How do you typically start a working day?
The first thing I usually do is ask myself where I am! I'm responsible for the Fujitsu product business in 37 markets and our company is headquartered in Tokyo, so I'm almost always travelling. I tend to start my weekdays by working out what time zone I'm in, and whether I'm already late for anything.
How long is your commute and what do you do during it?
Because of my travel, every commute is different. It can range from an 11-hour flight to Japan at the beginning of the week to a bus ride to our Baker Street office in central London. My week typically begins and ends with a taxi ride from the airport.
"I'm trying to support the LGBT employee base in technology, and make sure that Fujitsu for one is the sort of place where you can be yourself"
What is your attitude to flexible working in your company?
I'm very favourable towards flexible working, and use it frequently myself. Employers don't need to have everyone struggling to make the journey to one fixed location or to invest in large numbers of buildings, now that we have the technology to allow people to get a better work/life balance. We should be thinking of people's performance based on how effectively they contribute, not whether they're in the same location every day. It's how the world of work is changing, and as a modern technology employer this is something that Fujitsu tries to accommodate.
What would your colleagues say is your worst habit?
My worst habit is probably my bad jokes - which often get lost in translation with my colleagues in other countries!
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
If I could change one thing, it would be to make us faster at everything. Agility is crucial in the modern business world, and I get impatient when I feel like it's taking too long to make decisions. I would also love to never make the same mistake twice.
What do you do for the bulk of a typical day?
It's often said, but there really is no such thing as a typical day for me. A large part of my time is spent meeting our customers and our partners in the channel to build relationships and make sure that we're meeting their needs. I also often speak to the media, about Fujitsu and at an industry level. I'm deputy president of TechUK, and it's important to me to use this platform to discuss key industry issues, such as Brexit, and to advance the position of women in technology and business.
I'm trying to support the LGBT employee base in technology, and make sure that Fujitsu for one is the sort of place where you can be yourself. Internally, I review performances within the businesses I'm responsible for, and communicate with shareholders and management.
How do you unwind at the end of the day?
If I'm at home, I turn on the TV and watch something mindless. I'm really enjoying a French cops-and-robbers series called Braquo at the moment. When I'm travelling, I'm always reading. I'm currently reading a brilliant biography of Labour prime minister Clement Attlee, who succeeded Winston Churchill. It's really compelling, particularly at the moment - Attlee understood the need to form effective working relationships with your political opponents for the greater good. The book is called Citizen Clem - out now at all good retailers!
What quotation best sums up your approach to business?
As a former American boss of mine used to say, "nothing's done till it's done", which I've found to be very wise advice. Too many people make the mistake of talking about outcomes being certain.
What do you enjoy most and least about your job?
I think it's a great privilege to spend time with people from different countries. I really enjoy getting to understand different cultures and how you can collaborate to deliver an outstanding international solution. You can learn lots and become a wiser person. The thing I like least is the tyranny of email; I know it's a necessary evil of the business world, but talking to people directly can be a much more effective use of time.
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