What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was straight out of university – I was selling survey questionnaire software over the phone for £499 per copy. I was paid 10 per cent of every sale, which seemed like a fortune at the time. I bought a convertible car from my commission (one of those you have to physically fold back), and thought I had made it! I left the job after a year to go travelling.
What is your favourite joke, or the one you heard most recently?
I have a rather loud voice and apparently people can hear me on the other side of the building
I’m not sure if it’s my favourite, but I definitely hear it very often from my three-year-old son: “Why are pirates called pirates? Because they arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” I love it. I hear it at least three times a day and have to laugh every time.
Tea or coffee, and how do you have it?
Definitely very milky, “builder’s” tea. I’m not a big fan of coffee and I only drink espresso if I’m on the continent – I don’t know why, but it seems to taste so much better. Maybe it’s just being on holiday.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
I miss the day when you break up for the holidays and think summer will go on forever.
Which is more important: a good leader, or the team as a whole?
A good leader is so important as they shape the team – he or she gives the team the right level of support, provides vision, coaches and supports them, and can turn an average team into an outstanding one.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
My toughest moment at work was when I came back after six months of maternity leave – I struggled leaving my little boy and it was hard. It’s important that companies understand how to support parents returning to work, which is why I’m such a supporter of the changes for paternity leave. I’ve learned how to build discipline with time and CA has been really supportive and flexible – I tend to get in early to be at my desk by 7.30am so that I can leave earlier to be home in time for story-telling and bedtime.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
I’m not very good at climbing up slippery glass walls so I would probably bang on the side and yell – I have a rather loud voice and apparently people can hear me on the other side of the building, so hopefully I could use that to my advantage!
What are your three greatest accomplishments (so far)?
Having my little boy; getting a law degree while enjoying university; being recognised as the global channel sales director of the year at CA Technologies; backpacking around the world for a year; buying our first house... it’s difficult to choose just three!
Your closest near-death experience?
I’ve had a few of those, as I’ve been in a few car crashes but the closest was when I accidentally ate some peanuts (I have a strong nut allergy) and a few hours later went to the gym. I got anaphylaxis while on the treadmill and had to be taken to hospital.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
I would argue with the use of the word ‘boss’. A perfect boss is first and foremost a leader. A perfect leader is inspirational, has integrity and fantastic communication skills. I would also add that he or she needs a sense of humour to keep the team motivated and energy levels up. Keeping the team upbeat is what makes them go that extra mile, since there’s always a time when something goes wrong, and morale is tightly linked to productivity.
Golf is a good walk wasted. Discuss!
I disagree! I love golf and I take it to an exceptionally bad standard. My other half, father and brothers love to play it, so I realised if I wanted to spend time with them at weekends, I needed to learn. I’m bad at it, but enjoy it.
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