by Sarah Potter
When you hear the phrase ‘Women in Tech’, it’s easy to assume that you must look towards becoming an engineer, a developer or something hands-on ‘techy’. But what if we told you that that wasn’t the case? That you could accelerate your career in roles not seen as traditionally techy, but still within the tech industry?
Well, that’s exactly what our very own Christina Pendleton did.
Christina joined Intercity as a HR Advisor, with two senior reports above her, and in just under seven short years, she has found herself promoted to the role of Chief People Officer. This is due, in no small part, to both the embodiment of our values, but also the significant improvements Christina has driven within the business.
In 2020, Christina oversaw Intercity being awarded a Best Companies 1 Star and an Investors in People Silver award – both reflecting the significant investment in people that Christina has been instrumental in. She has also driven the creation of our Women in Tech Networking Group – a platform for women to discuss a variety of issues, and to support in the task of increasing the number of women who choose tech as a career path.
Another area in which Christina has been instrumental, is our work with Ahead Partnership, an organisation that brings employers and education partners together to create focused employability activities which build confidence, resilience and aspiration. She has worked tirelessly to set up structured work experience and employability programmes for children in the local area – ones in which we hope to see inspire talent across the region.
About this latest appointment, Charlie Blakemore, Intercity Group MD had this to say:
“I was the Diversity and Inclusion Board Sponsor at BAE Systems. This is something I am very passionate about. For two main reasons, the first being that I believe everybody deserves the same opportunities in life and business. I have two daughters and I would be horrified if they didn’t have the same opportunities in life as their male counterparts. Secondly and as important, is the genuine value that a more diverse perspective brings to a business.
I have worked with many HR/People leaders throughout my career, and I could see from my early involvement with Intercity as a Non-Exec Director that Christina was doing a great job and had huge potential to further her career with the business. A lot of credit for her early development goes to her predecessor Sonia Hall, who helped develop and encourage Christina in her first few years with the business.
When Sonia left the business, we all agreed that Christina could step up and take on the extra responsibility and leadership of our People function. I remember Christina was a bit nervous about making the jump at first and it has been great to see her confidence grow.
Christina is very selfless and is always looking at how she can improve and grow all our colleagues. That is her mission! She was appointed to the Exec Board in January 2020 and again has met the challenge of the wider responsibilities in her stride.
Christina works extremely hard and is great with people at all levels and from all backgrounds, she is a great company ambassador and epitomises the Intercity Culture and genuinely lives our values every day. She has brought an insightful and different perspective to our Board meetings which has in turn improved decision making and outlook.
Throughout this challenging time of remote working and lockdown, Christina has continued to offer support and engagement to all our colleagues, having to use new ways of communicating and staying connected, which has been very impressive. She continues to take on new activities and learning, including many of our CSR activities with charities, schools and other businesses. She has a very exciting career ahead of her and is a great role model for the ever-growing number of talented women at Intercity.
We couldn’t be prouder of Christina stepping into this new role, and we know she will continue to make business-wide improvements. Alongside this, we hope Christinas inspirational story will serve as a reminder that women are very much welcome to the table at Intercity, and your career growth will be supported every step of the way.”
To learn more about our work with Ahead Partnership, click here
To learn more about Christina, click here
And to learn about how you too could see incredible career growth at Intercity, check out our vacancies here.