Sodexo Ireland is part of the French-owned Sodexo Group, the world’s largest multi-services company. As country president, Margot has corporate governance and directorial responsibility for all its operations in Ireland and Northern Ireland, where it employs 3,700 people with a turnover of €118m in 2016.
Margot appears on the OUTstanding/Financial Times’ 2017 list of Top 100 LGBT Business Leaders and Cranfield University School of Management’s list of 100 Women to Watch in 2016. Margot was both Image Magazine’s CEO of the Year and Irish Tatler’s Businesswoman of the Year for 2016. For her work in promoting diversity and inclusion and women in business, Margot won a Trailblazer Award at the 2016 WXN Most Powerful Women in Ireland Awards and in June 2017, was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French Ambassador to Ireland. Outside Sodexo, Margot sits on the council of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and is President of Appeals for the Irish Hospitality Trust. She is a board member of Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, the Bord Bia Horticulture Subsidiary Board, Sofinsod Insurance DAC and Injuries Claims Board Ireland among others.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
Yes it can, but it must in my view be married with emotional intelligence and a real sense of ownership.
When you are filling a leadership role in your organisation what qualities do you look for from candidates?
Attitude, emotional intelligence, empathy and resilience.
If you had to leave your organisation for 1 year what would you ask of your team and what advice would you give them?
To take risks and grow and develop, my advice would be to always do this with quality of life as a lens through which to make those decisions.
What are you doing today to make sure your organisation will be relevant in 10 years time?
Trying to lead on the concerns, topics, opportunities of the future.
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
There are many – they include Cathriona Hallahan in Microsoft for gentle but very firm leadership, Louise Phelan in PayPal for breaking new ground in tech and financial services and for massive growth and Norah Casey for her bravery and being a change-maker.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
I find a wealth of resources on Twitter and LinkedIn and especially if you look around, leadership and ted talks and books like the latest from Arianna Huffington ”The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time”