Lauren joined our Contact Centre team in 2013 and is now an IT Service Desk Manager in our Operational Support team. She's based in Leeds.

I've recently been promoted and my role involves running projects and improving the first point of contact experience for people contacting the desk. My team supports NewDay colleagues and customers, making the work very varied and rewarding.

My career path has been quite mixed. I never expected to work in IT, even though it was my strongest subject at school, where I often came top of the class and got a distinction in my final exam. My priority after leaving school was to get a job to help my family pay the bills. After starting out at NewDay in the Partnerships business, my next post was in our loans business, and this is where my IT spark really grew. As a school leaver, I couldn't see a way into the industry as it seemed like a career for men. My role in UPL gave me exposure to working with the server and telephony teams. I worked in a variety of roles over the next 4 years. Staying within Collections, I had lots of sideways development with roles in Complaints, Fraud, Underwriting and Customer Care.

In 2021, I applied for an Associate role in the Service Desk team on a whim, not expecting to get an interview. My manager really backed and coached me, which built up my confidence. I couldn't believe it when I got the role! Since then, I've been promoted as a Specialist, and now I'm leading my first team.

Over time, I've dealt with imposter syndrome as I haven't always felt confident. I've been fortunate with my managers at NewDay. They've challenged me to push myself. As a NewDay woman in tech, our partnership with Stemettes makes me feel so proud! As a teenager, I had a lot of self doubt and wasn't thinking about careers in the same way. People think that women fit into one category, but we don't. I do powerlifting for fun, I like to have my acrylics done and I'm hands-on with building laptops and handing them out. Working here, I don't feel any different to the men in my team.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Confidence will come when you start doing it. Build up your network and your knowledge base. If you want to find out about another business area or ask a question, just do it.