Job title: Director of human resources
Company: SAP UK
HR director, responsible for 700 employees as well as a member of the UK management team.
HR manager at Norwich Union Healthcare and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
What attracted you to HR?
While temping, I worked alongside an excellent HR team who inspired me to pursue it as a future career.
Which of your previous jobs has had the most impact on your current role?
Working for PricewaterhouseCoopers. I was part of a really self-motivated and challenging team, which helped me develop my skills.
What are the key skills that you need to succeed in your current role?
Influence, commercial awareness and humanity.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being involved in management and ensuring HR issues are visible, and that peoples issues are understood and heard.
What do you enjoy least about your job?
I get frustrated by the fact that people still have old-world perceptions of HR, that its just glamorised administration.
What has been your greatest achievement in work?
Working with a small team to implement the UK version of the 2000 global change programme at SAP. The objective was to change the way we interact with our customers. This meant getting commitment from key managers and their teams.
Who has had the greatest influence on your work?
The HR manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers always gave immediate and upfront feedback and support, and was able to turn issues on their head to give a different perspective.
What advice would you give to people starting out in an HR career?
Personal skills and attitude are more important than formal training. If you want to specialise after having worked in another department that is possible.
What is the most important contribution that HR makes to business?
Ensuring that individuals feel they are well-trained and have the correct skills and environment in which to do their job.
Which businessperson you do admire most?
Anita Roddick, a businesswoman in a mans world. She didnt drop her strong principles, which ultimately brought success.