International Women's Day 2022
Date: 08 March 2022
In support of International Women’s Day (Tuesday 8 March 2022), we’re sharing the career journeys of some of our inspirational colleagues throughout the day to help inspire others.
Read the story of Tracy Stocker, Director of Operations for Flow Discharge and Integration, below.
My career might be with the NHS now, but it’s not where I started out.
I’d always wanted to work in forensics but I thought needed to join the police force as an officer. Then I found out that the Metropolitan Police recruited civilians to work in its fingerprint and forensic departments, which was just as well as there was a height limit to become a police officer and I was several inches too short!
I started working at Croydon Police Station in 1989 after leaving college, halfway through my A-Levels, to take up an administrative assistant position logging arrest warrants.
Two years later I started a new position at New Scotland Yard as a trainee identification officer, which combined the role of a fingerprint expert with the role of scenes of crime officer (SOCO). For five years I learned my trade through courses, exams and experience, during which I was awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation in relation to the work I’d done with the counter-terrorism fingerprint team.
By September 1996 I’d not only became a nationally registered fingerprint expert but also completed all of the forensic modules required to progress to identification officer.
Over the years I worked on everything from burglaries to murder enquiries, then in 2001 I was appointed Senior Scenes of Crime Officer for Sussex Police. The role involved managing and co-ordinating serious and major crime scenes. I was part of the small team invited into China to investigate the murder of a young Sussex woman.
I think one of the proudest moments of my career was in 1999 though when I was seconded to the Home Office as the programme manager for the devolution of paper fingerprint classification through a new computer system. The role took me all over the country and working with 42 different police service to implement and mobilise the new IT system as well as the setting of the processes, training and troubleshooting.
One thing many people may not know about me is that one of the characters in the Peter James novel ‘Dead Man’s Grip’ is named after me! My colleague was an advisor for the novels and I commented that the Crime Scene Manager was always a man, which wasn’t representative as five out of the nine in Sussex were women. A few days later I received a call from Peter asking if I would meet him. We had lunch and after becoming an advisor for the book he named the character after me.
After 20 years the time had finally come for me to look for something new that fitted around me and my family. I was appointed as the Met’s Head of Electronic Security leading on contracting, procurement and projects across the whole of London. As a result I learned a whole new set of skills and enhanced my knowledge particularly in budget management and strategy.
Although I hadn’t worked in healthcare before I had a great deal of transferable skills and experience, so in 2014 I applied for Assistant Director of Adult Community Services at Bromley Healthcare and got it. During my time there I passed the ‘Nye Bevan’ programme for aspirant directors with the NHS Leadership Academy.
After four years I moved to Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust where I was Deputy Area Director for Adult Services, then in August 2020 I joined Medway NHS Foundation Trust as Interim Deputy Chief Operating Officer before being appointed Director of Operations for Flow Discharge and Integration.
I love working at Medway and I feel privileged to work with so many hard working and dedicated teams. I look back on my career and think about the good times and the challenging times. I, like so many others, have experienced discrimination and bullying along my career journey but thankfully it has given me the courage to know my worth and ensure I lead with humility and compassion.
In support of International Women’s Day we’re sharing the career journeys of some of our inspirational colleagues throughout the day to help inspire others.
Find out how the first job of Tracy Stocker, the Trust's Director of Operations for Flow Discharge and Integration, led to one of the characters in a book, written by a well-known author, being named after her!