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Grace Finch’s ‘Day in the Life as a neurodivergent woman in the tech industry’

Grace Finch, BDR Group

Grace Finch, a rising star in BDR Group’s billing and accounts department.  ©BDR Group 2023

It all begins in 2003 for Grace, when she was born in the town of Rugby. Grace grew up in Rugby; born and raised – she’s lived there her whole life. She studied Business, French & Music at Bilton High School. During school she was diagnosed with ADHD and autism. Her mother works in childcare and her father worked in planning for the railway. In 2022 she completed a two-year business course at Rugby College.

Before starting at BDR Group, Grace, like many other young people, began her career at the local chippy.

Growing up, Grace was always attracted to the idea of becoming financially independent. In efforts to reach this level of independence and to buy her first house, she sought a rewarding career in the tech industry – she reached that goal and joined BDR Group in October 2022.

Her role at BDR is an important one – ensuring that technology is recovered and services are cancelled from clients who are leaving or upgrading. She’s an expert at what she does. 

Grace Finch, BDR Group

Grace sometimes faces challenges when receiving telephone calls. ©BDR Group 2023

Q: As a young woman in the tech industry, have you faced any unique challenges? How has BDR supported you?

A: “Yes, I’m sometimes faced with challenges, one of which is the challenge of men sometimes asking to speak exclusively only to other men when I pick up the phone, regarding topics and subjects which are within my remit, and that require skills and experience that I have.

I usually deal with this challenge by simply just transferring them to a male colleague; only later to receive an email from the same customer, as after all… I was the right person for the job.

BDR have definitely supported me with this though, as I have the power to terminate any call which I feel is either inappropriate, or that makes me feel uncomfortable. I also have the confidence to just outright challenge the customer’s request. Luckily, this only happens every now and then though. I have amazing relationships with a lot of our customers and I love helping them.”

Q: How does BDR Group's commitment to diversity and inclusion align with your personal values and career goals?

A: “Because I’m a neurodivergent person with ADHD and autism, BDR Group have had casual chats with me about how they can make the workplace more comfortable for me, and how we can adapt training methodology, so that I can learn in a way which works for me, and my neurodivergent characteristics. This sort of stuff helps forward my career really when you think about it. Having that extra level of support really means a lot to me and definitely brings me closer to achieving my career goals.

Having an employer which values me for me, is really important and I’m really appreciative that BDR recognises that sometimes small changes might need to be made to support people like me, that are neurodivergent.”

Grace Finch, BDR Group

“I wake up, have a shower, brush my teeth and feed my ferrets” – Grace tells us about her typical day. ©BDR Group 2023

Q: Can you describe a typical day in your role at BDR Group?

A: “Every day is slightly different, but it always starts at 6:15am, when I get ready for the day; I wake up, have a shower, brush my teeth and feed my ferrets; Peaches, Cream, Meringue & Biscuit. Then it’s out the door and into my car at 7:45am, and I begin my 50minute drive to the office and arrive at 8:30am.

Once I’m in the office, it’s straight to work. As a cancellations specialist, my job is to ensure that our products and other services are cancelled upon a customer leaving, or simply just upgrading from one service to another. I also make sure that Ofcom regulations are strictly adhered to, as one small mistake could cause problems.

Lunch is always a nice break; I usually have my lunch already packed, and enjoy chatting with colleagues over a game of pool in the break room. Lunch is an hour long and is a perfect way to unwind, especially if after dealing with somewhat ‘interesting’ ex-clients.

At the end of the day, I pack all of my stuff away, including my company laptop and head home for the evening, getting home at around 6:15pm.”

Q: How has your experience been with mentorship and support from colleagues at BDR Group?

A: “Good really – like I said before, BDR have made some changes for me, so that I can be more comfortable in the workplace and my colleagues have been very supportive, looking past my neurodivergence, and my sex has never been a barricade or hurdle here at BDR. I feel really valued here as an employee.”

Q: How do you balance work and personal life at BDR?

A: “Work starts and ends at the door right over there. I keep my personal life and my work life pretty separated at the moment, and don’t really have any plans to change that.”

Grace Finch, BDR Group

Every year, BDR Group take all of their employees abroad for 3 nights. Grace can be seen here at a fancy Spanish restaurant. ©BDR Group 2023

Q: What do you enjoy most about the company culture at BDR Group, is it an inclusive environment?

A: “Every year, the company flies the whole company, which is about 250+ people, out to Spain for about 3 nights. I feel like this is really beneficial to making new friends within work and understanding everyone’s background a bit more. As someone who didn’t always have an annual holiday abroad, it’s great that BDR does this, so that other people in the same situation as me, can experience a fully-paid for… even drinks, although I don’t drink… but anyway, a fully-paid for break away in a different country. It’s great.”

Q: What advice would you give to underrepresented graduates who aspire to work in the tech industry, particularly at a company like BDR?

A: “Just go for it. Apply. The worse someone can say is ‘no’. And that’s not really that bad in the grand scheme of things is it? If you don’t ask… you don’t get. That’s it really, it’s just about having that ambition, knowing you’re good enough, no matter what anyone else says.”

Q: How has your perspective on the tech industry and workplace diversity evolved since joining BDR Group?

A: “There’s more women in the workplace than there was since I started. I think it’s because of two things really… more women are applying in general – more women are interested in STEM nowadays, and also our team managers have really open minds. My manager has hired 6 women in the last 6 months, completely diversifying the accounts & billing department. Our sales team also has more women than ever. It’s really great to see.”

Q: What excites you the most about the future of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, and how do you see BDR Group contributing to that future?

A: “More opportunities for women, women like me. If you go back 20 years, there’s no way that I’d probably be in the position that I am now. I’m really excited for the future, especially as the tech industry becomes more diverse and inclusive of women, people of colour and other backgrounds, which have before, been underrepresented in the tech sector.

I think if BDR continues to go down this path of achieving these social objectives, then I think they have the real power to influence other businesses in the tech community and the communications industry.”

Grace Finch, BDR Group

Grace in 2008 in her Brownies uniform. ©Grace Finch 

Closing Comments

“At the end of the day, all that you can do is try your best. Work hard to achieve your goals and don’t let anything stand in your way. Do not put up with any rubbish – if you feel undervalued, leave. If you feel uncomfortable, change something – life is too short to be stifled and limited away from reaching your goals and your dreams, both in your personal life and in your career.”

Tyrese Garvie, BDR, Diversity Officer

"Inclusion is key" - Tyrese Garvie

Building a workforce and an environment at BDR, that supports people from different backgrounds is really important to me. Inclusion is key - putting a real focus on DEI creates a better society.
Everyone deserves equal opportunities, regardless of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic.

BDR Group is committed to upholding these social values indefinitely.



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