I live with my husband and son in North Yorkshire. I like gardening and grow lots of vegetables and use them for cookery experiments, which don't always work.
I live with my family in a very untidy house with lots of stuff everywhere, mainly books – I love reading and often have about four different books on the go. I have quite a big garden and I spend a lot of time watching birds and other wildlife rather than keeping it tidy, so the garden is also usually a bit of a mess. I have mainly outdoor hobbies – as a family we go kayaking – there are lots of great rivers near where we live. We also do mountain biking, though I don’t like anything too steep – I’m a bit of a wimp at the tricky stuff, but I like long distance biking trails. I also do lots of hiking and mountain climbing in places like Scotland and the Lake District. I am not a very good cook but I like experimenting. My husband is a chemist and he does all the tricky stuff like making bread because you have to get the measurements right. I’m hopeless at that, so I tend to mix things together and hope for the best. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s not. Luckily we have chickens so if my cooking turns out really badly they are happy to eat it up.
My pronouns are
My job is to explain data centres to government and to help people who run data centres understand government.
My job is to represent dozens of data centre businesses in the UK and the thousands of people who work in them – which means I speak on their behalf, mainly to government. I do three things: I try to change things that might harm our industry – like new laws that haven’t been thought out carefully enough. I help operators deal with things we can’t change – for instance tell them about risks that might harm their businesses. Thirdly I explain data centres to government and journalists and I explain regulations to people working in data centres. Sometimes I do this by talking or negotiating but usually I write things down. I’ve written hundreds of things from infographics to big reports (I’ve been doing it for ten years – so I’ve had time!) My favourite challenge is taking on a technical and complicated topic or problem and describing it in a way that anyone can understand.
My Typical Day: My days vary a lot - some days are full of meetings but I try and keep as much time as possible to do research and write. I work from home most of the time which I like but travel to London about once a week for meetings.
I have to drink about 3 big mugs of tea while I plan my day. This means working out how to fit my research and writing time around meetings and calls. At the moment I am doing a lot of work on huge generators that provide electricity so data centres can keep working if our grid fails. Quite often I get carried away and don’t have lunch until about 3. I do a lot of public speaking – at the moment it’s mainly on zoom, so I spend a lot of time doing slides and practising. Some people are natural speakers but I like to prepare carefully – I can’t ad lib. Usually I get lots of calls from my members who need information or have an issue they need help with. I try and finish around 6. My day hardly ever goes as planned – but I quite like it that way.
What I'd do with the money
Run a competition for the best explanation of how the internet really works
Most people don’t understand how the internet works, who runs it and how it is powered. Explaining it in simple language is very difficult, so it would be great to see what ideas people come up with and then give prizes for the best ideas and get them published.
Aylesbury High School
9 O levels
I worked at the London Chamber of Commerce where I took groups of British companies to trade shows all over the world.
Associate Director, Data Centres – I look after data centre operators
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Proved to our politicians that data centres and the internet are really important
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I didn't expect to end up in this career but I really liked the people in this industry - they do a really important job without anyone really knowing
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not all the time
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I'd write fiction
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Queen (showing my age)
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
that I could go back in time and solve some mysteries, that I could understand what the birds are saying and that I could eat more cake without getting fat
Tell us a joke.
There was a magician on a cruise ship. Every night he did his show and every night there was a heckler who kept saying "I know how you did that",. On and on, the heckler did the same thing every night, picking at his act. Then one night there was a massive storm and the cruise ship sunk. There were only two survivors who ended up in one lifeboat. The survivors were the magician and the heckler. They bobbed about on the ocean for a day. and another day. On the third day the heckler leaned towards the magician and said "OK, I give up, what did you do with the ship?"