What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career?
To treat people fairly and as you would wish to be treated.
What is the strangest situation you have had to deal with at work?
Working in East Germany trying to restructure the business with no language skills and a new management team.
Imagine being stranded on a desert island with enough food for only two people. Who would be your companion and why?
My husband. We would have time to discuss all the things that get lost in the maelstrom of business and family lives. The other option would be Thomas More so I could debate Utopia with him.
If you had three wishes to change your firm what would they be?
1 A chance to reflect a little more before I make a decision. This is always difficult in a fast-moving business and industry when you are new to the company and the sector.
2 To have everyone based in one building. We are currently spread over four sites in London and this makes logistics that much harder.
3 Interoute is a company of young and dynamic individuals; the ability to harness these skills more effectively would be tremendous.
What is the best thing about working in HR?
The diversity of situations I deal with working on a pan-European basis.
What is the worst?
Trying to keep up with legislation.
You have stumbled upon a time machine. What period would you visit and why?
The court of Henry VIII. The times were fraught with danger politically, yet people made moral judgments that cost them their lives or undertook political intrigues that ended in a trip to the Tower. I would ask people why and see if the historians got it right.
If you could adopt the management style of an historical character, whose would you adopt and why?
Hatshepsut (1504-1482BC) – she was one of the only queens in Egypt who became a pharaoh in her own right. She brought prosperity and success through negotiation and trading.
If you were to write a book, which subject would you choose?
I would write a children’s story with beautiful illustrations.
What is you greatest strength?
Multitasking to enable me to fit most of the things I want to into my life and operate at different levels in the business to deliver the HR strategy.
What is your least appealing characteristic?
I am impatient.
How do you deal with confronting people with difficult issues?
I take a deep breath, get my facts straight and then talk to them honestly about the situation.