Charlotte Scott is the Executive General Manager for MEDITECH UK and Ireland, a global leader in providing integrated software solutions to meet the information needs of health care organisations around the world.
Having been with the company for almost fourteen years, Charlotte has grown alongside MEDITECH. During our conversation, we discussed her journey, the challenges she has encountered along the way, and her advice for those aspiring to lead within the health tech sector.
Charlotte’s story is part of a series of articles highlighting the careers of female tech leaders. We’ve brought together these stories in an effort to prove that the route to leadership is never a straight line.
Breaking Barriers: From Customer Support to Executive General Manager
After obtaining a degree in business studies, Charlotte embarked on her career journey with an open mind. Like many new graduates, she took a job that came and started working in the private sector in a customer support role.
She then moved to the NHS to explore finance and accountancy. While she loved working in the NHS, she also felt there was a barrier to move upwards. That led her to look outside into the private sector within a financial role.
“Again, within the financial role, whilst it was a great experience, you felt there was a lid on your cup. That’s something that we speak about now in our company, making sure that you don’t put the lid on someone’s cup and don’t limit them. So that led me to speaking to somebody in a different department and she came to me one day and said, “Have you ever thought about working from home and working in project management?” and I was like “Okay, I will think about it”.
After giving it some thought, she eventually became a part of MEDITECH which, at the time, was a 100% work-from-home company in the UK. That was a big adjustment for Charlotte.
“It was quite isolating at the time (…) Some weeks you wouldn’t speak to anybody else. And then during that time, I had children. So, it was a bit of a strange period of adjusting to being on your own and then having that time where your children were next to you whilst you worked.”
As the company evolved and changed to the UK entity of a wider global organisation, the team’s really grown, the structures formalised and the opportunities for senior positions have arisen. In the beginning of 2020, Charlotte was put into the Executive team.
Work vs Family life
Charlotte revealed that being curious and always asking questions led to many opportunities. As a result, she was promoted to the position of Executive General Manager, with the significant responsibility of overseeing EPR implementations and business development. But a position of responsibility like this and being a mother comes with some challenges.
“I think #1 rule is you’ve got to love what you’re doing during hours of work. It’s not just a job. It’s a part of my life. (…) In my interview for this job many years ago, I said to my to be boss “I want it all. I want the career, I want to have children (…) I wanted him to be aware that that was my plans.”
So how does Charlotte manage to balance the business needs and family life? A book she recently read taught her a valuable lesson.
“It’s wrong to expect that you can have it all. Whilst that sounds negative, you can have it all but not at the same time.”
Being a successful female leader is a balancing act. Trying to juggle everything at once can negatively impact your performance in all areas of life. At times, you need to prioritise either work or family. When confronted with demanding work schedules, Charlotte’s husband takes care of their children, allowing her to meet pressing deadlines. But of course, there are times when family comes first. No matter what, Charlotte strives to show her children the importance of her job and how it helps to support them and their future.
Beyond Technical Expertise
Charlotte isn’t a techy person by heart but she emphasises the importance of soft skills in leadership such as being open to learning.
“Leadership isn’t necessarily knowing everything about technical elements (…) But I think if you don’t naturally have the understanding you need to go out of your way to find out (…) You can lead without being technical. I just think you have to be open to learning. “
Charlotte’s values are reflected in MEDITECH’s commitment to not just recruiting people for their technical expertise, but also for their personality, passion, and potential. She believes that it is important to create a culture that allows people to thrive and grow.
“We want people who are hungry to learn and who will be here for the long haul.”
Charlotte also highlights the importance of being honest and recognising that we’re all human. While it can be hard to be vulnerable at work, sharing her own story led to her co-workers opening up about similar issues they were facing. This allows to help each other out instead of going through hard times in isolation.
For those who are looking to follow in Charlotte’s footsteps and becoming a leader, she offers some valuable advice that helped her on her own journey to becoming the Executive General Manager for MEDITECH.
As a leader, it’s crucial to listen to others, value their opinions and put your ego aside. Collaboration and input from colleagues are something Charlotte actively encourages. She also stresses the importance of speaking up and asking questions. This demonstrates your eagerness to learn.
“Getting to where I am now is because I kept putting my hand up. So if you want to achieve something, opportunities aren’t gonna fall at your doorstep. So put your hand up. Show willing.”
Finally, Charlotte shares that it’s important to remember that you have control over how someone else’s actions make you feel, whether it’s a supervisor, colleague, customer, or partner.