We caught up with Alison Davies who is now the Chief Operating Officer for Saga Services and Director of Contact Centre Operations for the Saga Group.
She talked about her career aspirations, her ambitions for Saga and how confidence, bravery and being prepared to take risks are key to women executives achieving their goals.
What’s your new job?
In addition to my existing role, I have recently been appointed to ‘Director of Contact Centre Operations for the Saga Group. This includes responsibility over 2,000 people across 10 different locations for a broad portfolio of businesses including Holidays, Cruises, Claims, Healthcare in the home and Retirement villages. The primary purpose of my role is to build first class performance across the Group, delivering consistent services and exceptional customer outcomes. And, in addition, to develop the vision for a truly customer centric and omni channel business at Saga.
What do you think was key to getting this job?
After the first Top Flight session, I came away feeling 10 foot tall! I had completely undervalued my skills and expertise and had become too comfortable in my role. I had previously made the succession transition from being Finance Director to COO so I know I can take on any senior role in the business. I felt more empowered and had the confidence to put myself forward for a more senior role, hence the promotion. I also have an enormous passion for making the lives of people better, whether that be our staff or our customers, which drives my ambition of building a first class operation across the Group.
What are the benefits for an organisation to putting a woman on Top Flight?
An employer will see their women executives become more confident, much braver and prepared to take risks. They will come back to the office with a much broader view of running an organisation, an external perspective and an excellent strategic network. This is on top of all skills development such as media training and support from executive coaching, who somehow support you and challenge you at the same time.
How did Top Flight help you personally?
Three fold; being clear and confident about my career aspirations, building a strategic network and understanding the role of leadership in this VUCA world.
What’s your top tip for women developing their careers?
Believe in yourself, understand your purpose and be brave. Of course, you have to be yourself, there’s no point pretending to be something different. But if you follow those tips and are true to yourself, honest and keep your integrity, the world’s your oyster.