I’m Sharon. I’m an experienced web professional, specialising in digital workplace and digital strategy. I’m a communicator, a blogger, a product manager, a geek, and much else besides. I wear a lot of hats, literally and metaphorically.
My love affair with the web began on a school trip to a cybercafe when I was 13. I haven’t been offline since, so I’ve been tinkering with websites and interacting with strangers online for over 20 years. And as the web became a transformational force in almost every industry, what started as a teenage hobby turned into a successful career.
I started out in publishing (including stints at the Guardian and for a newspaper in Bolivia) before moving into communications. Over time my two passions – communications and digital experience – converged as I became a champion for digital and social media in the workplace. I worked for a number of UK public sector organisations, including the UK’s Houses of Parliament, where I developed one of the first mobile intranets, winning an Intranet Innovation Award in the process.
In 2010 I was appointed an advisor to the fledgling Iraqi parliament, dodging roadside bombs in my quest for better web services.
In 2012 I moved in to financial services, joining global bank Standard Chartered, and worked my way up from Senior Manager to Head of Digital Communications. There I was responsible for social media and content strategy, website development and management, and for the delivery of a new social intranet and collaboration platform. I led an international, multi-disciplinary team based in the UK and Singapore to manage the Bank’s global digital channels and projects.
I turned freelance in 2016. My first few months have seen me doing a service design project for UK Trade and Investment’s innovation lab, talking about enterprise collaboration adoption and risk management with companies in Australia, delivering social media training for a Magic Circle law firm, and leading a review of digital engagement strategy at the Department for International Trade. If you’d like to talk to me about a project, do get in touch.
I’m passionate about the power of the social web to drive positive change – of services, organisations, and of communities. I bring a broad base of digital skills – from user research to content strategy, and from analytics to proposition development – together with a sharp business focus and ability to explain complex and technical ideas to stakeholders at all levels in order to gain their buy-in for digital transformation.
I’m an enthusiastic advocate of all things web, and write regularly about digital both here, on intranet blog intranetizen.com, and for a host of other websites and publications. I was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in the UK in 2016. I’ve also been a contributor to two dead-tree books about the internet – The Independent Guide to Facebook: Social Networking Made Easy (Dennis, 2007), and Share This Too: More Social Media Solutions for PR Practitioners (Wiley, 2013) – and one e-book, SharePoint Intranets-in-a-Box (Clearbox, 2016).
I believe tech is better when the people working in it and representing the industry reflect the make-up of our species. That’s why in 2013 – irked by the lack of women speakers at digital events – I co-founded 300 Seconds, an event series that gives women and other underrepresented groups the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills and their public profile. So far we’ve delivered 12 events across the UK, working with the likes of the BBC, Guardian, Facebook, Mozilla and the Open Data Institute.
I’m highly international, having lived and worked in three continents and led global projects and teams. I’m completely mobile and a prolific collector of airline loyalty points.
I currently live in London with my husband and two Sony Aibo robot dogs.