Interview with Sally Clarke

Upgrade Delivery Manager at Transport for London

What does your role consist of and what is a typical day for you?

I am responsible for getting the business ready to operate and maintain assets as a result of the huge TfL investment programme. I’m currently working on getting London Underground ready for the Crossrail project which is extending five London Underground stations and will form part of the new Elizabeth Line. I am also leading readiness delivery for the Northern and Metropolitan line extensions. These programmes are all delivering a lot of significant assets, major change and billions of pounds worth of investment and I make sure that, as a result of all this investment, the business is ready to use the new assets. My team and I are the liaison point between project delivery and the end user and my job is to make sure that the project delivers what we need to be able to operate and maintain the railway from day one. On a typical day, I lead a team of about 20 managers, all who have different portfolios, different responsibilities and different accountabilities across these different programs.

What would you say is the achievement you're most proud of?

A lot of what I’m proud of is not just my day-to-day delivery, but also giving something back to the industry. In 2014, I lobbied the TfL business to celebrate the 100 Years of Women in Transport. This programme now has funding and is leaving an industry legacy. But I feel really proud that in those early days, those conference calls, those meetings, I really pushed the senior level of our organisation to celebrate this amazing milestone. As Chair of TfL’s Women’s Staff Network Group, I have always pushed to move things on for gender equality. This year I have been working to secure better guidance around the menopause and support for those undergoing fertility treatment as well as securing accreditation for TfL as a member of Tommy’s Pregnancy at Work Scheme. All of these small steps add up to a better industry for everyone.

What is the biggest challenge you've had to overcome in your career?

I think it’s the juggling and maintaining a work-life balance. I’ve spent half my career as a mum and half my career not as a mum and I know the difference. I certainly work hard to balance everything and it takes a great deal of planning, organising and flexibility. It is a challenge if you’re serious about having a career, moving up the career ladder and looking after your family, but well worth the effort!

 

Interviewed August 2016