Nikki Scarr - International Women's Spotlight
International Women’s Week at Senseye
During International Women's Week, we want to put a spotlight on our female team members here at Senseye. Each day we will publish an interview with an inspirational woman and find out about their career journey, role models, and aspirations. Senseye believes in maximizing effectiveness through multiple different data feeds. We also apply this to our people because each person brings a valuable new skillset and a fresh perspective to the team, enhancing effectiveness.
In the spotlight: Nikki Scarr, based in Penallt near Monmouth, Wales.
What is your role at Senseye, and what are your typical daily tasks and activities?
I am the Strategic Growth Director at Senseye. My role is to work with the operational side of the business (sales, marketing, and delivery) to enable our customers to gain maximum value from Senseye PdM and grow the use of Senseye within our customers. I also look after the Condition Monitoring team and manage some of our Senseye implementations. I am proud to be a member of the Senior Leadership team. I usually spend most of my day talking to people – the thing I love most!
What has been your career journey to date?
I have had a fulfilling and enjoyable working life with many challenging roles, resulting from luck and hard work in equal measures. I have held Director and Vice President roles for over 25 years in software organizations, and I am now approaching retirement. It has been one long enjoyable learning experience with a landscape that has slowly become more acceptable for women at the director level. I love sport and did my first degree at Birmingham University, holding Athletic Union Chairman and Vice President of the Students' Union. I went on to do a PGCE at the University of Exeter. After teaching Maths and PE in a London comprehensive, I decided to do a government-funded course in Systems Analysis and Design and never went back, despite best intentions! I began my computing career in a software services company called Frazer Williams as an analyst programmer. Over the next few years, I moved to Consultancy, Project Management, and later Professional Services Management. In 2001 I got a lucky break; I was Professional Services Director at GEAC, later Infor, a company growing very fast through acquisition. It allowed me to manage services teams of over 200 people across Europe and turnover of over $50m, a great way to develop one's leadership skills. Since leaving Infor in 2014, I have worked for three software organizations, holding Chief Operating Officer positions at LINKFRESH, Production Director at Muddy Boots Software, and now Strategic Growth Director at Senseye, which I have loved. Moving from large to smaller organizations was challenging; I needed to be nimble and be prepared to glide from a detailed to a strategic level.
Who would you consider a role model?
Martina Navratilova is one of tennis's best-ever players, and she did this in extremely challenging circumstances. She is always prepared to do what she feels is right, regardless of public opinion. Since retiring from tennis, she has been a tireless advocate for gender equality, both in sport and the wider world.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
My top priority is being with my family. Bob and I have two boys in their 20's and a married daughter, and they have two girls. Being a grannie is lovely!
We live in a beautiful area in the Wye Valley in Wales. The walks are amazing, and we have taken full advantage of them through the lockdown. I still run, but slowly, my years of doing Marathons are behind me! I play tennis and squash locally and help in the Village.
I am an avid sports fan and addicted to Cricket! I also play many cards, Bridge being my favorite, another great pastime for lockdown.
What do you hope to accomplish at Senseye?
Well, I retire in three months after a long and successful career. Back in the early 80s, the working landscape was very different from today. It was a "man's world" with no flexibility or acknowledgment of the need for a work/life balance. I have encouraged and supported women in science/tech, and the opportunities available today are very encouraging for the future. I feel that women bring a combination of people and technical skills to a role, which is invaluable when working with highly specialized products and solutions such as Senseye's.
Alongside my sporting pursuits, I'm looking forward to spending time with my family, and my daughter is setting up a business, so there are lots to keep me busy in retirement. We will also travel to the more unusual parts of the world and see as many friends as we can. Of course, I might return to the working world – I've already retired once after all!
Continue with us this International Women's Week and read more about the wonderful working women of Senseye in our next blog.