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Whistle-stop Wednesdays: Travelling to Europe with Data Protection

Meet Lianne – our newly appointed Privacy Communications Senior Manager in Data Protection & Privacy. 


Read on to learn more about Lianne’s role and team. 

What do you do in Admiral and how long have you been working here?  

Hello! I’m Lianne and I work in Admiral’s Group Data Protection & Privacy department. I’ve been here around six and a half years and most recently have taken on a new role as our Privacy Communications Senior Manager. My role is quite broad – I look after our communications, training and development strategy across the Group to ensure that our staff are being regularly communicated to and trained on data protection and privacy, as well as developing career pathways and associated development plans for our own team of privacy professionals. 

How did you get into your role? What is your background?  

I joined the team as a Data Protection Executive. During my time, I’ve had exposure to some great projects and training opportunities, which has enabled me to progress into three further roles within the Data Protection and Privacy Department. Prior to Admiral, I worked in Board Governance, and had limited experience of working in data protection day-to-day. However, I was able to demonstrate a keen interest and enthusiasm in wanting to work in this area in my interview and I haven’t looked back since.  

I did go to university and I have an LLB and LLM in International Commercial Law, which has been great in helping me interpret and apply data protection and privacy laws and guidance. However, our team is made up of hugely talented people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and there is definitely no one set route into this role!  

What do you enjoy most about your work?  

There is so much I love about my work. I’m part of an ever-expanding Data Protection and Privacy team, surrounded by talented individuals, who I get to learn from every day. Our team operates as a Group function, which means we have visibility of exciting new projects and initiatives across all our entities and get to see things right from the start and as they develop. I feel very lucky that I was exposed to high-profile work very early on in my career. Standout moments include helping set up the governance framework of our GDPR Programme and working on several key workstreams to aid its delivery. I’ve also travelled to our European offices to support our international colleagues and coordinated our annual Data Protection Symposiums, to share learnings across our UK, European and US entities.    

What's the most exciting change or project happening within your area? 

There is actually a lot of exciting things happening across our team at the moment, but for me, I’m excited to dive into my new role and start shaping how we carry out communications, training and development across the business. Right now, I’m exploring communication channels to send mass and segmented communications to our employees and deciding on our longer-term communication schedules and content. We have an ambitious plan to work on over the next 12 months and I’m looking forward to seeing what we achieve.  

Are there opportunities to grow and develop here?  

Yes, so many opportunities! All employees have access to our Learning and Development area from the moment they join, with access to face-to-face training courses on a variety of subjects, as well as online content via our iLearn platform. There is also the Admiral Talent Bank where you can record your experiences, specialist skills and career aspirations for hiring Managers to view for short and long-term projects. We have the Buy a Book scheme too, which allows each and every one of us to buy two books every single month for our self-development – one of my favourite benefits! 

In addition, our own department has offered funded qualifications at certain stages of our careers. I’ve obtained the BCS Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection, and we’ve also supported colleagues in their IAPP certifications. We also have corporate membership to the IAPP, with access to lots of great resources and tools. A primary objective of my new role will be to focus on ongoing development and growth opportunities for our team too, so watch this space!  

What’s the culture like here? How has this adapted with remote working? 

One of Admiral’s core values is centred around fun and that is certainly something we try to embrace on our team. In recent times, we’ve had to adapt but you’ll still find us taking part in ‘Friday Fun’ activities – whether that is a quiz, gameshow or scavenger hunt organised over MS Teams. We’ve kept up with our team building activities as well, including virtual cocktail making, craft classes and the occasional fancy-dress day thrown in too.  

Do you have any advice for someone looking to join your area?  

If you’re new to the world of Data Protection and Privacy, I’d start by reading technology news to get a feel for the types of challenges we face and advise on day to day – emerging technology, smart devices, big data and cyber, to name a few. If that piques your interest, I’d also have a read of regulatory guidance across the UK and Europe to understand the types of considerations we advise on as part of our roles. In terms of skills, you’d suit a career with us if you’re inquisitive, a good communicator, like to get into the detail of how things work and don’t mind working in ‘grey’ areas, as rarely anything we advise on is black or white!   

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Admiral Life

Whistle-stop Wednesdays: Becoming an expert in Data Protection

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Business Support

Content Type

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Publish date

11/08/2021

Summary

We spoke with Shannon Smith, Senior Data Protection Executive, about her career so far in Corporate Governance. What do you do in Admiral and how long have you been working here?I have be

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