Susan Bainbridge

Head of Client Delivery and Fulfilment

Been with Equifax for 19 years

If you'd told me when I was younger I'd join a data management company and still be happy with them 19 years later, I would not have believed you. But that's what's happened, and it's because of the great people and opportunities here. 
Equifax has always met my ambitions. When I've got to the peak of one role, the next step has been there. Sometimes, I've moved horizontally, but the knowledge and skills I've acquired have helped me progress so my career hasn't stood still.
I joined on a six week contract manually entering data. Then I was offered a job in Client Projects, scoring applications for credit cards and catalogues, and I became the team leader. After that, I moved to different departments, which really helped round my skills, and became an operational manager before moving into Sales, as an Account Manager for the Bank of Scotland. They wanted someone they could be in touch with daily and see quickly. It gave me invaluable insights. I was able to view our business from their perspective and suggest improvements to what we do.
When the assignment came to an end, I went back to Client Projects joining a team vetting applications for a massive RBS recruitment campaign. This lasted about a year, then I helped the company move Client Projects from Scotland to Ireland. I was responsible for bringing all the work over and ensuring it was done smoothly so clients weren't aware of the change.
Within a week of being in Ireland, I had a new job: Electoral Roll Manager. We have a wide range of clients (banks, mobile phone companies, letting agents…) that need to verify the identity of the people they're entering into financial contracts with, and we have to ensure the information we give them from the electoral roll is one hundred per cent accurate. 
To provide this level of service, you have to trust people to perform and help them do their best. Since moving into this job, where I head a number of teams, I've encouraged them to decide their priorities and quality standards – in effect, manage themselves – and I provide the support for them to do this with coaching, development and training. A saying I have pinned to my wall reads, ‘create a safe environment for debate'. My team can tell me anything: an achievement, a mistake or something they're not sure about. Openness is crucial. I also make a point of trying to develop and support the people who work for me so they have the sort of opportunities I've had. I'm a great example of what you can achieve here.
The other part of my role involves engaging with the rest of the business on new opportunities coming up, so we have the right resources in place and are in the best position to anticipate problems and solve them quickly. Being a unified business helps us do that. There's a real feeling of togetherness. A few years ago we had a Business Kick-Off (an annual event when the Executive share their plans for the years with Leaders in the company) and there was a team building exercise where each of us was given a musical instrument and had an hour and a half to learn a piece of music to perform. Incredibly, at the end of that time, we sounded like an orchestra. Not the Royal Philharmonic, but really cohesive. That's what Equifax is like. We all know where we're heading and pull together.