Our third episode of ‘Diary of a CIO’ is with Sharon Prior, CIO at Heathrow.

An intro to Sharon

With over 25 years of experience in digital business transformation and IT leadership, Sharon delivers quality and value to public and private sector businesses. Sharon is also a Founding Member at Chief, a private network for c-suite women leaders that fosters collaboration, support, and mentorship.

An intro to Heathrow

Heathrow are Europe’s largest airport, one of the top 10 busiest airports in the world and the second largest for international travellers. Heathrow is home to more than 80 airlines and is the UK’s most valuable cargo port, helping to drive British trade growth by connecting the nation to more than 200 destinations around the world.

The interview…

Did you start your career in tech?

I’ll go right back. I am one of 7, the middle child, I come from a very large family. Both parents are from Barbados, met and married in the UK. Our childhood was very, very busy, as you can imagine. I left school and went straight to work, as did all my older siblings as money was very tight at home. So I didn’t plan my career, I just knew I needed to work and earn money for the household.

It was whilst I was working at a bank, HSBC at the time, where I discovered a problem with our technology network. I was in banking operations – so not working in tech – and back then Google wasn’t a thing, so I went out and bought a book on networking and discovered how to fix the problem. My bosses were so impressed with me, they said you’re wasted in operations, why don’t you go and work in our IT function? And so I did. They sponsored me to learn about networking and I became a certified network engineer. I just had this really inquisitive mind, so I learnt my trade on the job and then went on to work for the Bank of England, and my career just took off from there.

To access the full interview, check out the video below.