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International Women's Day 2021 - #ChooseToChallenge

8th Mar 2021

My name is Bethan Wilkin and I head up the Content Delivery Department at ITV in Leeds which services ITV for all of its content services requirements. This remit reaches across operations and technology, to live and pre recorded/archive content, to delivery to both linear and non linear platforms, both here in the UK and globally. I was promoted to Head from Manager at the beginning of 2020 so for obvious reasons(!) it has been a 'challenging' year with a very steep learning curve.

Without a doubt, the aspect I enjoy most about my job is my team. I am so fortunate to be able to say I am truly blessed with a 32 strong team of people who are dedicated, passionate and talented. The Dept is made up of five teams who all contain self-improving, diverse and hard working people, so I genuinely couldn't ask for more. When I first joined the Dept in 2018, there was just me and three other women. Most of my meetings and interactions within my job resulted in me round the table with mainly men which took some adapting to... I actually wrote a blog about the disparity of gender within certain tech roles which resonated with a lot of the industry. Over the last two and a half years, the department has seen huge growth and within that significant growth in the team's diversity, which isn't exclusive to just gender. The team is now 40% female and I like to celebrate that at any opportunity I get! I'm very proud to present to you a handful of these amazing women below, but before I do, I just want to mention #ChooseToChallenge...

The word 'challenge' means many different things to me. Professionally, I am presented with some situations in which I admit I am still learning about when it is best to challenge and when not to, which I believe can be a common development point for some women. What I do understand about challenging, is that mindset and psychological safety is paramount in the ability to challenge, whether personally or professionally. If you do not feel confident or comfortable about the act (or consequences) of challenging, or there is perceived risk or threat, this will mightily affect the delivery, weight and validity of the challenge itself. If this is the case, preparation and strategy are key to being able to challenge effectively, so prior evaluation is advantageous but not always possible of course, so something to be mindful of. The upside to challenging in a situation where you feel safe and confident is that it can be incredibly empowering - I have always been encouraged to dig deeper, ask more questions, ask for proof, defend... and the simplicity and effectiveness of doing those things still astounds me everytime. I want to encourage the women in my team to do just that and have a healthy relationship with challenging, but be aware of its complexities.

Hayley O'Toole

Live Capture Supervisor at ITV Content Delivery

I am the Supervisor of the Live Capture team which is a team of four that sits within the Content Delivery Department. I am responsible for overseeing the daily capture and delivery of all of ITV's live content to the ITV Hub and other VOD platforms. What I enjoy most about my role is being at the forefront of changing viewer habits, delivering content to platforms in new and exciting ways.

For me ‘Choose to Challenge’ is a reminder to myself to be bold and challenge what I have been programmed to believe is achievable. It's choosing to have the confidence in myself to leave my comfort zone and challenge those limitations I can put on myself. Because often when we embrace something that we think will be challenging, it can bring with it a great sense of achievement once we overcome those barriers."

Sahra Khan

Content Delivery Coordinator at ITV Content Delivery

"I work specifically in the Content Out team within ITV Content Delivery. The team is responsible for delivering content out to both internal and external clients who request ITV content both in the UK and internationally through the ITV Global Distribution team.

There are many factors about my job that I enjoy. The togetherness of my team is incredible and more personally I love working in a deadline driven environment, the pressure of reaching tight deadlines and delivering hundreds of files daily gives me a great rush of adrenaline and job satisfaction.

For me “Choose to Challenge” means taking control and challenging the social norms that have been set within industries and the wider society. I believe that questioning and challenging rules and opinions in both my private and professional life has taught me to become stronger and more resilient, but most importantly it has helped me become grateful and happy with the life I have and the beliefs I follow."

Bethany Lenehan

Film Transfer Operative at ITV Content Delivery

"I work primarily in the film room transferring 16mm and 35mm film straight to digital formats such as 4K. I love this aspect of my job as I feel a strong sense of responsibility to preserve these timeless assets.

The "Choose to Challenge" for myself is a means of taking charge in creating a world I want to live in and to have the confidence to stay in control of my own happiness and wellbeing; whether I am at work or at home."

Nellie Zulu

Live Capture Coordinator

"I am new to the Content Delivery Team and work with the Live Capture Team at ITV. The work I do involves capturing and editing content for ITV Hub and other VOD platforms. The team and I work closely with the rest of ITV to ensure content is transferred, transcoded and delivered to where it needs to be. I enjoy the job I do because it gives me the opportunity to work with a collaborative team and develop my skills. One my favourite aspects of my job is that I get to work with so many different women who I can learn from and be inspired by. The women in The Content Delivery department are from diverse backgrounds and it will be great to meet them all at some point in the near future.

For me, “Choose to Challenge” means stepping out of your comfort zone and giving yourself room to grow. It’s about learning new things and challenging yourself in what you think you know. Adapting to what’s new is always important in life and although I do enjoy a challenge, sometimes they can feel daunting until I have completed them. Giving myself room to grow also helps me to become more confident to be seen and heard."

Katie Hunter

PA to the Controller of Content Services and Content Delivery Team Assistant

In my role as Personal Assistant to the Controller of Content Services, I provide administrative support including diary management, taking and distributing minutes, arranging travel and accommodation (when we aren't in a global pandemic!), processing expenses and assisting with any other admin duties. Being the Content Delivery Team Assistant involves planning and delivering team events, supporting our Business Development Manager with the maintenance of our social media channels and external website, reporting on the departments monthly financials and helping to onboard new starters. The thing I love the most about being part of Content Delivery is the people; knowing that everyone is there to support one another is a great feeling and something that is very much needed at the moment.

The word 'challenge' to me feels both powerful and nerve-racking at the same time. A challenge can be something you must work on to overcome, which can leave you feeling powerful afterwards but challenging a situation, decision or person can also be scary, especially if it is something you don't feel assertive enough to do so. I believe #ChooseToChallenge is having the means to believe in yourself and try to overcome the self-doubt that I'm sure many of us feel."

Joanne Grundstrom (Jo)

Content Delivery Operations Manager

"I am the Content Delivery Operations Manager at ITV in Leeds. I look after four operational teams that deal with lots of different types of content coming into ITV, being processed or being delivered in the UK and around the world.

I started working for ITV back in 2002 when everything was tape based and I was the only woman in the department, fast forward to 2021 where nearly everything is file based and I am surrounded by another 12 lovely ladies. How times have changed...

I love the word 'challenge' and often use it to replace other words like stressful, difficult... it is a much better word to describe problems and a better way to perceive problems. If it is a 'challenge' you will get something from it afterwards, either as a reward or a lesson learned, which is also a reward in itself as it helps you grow as a person. In the past 12 months I have gone through many challenging situations and I have come away with some amazing rewards and also learned some positive new things about myself."

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about just a handful of some of the amazing women that work in Content Delivery and about their views on #ChooseToChallenge. I have encouraged all of them to join the Rise Mentoring Programme to continue their journey in self development and I can't wait to see whats in store for them in the future!

Stay Safe and Happy Everyone

Bethan

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