Sally-Anne Skinner

Sally-Anne Skinner is the Chief Revenue Officer at Spectrum Internet and has spent the last 23 years working in a variety of leadership roles in the residential telecoms sector, for brands including Sky, ntl, and Centrica. 

She has extensive people management experience, having run large sales teams, and developed head office management structures to deliver against business KPIs.

In her new role as Chief Revenue Officer at Spectrum, Sally-Anne will head up the sales teams across residential and business, driving the uptake of full fibre across South Wales.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role 

I graduated from University with a History degree and soon after this I came to the realisation that unless I wanted to teach there wasn’t a clear career path for me! I was living in London so I decided to temp and become an Office Angel. It was a great experience and I worked with lots of different businesses in administrative and operational roles. I then started working at C&W and this was my first experience of the Telecoms world – I loved it and have been working in Telecoms ever since for the likes of ntl, TalkTalk and Sky, with a brief foray into the design world while I was consulting for International Textile Designer, Tania Johnson.

My current role is hugely exciting. I have returned to Newport, my hometown, and have taken on the role of Chief Revenue Officer at Spectrum Internet. My team and I will be responsible for connecting homes and business across South Wales. I am thrilled to be on this journey with Spectrum, as we rollout full fibre broadband across the region.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not as such. I have been fortunate in my career to have a clear sense of direction. I know the roles, tasks and challenges that excite and interest me and so I tend to follow these opportunities as they come along.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

My biggest challenge has been driving my career whilst also being true to my personal aspirations. I have always loved working but when I became a Mum I realised that I wanted a very active role in my children’s lives – who knew how active it was going to be!?

I made the difficult decision of stepping away from my full-time career and became a contractor, creating a more flexible working environment.

I promised myself that when the children were older I would look to get back into a full time business career and here I am! (Who said I don’t sit down and plan out my career?)

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Whilst at Sky, I was the Sales Director of Face to Face. During my time there my department delivered a third of Sky’s total consumer acquisition, a quarter of a million customers a year.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I am a big believer in Team – finding the best possible people, empowering them and then taking them with you as you collectively climb the corporate ladder.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology or business?

Know your market. Don’t be afraid to be curious and ask questions. Get a mentor or a sponsor who can help you with the bigger picture. Understand the strategic direction, what part you play within that and what you can do to add to the vision.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

There are barriers for women across many industries. I think tech is a male dominated industry and is perceived as such, trying to understand why there are barriers and what those barriers are is the first step in determining how to address the issue.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in your field?

Supporting women through training and development is key. Also, coaching and mentoring schemes can be hugely successful and yield great results.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I think to drive awareness and ambition in tech it needs to start at the grass roots. Career advice offered in schools needs to make girls/young women feel empowered. Education needs to be inclusive, inspiring and gender neutral. Young women need to be exposed to other successful women in the industry: role models – senior female thought leaders in tech  – so they can see what is possible and aspire to emulate it.

I think recruitment needs to focus on attracting more women: offering on-the-job learning, coaching and developing. In addition, there are a large number of highly skilled women who have had career breaks, encouraging these women to come back and re-train in tech is a huge opportunity.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I listen to podcasts all the time. There are so many out there. I love listening and reading HBR articles and would recommend them.

WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here