Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO, Mitie

Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO, Mitie

Article excerpt

Some say I'm a bit outspoken. I probably need to think more before saying what I feel, because occasionally it can get me into hot water But I'm happy being like that. More people should say what they feel.

When I started my career as an accountant, I was a bit bored. I went to a small firm called Serco. In the 1990s the UK went through a recession and outsourcing took off. I loved the fast-growth environment, and I've stayed in the services sector ever since.

I don't agree with board quotas. You need to put talent first and focus on whether someone will be good at the job. Did I focus on being a female in business or being born in India? No, I just tried to build a career. I do think that everyone has a bias towards the kind of people they want to employ.

As a leader you need to make decisions really quickly and be brave about doing so. You also need to go with your instincts, which people never do when they're younger because they worry too much.

The biggest obstacle that many working people face is expensive childcare. Employers need to be more understanding that having kids is a big change in your life. …

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