From homelessness to a thriving career in tech: Brighton woman shares her journey

A Brighton woman has shared how she overcame periods of homelessness and upheaval to forge an inspiring career in tech.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:45 pm
Kerrie Webb is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace

Kerrie Webb, Head of Group Technology Finance at Legal & General, said her story was not unusual and stressed the importance of building diverse, equal and inclusive workplaces.

Kerrie went through a difficult period after leaving home in Falmouth aged 17.

After a time, she was supported by the council into a flat, where she continued her studies while juggling work.

She dreamed of securing a place at university and becoming a lawyer, but due to all the upheaval, did not achieve the grades she needed.

“It was devastating,” she said. “I literally didn’t know where I was going to go or how I was going to afford to be in the world.”

Eventually she was accepted at Brighton University, where she first supported herself by doing door to door sales before applying for a part-time role at the financial services provider Legal & General.

Kerrie said she was ‘so nervous’ in her interview but was given the job and now, 15 years later, has developed a thriving career.

Reflecting on her journey, the 34-year-old said: “I’m incredibly fortunate, from when I first lived by myself and I had the choice of do I put my money into the electricity meter or do I buy proper food, I was very lucky to have good friends around me, they were able to help.

“There were so many points along my path where I saw that people could fall off or fall through.”

That is why it’s ‘hugely important’ to Kerrie to work for a company with strong values and sense of community.

Through the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility scheme, Kerrie has given back to homelessness charities in Brighton. Internally, the company has various mental health initiatives in place, a mentorship scheme and a network for supporting LGBTQ+ employees.

Kerrie is also keen to see other women enter the tech sector and has given talks at schools on the topic.