, not only within the organisation, but outside as well - I’d love to think your stories will make others consider the fantastic opportunities an Ericsson career provides.
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