Shortlisted for this year’s CRN Women in Channel Awards, we introduce our Operations Director.
“In a world full of princesses, be like Batman”. This is the mantra that drives Daisy’s Operations Director, Lyndsey Charlton. And while she certainly is capable of the brave and the bold in her day to day work, we decided a cape like Batman’s wasn’t quite the recognition that she deserved.
So when the opportunity to champion Lyndsey as a brilliant woman within the IT sector, we jumped at the chance and nominated her as Technical Employee of the Year in this year’s CRN Women in Channel Awards. Let us introduce you…
Don’t get me wrong…
Like most young girls, Lyndsey Charlton grew up playing with dolls and, by her own admission, was your fairly typical child. You might assume that what followed next was the life of a young girl going to school, getting good grades, going through college, and living a life peppered with setbacks and battles against sexist views within the workplace.
But you’d be wrong.
Our woman of the year is a quietly determined individual who seeks opportunities and inspires change and whose colleagues describe her as a “paradigm of excellence”. With strong leadership skills and sound technical ability, Lyndsey always maintains warmth and approachability and is in the enviable position of having the respect from each of Daisy’s 4,000+ employees, demonstrating that everyone’s voice matters and that great things can be achieved with a smile and open communication.
Luckily for Daisy, Lyndsey’s inner little girl actually found herself quite early on in life, even if it wasn’t immediately obvious what industry she was destined to thrive in. Indeed, it wasn’t until she enrolled onto a YTS scheme with Black & Decker working on the service desk that she wondered if her natural curiosity for the engineering side of the company might mean she had found her forte. (Lyndsey went on to become a technical support apprentice for exploring that curiosity.)
Undoubtedly, it has always been this inquisitiveness that has been the key to her success. That, and the unconscious impact that her family has had on her. Her grandmother, mother and aunt were at the helm of a family-run garage meaning that Lyndsey was unique in having never regarded anything as a ‘man’s job’.
“It was normal in my family for women to have jobs like that, it’s just how it was. But I think not knowing the difference has had an unconscious impact on me in the sense it gave me no concept of something others would see as a man’s job. The females in my family never did and just got on with it and never made anything of it,” she says.
Queen of the road
It is when speaking of this childhood spent climbing trees, making things and riding bikes that Lyndsey considers one of her proudest moments as a child, being able to “wheelie down the white line of the road”.
But perhaps she should be more proud of the fact that this same inquisitive little girl began to question why she was hitting roadblocks all the way – not being able to join the scouts to learn practical skills with her cousin, or even have a paper round – just because she was female.
So in rebellion, when her bedroom was decorated, she chose blue – not because she liked the colour, but because it was in direct contrast with the pink she had previously been subjected to. Is she a tomboy? Not a bit of it, and that’s one of the stereotypes Lyndsey actively fights for women within her industry.
Outside of work, Lyndsey voluntarily teaches dance to children living in an area that is now deprived due to the demise of the mining industry and finds the greatest reward for her isn’t necessarily the improvement in their dancing ability, rather the confidence that grows in them to set them up for the future and believe in themselves to achieve great things.
Were it not for her reserve of confidence, Lyndsey may never have guided her previous company through administration so successfully, something she considers to be one of her biggest career achievements to date, and one of the many qualities that Daisy saw in her at the point of recruitment.
It was clear to Daisy that it takes a certain type of commitment to work under the stresses of a foundering business, and when we saw that throughout it all, her focus never strayed from her duty of care to her customers and the uninterrupted support of her staff, we knew then we were on to something exceptional. And we were right.
Moving on up
Lyndsey joined the Daisy team in 2003 as a network analyst; a multifunctional role delivering engineering and support services as well as helping out other IT members. Development is second nature to Lyndsey; she has shown great initiative from day one and has happily assumed a number of roles until they were big enough to become job titles. Never missing an opportunity to push both herself and the company, she has, on many occasions, seen opportunities on the back of issues and pitched new functions which have had sponsorship from MD level – and all for the benefit of the customer, not her own recognition.
Lyndsey is currently the Group Operations Director, responsible for a technical architecture function and a function that delivers technical advisory services to help support, maintain and grow Daisy.
Outside of her day to day role, she is also working with key influencers to develop a network and community that will focus on the recruitment, development and retaining of women in IT roles within Daisy. And this is only the beginning of a much bigger plan. Lyndsey wants to be part of the drive that shows organisations that they are a massive part in changing the perception of women within IT, and through education, she hopes to see success stories being filtered down into schools and apprentice schemes.
Lyndsey Charlton is a finalist for the ‘Technical Employee of the Year’ award at the 2018 CRN Women in Channel Awards, being held in London on 18 October 2018.