Chris Burgess speaks to us about his role in the technology sector and shares his thoughts on London’s Women of Silicon Roundabout, taking place 25-26th June 2019.
Chris Burgess is the VP of Corporate IT at the world’s largest travel company, Expedia Group. He leads a global team of over 700 people who are responsible for providing IT infrastructure and support for Expedia’s 25,000 employees in 200 offices worldwide. Chris is currently based in London and frequently travels to the US, India, and Europe as part of his global remit.
Chris is an ally, advocate and sponsor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Gender balance and sits on Expedia’s Inclusion forum. Like most Expedians, he has a passion for travel and loves visiting new countries and experiencing different cultures with his wife and two children.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the field of technology?
From a very early age I had a fascination with technology and it was all I wanted to do. Because it seemed to come naturally to me, I went into the field. I started in a Tech Support role and have worked my way up.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Although I am based in the UK, because I work for a US headquartered corporation I get a lot of email and Slack messages over night and my day starts with me picking my phone up and checking what’s happened while I’ve been sleeping. I then head into the office and am typically in a range of meetings on a variety of topics with teams from EMEA or APAC. Hopefully I have some time at a desk catching up on things and then head home to carry out calls into the evening when my teams in the US come online. In the middle of all that, I try and get some time with my wife and two young children.
Who is your tech inspiration? What have they done and why do they inspire you?
I have a couple of inspirations when it comes to women in tech, the first is possibly a little surprising, it’s one of my old male bosses, Todd Sanders. He was such a great role model for me, his tech teams were always gender balanced and he showed me the benefits of having a truly diverse team first hand. The second is more recent and her name is Kristen Weber, she works in our Expedia Brand team and is driving real change in our business when it comes to Diversity and Inclusion. She is innovative, collaborative and I’m lucky to work alongside her.
Are you working on anything exciting at the moment that you’d like to share with our readers?
The most exciting thing I’m working on is the build out of new campus locations for Expedia Group, we have new buildings in Seattle, Austin, London and Delhi and these cool spaces are full of amazing tech and will be a great place for Expedia employees to do their best work for years to come.
What is your Women of Silicon Roundabout talk about?
Allyship and how everybody being an ally will help us get to a place where we have increased gender balance in tech companies.
What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in tech?
It might seem like a cliché, but keep learning and keep challenging yourself to try new things. The tech industry moves so quickly and therefore standing still isn’t an option. Secondly, I would say be your authentic self, don’t try to hide or mask your true personality, being authentic will make you stand out.
Drive your digital economy at Women of Silicon Roundabout
Join Chris and Expedia Group at London's top women in tech conference. Be inspired by the ecosystem's most influential women in technology, network with like-minded female founders, liaise with top Silicon Roundabout tech companies and enhance your skills portfolio in a thought-provoking atmosphere.
You can catch Chris’ speech on Tuesday 25th June from 10 am at Women of Silicon Roundabout. With tickets selling out fast, secure your place now.