Solihull Logistics Technology Manager Nicola Fry directs one of the most challenging and crucial business functions and is also a mother of two young children. People Talk meets someone who successfully combines her passion for Jaguar Land Rover and Solihull with a busy family life.
One suspects there’s no such thing as a quiet day for Nicola. Leading a major team that’s right at the heart of our operation, running 24/7 to challenging deadlines whilst continuously striving to innovate (as the site grows and new models and technologies come on-stream) means any moments to relax are few and far between. Nicola is also a working parent and balances her professional commitments alongside raising her two young children; making every moment at home precious.
“Ensuring a healthy work-life balance is important to me, I pride myself on delivering my commitments and working hard. I’ve learnt that I’m at my most effective when I maintain this balance and take time out to do the things I enjoy with my family and friends.”
This hectic schedule is made easier by the fact that Nicola’s passion for Jaguar Land Rover goes years back. Her father is a car enthusiast who initially sparked her interest in the industry, leading Nicola to go on and secure a work placement with Rover Group in Germany simply by having the get-up-and-go to write and ask them whether she could help out.
This successful placement led on to Nicola joining their Graduate Programme in 1996 where she jumped at the chance to work at Solihull, where she has been ever since - turning down a firm offer from Nissan in the process.
“It’s been great to see our products and people develop and be part of a success story. I’ve seen Solihull grow into a world-class manufacturing business with the potential to be even better!”
So was developing a successful career in a deadline-driven side of the business more difficult as a woman with a young family to care for as well?
“Balancing work and life is a challenge for all of us and I have good and bad days like everyone that chooses to pursue a career whilst raising a family. I have never felt held back and I work with a team (and broader business) that values all of the benefits a diverse workforce brings to an organisation.”
Nicola’s advice to any colleague keen to develop is that opportunities are available and the crucial thing is to work hard and be true to yourself and your values.
“We’re an innovative and forward thinking Enterprise where opportunities for personal growth and development are abundant.”
“My key recommendation is to have a positive outlook, deliver on your commitments and enjoy yourself along the way. Jaguar Land Rover will support your growth and encourage you to explore opportunities if you’re motivated and work hard. Hopefully, I am proof of that.”
What happens on those rare occasions when Nicola is not Mum or Manager?
“I’m always a Mum and a Manager and I wouldn’t change that for the world, if you’re asking me what I like to do in my spare time then I love to Ski, though at best I’m an enthusiastic amateur who’s striving to be better!”