Jackie Howes is the Director of Media Infrastructure Architecture at Discovery. We caught up with her for our In Focus series, which highlights the work of inspirational women from across the sector.
Hi Jackie, great to catch up! Could you tell us more about your role?
My present job title is Director of Media Infrastructure Architecture. The role of my team is to work with the traditional broadcast and production teams, understand their requirements and help the find a way to use IT solutions to meet their needs. Ultimately, we are driving force, melding different disciplines, creating flexible, dynamic, IT-centric models.
What does a day in your working life look like and has this changed dramatically as a result of Covid-19?
When you work for a global company across departmental and geographical divides, a large portion of your meetings must be always online – so from that perspective, Covid has not had a huge impact on my working day. However, moving into a world where 100% of our work interactions are online does have an impact.
Collaborative white board sessions are not an option in the old way – so I have had to adapt I do more drawings, as having a visual representation of a solution is invaluable as a discussion tool.
How did you begin your career and what inspired you to look at jobs within the broadcast technology sector?
My first job in the broadcast industry was at a production & transmission company in the early 90s; at that point I simply applied for an IT job. The visionary who employed me could see there was a need for a team that could bridge the gap between traditional broadcast engineers and IT. I was lucky enough to become part of that team, and from the start, I loved it! The challenges we face today and then are unique to our field. I love the fact that I am always learning new approaches, often on the cutting-edge of technology – and that this field never stands still.
How do you think the industry will change as a result of Covid-19?
Covid-19 has meant that we must work remotely. The industry has already changed and will continue to do so. I believe that the restriction of movement we faced this year has accelerated the centralisation of resources, whilst at the same time, demanding wider and more secure distribution of resource access.
This has been an unprecedented year; full of unforeseen obstacles, but with this has come positive change and growth as we have leapt forward at a rate that could not have been predicted, but which was absolutely needed.
What are you main challenges over the coming year?
Compressed into the new year, we will have not just 2021 live global events, but also the previous year’s rearranged events. This offers us the opportunity to benefit from our existing approaches and to expand and refine our models.
Thanks to Jackie for sharing more about her experiences. Don’t forget to visit our news section to read more inspirational stories from women working in broadcasting.