Top job: Lydia Edwards, head of human resources, Copart UK

Where were you working before?

I worked for Coloplast, the UK subsidiary of a Danish medical devices company.

What qualifications do you hold?

CIPD, postgraduate certificate in management studies, financial planning certificates, and an HND in business and finance.

What are the duties in your new role?

Working with the existing HR team to ensure a good service for our 425 UK employees. Duties include harmonisation and change management as we merge three companies and look to expand. I have four direct reports and I report to the executive vice-president in the US.

What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?

Demonstrating and maintaining commercial presence within a global environment.

What is the essential tool in your job?

My wellies – try walking round a car yard without them.

And the most overrated?

My BlackBerry – give me a basic mobile phone any day.

What is the worst thing about HR?

People believing that you’ve got to have your CIPD to be any good at it.

How do you fill your spare time?

Spending time with my husband looking after our chickens and a cat called Geoff.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

An employee once faked his own death – not for the insurance money, he just didn’t want to work for the company anymore.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Driven, intelligent and fair.

What song gets you on the dance floor?

Two Can Play That Game, by Bobby Brown.

What is your worst habit?

I always think I’m right.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Leaving financial services to focus on getting an HR job, and taking a salary cut of two-thirds to get it.

What three items would you take on a desert island?

A boat, a motor and a set of oars – I’d have to get off.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

Sandra Bullock – she always copes with crisis but remains honest throughout.

What is the worst office party you’ve ever attended?

A Christmas do a few years ago, where the speeches went on for ages and people started talking among themselves. The director told everyone (including their partners) that they were acting like children.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?

Robbie Williams.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

If life kicks you, get up and kick it back twice as hard.


Dec 2007-present
Head of HR, Copart UK (vehicle salvage)

Sep 2003-Nov 2007
HR manager, Coloplast (medical devices firm)

Nov 2001-Sept 2003
Personnel adviser, EPM (HR provider to education sector)

Apr 1998-Jul 2001
Financial consultant, Norwich Union

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