CEO Today Business Women of the Year Awards 20 CEO Today Business Women of the Year Awards 2019 UNITED KINGDOM ABOUT CERYS JOHNSON Life at REPL Group Cerys’ career at REPL began eight years ago, when she joined the company as a consultant, later becoming the CFO and company secretary, before becoming the COO in 2014 and CEO in 2017. Over this time, she has continuously strived for improvement and demonstrated a strong work ethic which has led to where she is today. Cerys has enjoyed a varied career path, gaining a degree in physics with applied physics and electronics before going on to qualify as an accountant. After fifteen years in accountancy, Cerys realised she no longer felt inspired, deciding to move into project management and programme management, which allowed her to make the most use of her technical background and knowledge. This marked the beginning of her career in technology and led her to REPL. In her position as CEO, Cerys has driven an organisational change within REPL by promoting new ways of thinking, creating a culture of feedback in which employees feel confident about challenging bias and ensuring the business does its due diligence of being a responsible company. This has seen Cerys introduce a diversity of thinking initiative in which a representative sample of people with different viewpoints are brought together to discuss certain topics. Cerys has highlighted that having more differing views around one table enables a richer and more thought- through answer to questions and problems than with a narrow selection of people. Working with people in the wider business, Cerys wants to ensure there is an inclusive environment for everyone at REPL by organising work social events that can involve everyone such as sports events that are appealing to both the men and women within the company. Cerys has encouraged REPL to move towards a culture that focuses on output and not time spent at desks to ensure its people strike the right work-life balance. Championing gender equality Over the last year, Cerys has spearheaded gender equality initiatives within REPL to actively change the perception that tech is a male-dominated industry and help the company to find ways to encourage women to enter into tech. Cerys has contended with male dominated environments throughout her career, from working at a power plant with no female toilets to competing with difficult progression opportunities in manufacturing and technology organisations. After speaking to female graduates at REPL, Cerys created the ‘Women in REPL’ initiative which provides a sense of community for women to support and champion each other. Since its initial conception, the initiative has expanded and now Cerys and other female colleagues at REPL visit women and girls in education to act as role models and show them that tech is a viable and exciting career. As fewer women go into tech at degree level, Cerys has worked to create a development programme and buddy scheme in which someone with less technical experience is buddied with someone technical. Cerys has also revolutionised the way REPL recruits to ensure the company achieves gender equality. Cerys’ latest recruitment initiative aims to challenge unconscious bias by removing names CERYS JOHNSON CEO at REPL Group Cerys Johnson Drives Cultural Shift at REPL Group Cerys Johnson, CEO at REPL Group, is the proud winner of a CEO Today Business Woman of the Year Award, adding to a hugely successful six months both for Cerys personally, having won the West Midlands Woman in Tech Award, and REPL which was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

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