Brittany Benson: Gill, could you share a little bit about your role at Sage?
Gill Oakley: I'm the VP for Customers for Life at Sage People. I'm responsible for all things customers. So from the minute a customer signs, my team support the implementation, training, learning services, customer support, customer success, and more.
Brittany Benson: Can you share a little bit about how you got involved in the world of technology?
Gill Oakley: I was in payroll for about 15 years. I felt like I'd reached a point within payroll management, that there was nowhere really else to go. I loved working with systems, and it felt like the natural thing to move over to work in implementation and consultancy, where I could work on systems. I've been doing that for the last 15 years, and it's brilliant. Although I come from a payroll background, payroll and HR are usually coupled, which has served well for my role within Sage People.
Brittany Benson: What would you say is the best part of your job?
Gill Oakley: I have the best team in the world. They challenge me and I learn from them on a daily basis. I've got some really technical people who know far much more about the system than I do. They have a vision of what we can be doing to improve the whole customer experience. They motivate me every day.
Brittany Benson: Customers are so important in your role and that's just ingrained in Sage's culture – the customers are at the heart of everything that we do. How do you ensure that you're always working with a very customer centric framework in mind?
Gill Oakley: My teams are customer facing and a lot of people have come from either an HR or payroll background, or they have been customers themselves. They know the expectations of what it is to value a customer and what they would expect as a customer. It is a genuine mindset that they have working within those teams. They always put the customer first, and are so passionate about doing the right thing for the customer.
Brittany Benson: Do you have a vision for the future? Perhaps where you see your life and career in 10, 15, 20 years?
Gill Oakley: Even at 10 years, I know that I want to be retired, lying on a beach, enjoying my life. I think one of the great things about working at Sage, is that my career went on a very fast trajectory. I'm incredibly proud of where I am now as a vice-president in Sage; It's such a big, global organization. I'm happy where I am. But my team are everything to me, and there are people who I want to see go on that trajectory as well. It's very important to me to see the development with my team and see them achieve their dreams.
Read the other colleague profiles who are part of Sage’s Women in Technology interview series.