Education: Bachelorís degree in management sciences from University of Manchester, Manchester, England
Family: Husband, Alick
Group finance director of Inchcape.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
In a previous position I was involved in selling off some of the companyís businesses. The financial success of this project was central to the survival of the company.
What is your current challenge at work?
The implementation of global systems for the business. Also, Inchape is entering a new phase of its strategic development so we have the challenge of managing that. Iím new to both the automotive and retail sectors and Iím finding the experience very exciting and interesting.
What about the auto industry surprised you?
That motor retailing is so local and country specific. There are very few international players.
What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
Iíve always tried to think things through before taking action. This usually means you can avoid making the mistake in the first place or at least make a small rather than a big mistake.
What are the biggest obstacles facing women in the auto industry?
Iím not conscious of anything in particular that affects the career development of women more than men.
What strengths in particular do you think women bring to business?
The women Iíve encountered in senior positions are extremely hard working and tend to focus on their jobs rather than on organizational politics. I think not being distracted by politics means they bring more clarity to what they do.
1997 -- 2005: Finance director, Croda International
1993 -- 1997: Group finance director, Wessoe
I think facilities should be provided to enable them to have the kind of work-life balance they want.
By this I mean making it possible for women to take time out to have children and then resume their careers.
Are you doing anything to get more women interested in automotive careers?
I donít tend to think about gender in the workplace. Iím a believer in hiring and promoting on the basis of merit.
What is the best professional or personal advice anyone has given you? Who gave it to you?
Always go for the best. This was the advice of one of my tutors at university.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in the auto industry?
If thatís what you want to do then get out there and do it.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
It might be nice to run my own business.
What do you do to relax?
I walk a lot and enjoy the theater, good food and travel. I also collect wine and art.
If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
Listen and talk to the people.