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International Women’s Day: An interview with Becky Lacock from On the Beach

Author: Emma Allison
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This Sunday is International Women’s Day, a global day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women and promoting gender equality. The 2020 IWD theme is #EachforEqual which focuses on how ‘an equal world is an enabled world’ and highlights how gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive.

To do our part, we’re showcasing some of the amazing female clients we work with, from women who have set up their own businesses to females doing amazing things in their industries.

First up Forward Role’s Analytics Recruitment Consultant Sophie chatted to one of her clients; Becky Lacock.

Hi Becky, thanks so much for taking part! Can you start by giving us an overview of where you work and what your job entails?

Hi, yes so I'm the Analytics Manager at On the Beach and we are beach holiday experts, sending our customers on package holiday to mainly short haul destinations, such as Spain, the Balearics and the Canaries, but also to long haul destinations such as Dubai and the Carribean.

In my job, we can see everything our customers do on our site. Every page that they see, every button they click and every product they buy. Using this information, I can find trends in customer behaviour and use this to improve the site, making it easier to use for our customers. I get to work on lots of different projects with different stakeholders from across the business. I also get to talk to our customers as well to understand why they do what they do on our site.

What is the best part about your role?

The best part about my role is the variety. The digital industry is always changing, for the better, with new technology and techniques to make finding insights that much easier and more in depth. Also, the way people are interacting with technology is constantly evolving so there is always something new to learn about your customers.

How did you end up working in the analytics industry?

I did a Maths Degree at Keele University and got a job as a Trainee Analyst at N Brown Group after I graduated. Here I learnt all about being an analyst, working mainly with SQL and databases to find insight. After a couple of years, I moved on the work as an analyst at On the Beach. I was the first analyst into the business and have had a large amount of freedom in shaping my role and ultimately my team, after I was promoted to manager 2 years ago. 

What are the main challenges you face in your role and in the industry overall?

The main challenge in my role is data culture. The world is moving to be data driven but for some people, this is a mindset change and it can be a difficult one to create. In my role, we still struggle to convince stakeholders that all the decisions they make need to be founded on data and not gut instinct. Working in the travel industry, there are always obstacles to face. In my time at On the Beach, we have seen threats from terrorism, airline failures leaving reduced capacity and, most recently, the outbreak of coronavirus stopping customers from wanting to travel. However, the industry can be very resilient and has always been able to bounce back after a crisis.

Why do you think there aren’t as many women working in analytical roles?

I think there is a perception from a young age that technical jobs are for men, but I think this stems from a lack of understanding of what a job in tech actually looks like. I am currently working with Manchester Digital on their Digital Her Real Role Models projects which educates young girls and the kind of careers they can have in digital. Their motto is; "If she can see it, she can be it", and it's so true. The girls I have met are always so surprised to hear about all the jobs they had no idea about and potentially have an interest in themselves.

What advice would you give to a women thinking about starting a career in the analytics industry?

My advice would be to have confidence and stay curious. Have the confidence to try something new and believe in yourself that you can do it! Often you will be outnumbered by men in your field but that doesn't make you any less capable and deserving to be there! And stay curious because there is also something new to learn in this industry, and that curiosity will take you far!

Sophie Page specialises in analytics and insight jobs at Forward Role
Keep up to date with Sophie by following her on Twitter or connecting on LinkedIn.

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