Article 13 March 2023

Mitie Women Can Month: A spotlight on Sam Venables, Network Deputy Chair

We’re delighted to be celebrating Mitie Women Can Month! With International Women’s Day having just passed, the month offers a fantastic opportunity to drive forward the goals of the Mitie Women Can Network: to share, support and empower women, and maximise their potential in an equal workplace.

Today, we’re in conversation with Samantha Venables, Executive Assistant, and MWC Network Deputy Chair.

What motivated you to get involved with the Mitie Women Can network?

I feel strongly about shaping a workplace to ensure that any woman who joins gets treated fairly. It’s important to me to ‘fight the fight’, and share knowledge and my own experiences. I want to go to bed at night knowing I’ve made a difference, no matter how big or small. Being mum of a girl has pushed my passion further as I like to think we’re shaping a future for her also. It’s so very important to show positive role models and it starts at home and throughout their lives. We spend more time in the workplace than we do with family, so where I can, I’d like to mirror a great place to be, at home and work.

Are there any issues you’ve become aware of since working with the network?

One thing that struck me was the lack of diverse women in senior management. I was focused on lack of women, but looking deeper into the stats, as a business we do not have good representation. And this also highlighted to be our recruitment process/partners, and how we can change this for the better. It also made me more aware of a demographic we don’t actively tap into at Mitie: ages 18 to 25. These are our next generation of leaders. We’d benefit from more colleagues in this age range.

How has ED&I changed at Mitie since you joined the network?

ED&I has changed dramatically in the business in the past two and a half years; we now have six networks, with MWC assisting to set up the Parent & Career Network. Our membership numbers have doubled and our focus areas and events have evolved following peer reviews.

How has your work with Mitie Women Can supported your personal and professional development?

The network has taught me to manage my own career progression and in turn I found a mentor. I’ve become more at ease with being my authentic self in the workplace. And that has made me more confident to speak up!

What’s been your proudest moment or the network’s biggest achievement so far?

I’ve had several big achievements with the network so it’s really hard to pin down! But International Women’s Day 2022 was our largest engagement event to date. We secured four high level guests for our panel discussion. The feedback was so positive and inspiring it spurred us on for the next 12 months.

How is Mitie Women Can working with other networks?

We actively seek collaboration with all of our ED&I networks. We look at different diversity angles when we have topics in mind to discuss. For example, working with CHORD on baby loss awareness and how this affects more Black women.

What’s your vision for the network over the next year?

My vision is to not only watch this network grow by double, but also reach many more of our front line colleagues. With MGX involvement increasing, this will help shine a light on the network and how to get involved. I am so very proud of what’s been achieved. Stepping down after over two years on a high is the best accolade for all the work the network does for our colleagues.

Join the Mitie Women Can events this month

Why Allyship is Important – Tuesday 14 March, 1-2pm

Career Spotlight with Becky Slack – Thursday 23 March, 12-1pm

The 3 R’s Masterclass with Sonya Barlow – Thursday 30 March, 12-1:30pm