Meet Sandy Lucas, Quality Leader, GE Capital EMEA, London
Sandy Lucas is Quality Leader, GE Capital EMEA, London. In this interview she shares her experience working for GE.
What is your current role?
Quality Leader for GE Capital EMEA. I am also the co-leader for the GE Women’s Network across EMEA engaging with over 15,000 females across 30+ countries. This is a voluntary role.
How did you start your working life?
I have enjoyed a 19 year career at GE. Prior to joining GE I was a PR Executive in a fashion PR company responsible for the Burberrys and Max Mara accounts and I worked in advertising as an Account Executive for Nat West Bank.
What has been the journey to that role in terms of other career milestones?
The only constant in that journey so far is change! I have been in 9 roles in 4 different locations across 19 years.
When did you decide you wanted to take this career route?
My career path continues to evolve. I know my strengths, what inspires and motivates me. I have a thirst for learning, for leading and developing others and I am very passionate about making a difference – so as long as those needs are satisfied – who knows where the route will take me!
What do you most enjoy about your job?
My team is accountable for leading process improvements that deliver tangible business impact and enhance the customer experience. Our outputs are highly visible and sustainable which is personally very rewarding. I love the fact that the scope of my role spans across 19 countries in EMEA. I interact with hundreds of colleagues with diverse backgrounds and cultures. I am able to learn from them and share my experiences and expertise with them.
As the co-leader for the GE Women’s Network – I also play an active role in fostering the professional development of females across EMEA. The Network helped to grow and develop me as an emerging leader many years ago and I see it as my responsibility to help other females in their career development.
Have you had an important mentor along the way?
I have been fortunate to work for inspirational leaders in GE and they have coached and mentored me during my career progression. To me the most important success criteria with mentoring is chemistry – if that is strong – both parties should derive value from the relationship.
How has GE helped you progress in your career?
GE challenged me and offered me stretch assignments to help accelerate my development. One that springs to mind instantly is when I accepted a 12 month assignment to become the Managing Director of our Nordic Equipment Finance business. I led the transformation of the business to become profitable and financially predictable whilst developing a clear roadmap for growth and talent development. I lived in Stockholm for 12 months and travelled to Oslo, Helsinki and Copenhagen regularly……Stockholm has now become one of my favourite cities!
What tips and advice would you give to young women starting out on their career today?
My advice to young women starting out is – be self-aware – know what you like doing and what you don’t. Set yourself aspirational goals for your career development and make sure you take the time out to measure how you’re doing against them. Be confident in who you are and make sure you have fun at work.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Honestly – I have never been one to set 5 year plans – all I can say is that I hope I have a good balance between my career and personal life and I continue to develop as a leader….and of course I’m happy and fulfilled!
In your words, why do you think GE has been named one of the Times Top 50 employers for women?
I am thrilled that GE has been named as one of the Top 50 employers for women. This is tremendous recognition for the company and the incredible efforts of the Women’s Network who have played a pivotal role in supporting GE’s efforts to grow, attract and retain successful women.
Diversity and specifically gender diversity counts at GE and we have a number of systems and structures in place to support this….the results speak for themselves 40% of our employees in Europe are and a significant number in senior roles. We cannot rest on our laurels though – we have to constantly champion this agenda and continuously strive to support female development.