Growing up in a family with an affluent facade, Debra suffered in silence from sexual abuse by a family member until she was 17. Her mother, more focused on social climbing and maintaining their affluent lifestyle, ignored her plight. The family moved to Sittingbourne, Kent, where Debra’s isolation and bullying began, making it even more challenging for her to come to terms with her painful experiences.
Despite these hardships, Debra excelled academically and attended Stowe School, one of the UK’s most prestigious public schools. However, the abuse from her father reached a breaking point when she was 18, and she finally stood up to him, leading to her expulsion from home with just £5 to her name.
The subsequent years were filled with homelessness and abusive relationships. Still, Debra’s determination to break free from her past led her to Bristol, where she began a career in publishing and advertising. Her life took another challenging turn when she had to escape from an abusive marriage to a cocaine-addicted retired property developer.
At 40, Debra embarked on a remarkable journey in the banking industry, starting from a low-tier position at Barclays. Her hard work and dedication led her to headhunting by the International desk at Canary Wharf. She steadily climbed the ranks, eventually working in management consultancy managing critical global operations for major companies such as Hitachi. Throughout her career, Debra faced the challenges of her past while caring for her ailing mother for nine years.
Despite these obstacles, she founded Viessentially Ltd in 2016, a highly efficient virtual admin streamlining service. Viessentially Ltd has become a leader in transforming internal operations for numerous businesses, enhancing productivity and growth. With branches in various countries and a focus on cybersecurity, it continues to expand its innovative services.
Debra’s story has earned her the nickname “The Mary Poppins of the Office,” symbolising her commitment to using her skills and experience to support and inspire others and positively impact the world.
Debra Blackman is available for interviews and first-person pieces, sharing her inspiring journey and insights on relevant topics in TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and other media platforms.