While making technology more inclusive is important, it’s not only about having more female representation but more respectful representation of both men and women.

It’s not every day that you meet a Business Studies and Language student who built her career in one the leading global satellite communication companies. Anne-Marie Barclay, founder Purple Orchid Management, decided to work for a technology company early on where she led channel and business development, marketing and demonstrated leadership in a changing environment.

What does the International Women’s Day slogan “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights” mean for you in your work life?
I agree with “I am Generation Equality”, but personally, even though there are of course merits for putting women in the spotlight, I think we need to have more focus on “Realising Everyone’s Rights” #eachforequal.

Can you tell us a bit about where you work?
Having worked in a corporate environment for 25 years, I decided to set up my own company 18 months ago to draw on my business development, marketing, leadership experience and to provide consultancy services in the satcom industry.
I am very excited about my recent collaboration with FrontM to develop and grow their route-to-market with Maritime Service Partners.

As a young girl growing up, did you want to work in the satcoms industry?
I think like many people starting out, I really did not know what I wanted to pursue as a career, so left my options open studying business. I never expected when I started in satcoms that I would still be there 25 years later!

In your opinion, why is it important that more women join the satcoms sector in the very near future?
The satcoms sector is so dynamic and there are so many changes happening in the industry today. More women are involved in and use “tech” today, so are therefore are not only influencers but need to be central to new developments. #womenintech

What do you think is the biggest issue women face today?
Rather than focusing on issues, I think it is important for women to know that they have their place alongside any other colleague.

“Be brave, be strong, be courageous, and believe in yourself!”


When you’re not being awesome at work, where are we likely to find you?
My favourite thing to do when not at work is going out for a walk in the countryside with my dog and then coming back home to cook and entertain for family and friends.

If there was one thing in the world you could change, what would that be?
Seeing commitment and significant uptake in using #techforgood to help protect and save our beautiful planet.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It really is paramount for women to support each other! I have always enjoyed being able to help develop and encourage colleagues in the workplace and have been lucky enough to have some fantastic mentors over the years that I’ve been able to ask for help and guidance when needed.

Can you remember the day you sent your first instant message and to whom you sent it?
Millions of messages ago, I’m afraid I don’t remember!

It would be rude of us not to ask, if you could choose one awe inspiring woman to send a unique instant message to this International Women’s day, anyone at all, who would you choose?
So difficult to choose only one! However, it seems appropriate to choose Katherine Johnson, who sadly passed away this year, a pioneering NASA mathematician who was instrumental to the first forays into space. Armed only with pencil and paper, she computed the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space in 1961 – he wasn’t happy to go until she had checked the figures generated from the early computer.

Shagun Sahni

Author Shagun Sahni

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