Gemma Lynch, operations director at Carillion has been able to succeed in her career as well as balancing motherhood thanks to workplace support.

Gemma's role models are all strong career women as well as mums

During her time studying for her History degree, Gemma’s interest in politics introduced her to the concept of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which opened the door for her career.

In the early stages of her career, Gemma battled with people underestimating her capabilities as a young woman, especially in her early 20’s.

“Some people didn’t seem to think I could handle the tasks I was given, but this didn’t stop me trying to succeed. If anything, it made me get my head down and prove that I could deliver.”

Gemma has certainly changed people’s views and perspective of young women and currently mentors women in the business to give them the confidence to succeed. She encourages them to be clear, open and honest about what they want to do and where they want to be, in order for them to drive their career in the right direction.

During her nine years working at Carillion, Gemma has undertaken some ambitious challenges. She describes leading a team through twenty-one days of ‘strike action’ in a large, acute hospital while keeping the hospital running and assuring the services are delivered as an experience that changed her confidence and was pivotal to her career progression.

Now, after hard work and determination, Gemma stands in her current role as Operations Director for new Government Services which she successfully obtained upon her return from maternity leave.

In 2014, Gemma became a mum which has added a new challenge to her career. Since always being career minded; balancing work with motherhood became a new obstacle for Gemma to overcome.

But, due to the support from Carillion and her husband, she has been able to settle in to her new role comfortably and securely while working flexibly to spend quality time with her daughter.

“It’s still tricky at times but being flexible works both ways – so being flexible when I can has meant that the business is willing to be flexible back which has made a big difference. It’s about outputs and not inputs. To be honest, I get the best of both worlds. I still have my career and get to spend time with my daughter and be the best mom she needs.”

Gemma’s role models are all strong career women as well as mums – Margaret Thatcher, Alison Cooper, CEO at Imperial Tobacco and Carolyn McCall CEO at Easyjet. Gemma hopes women within her organisation will one day see her as a role model too.

Throughout her career, Gemma has seen women to be seen in a more positive lightin recent years and is delighted to see the support and active encouragement behind them especially at Carillion.

Carillion provide women throughout the business with knowledge of internal and external campaigns such as; Women on Boards membership, Women in leadership Network and Working Mums Network.

With a passion for becoming a female role model, Gemma aspires to become a member of the Chief Executive Leadership Team (CELT) while continuing to support other female leaders, she aims to continue with her role as a non-executive director (NED) for a charitable organisation with high hopes to expand her portfolio.

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