Human centric innovation at Fujitsu - interview with Regina Moran, CEO UK & Ireland

Written by
Mary Appleton

09 Mar 2016

09 Mar 2016 • by Mary Appleton

"I've learned that the more senior you are, the greater the impact you have – whether you’re aware of it or not,” says Regina Moran, CEO of Fujitsu UK and Ireland.

It was while on a leadership programme that she was asked the two defining questions of her career.“They asked: ‘how do people experience you?’ and ‘how do people experience themselves in your presence?’” she recalls. “I keep them in mind every day.”

Key to leadership for Moran, who took up the role of CEO of Fujitsu’s UK & Ireland business in June 2015, is being authentic, honest and open about where you want to take your business.

“Be conscious of your role as a leader and the impact you have – communicate effectively and give people situational context. I try to be the same with everybody.”

Moran began her career as an electronics engineer working on mainframe computers. In 1997, she co-founded DMR Consulting Ireland, later acquired by Fujitsu. She was appointed CEO of Fujitsu Services Ireland in August 2006 and CEO of Fujitsu Ireland in May 2009.

Thrilled to have been appointed CEO, she is motivated by the journey ahead. “Technology and engineering have the potential to solve social problems like food production and climate change,” she enthuses. “I believe business can be a force for good as well as a commercial enterprise.”

Responsible business

Fujitsu has ambitious plans to grow from a £1.6 to £2 billion business, diversifying and digitalising its offerings in a fiercely competitive marketplace.

Moran acknowledges that the line between customer and competitor is blurring,so businesses must work collaboratively. “Working with that mindset and allowing employees to work flexibly will underpin our growth,” she says.

Key to this is what Moran terms the “digitalisation of the value chain”. “We call it human centric innovation,” she explains. “The trick is to allow frontline people enough time to do the human bit, and let technology do its bit,” she says. “It’s about how technology enables people and benefits society.”

Fujitsu’s responsible business strategy comprises five pillars: environment, community development, wellbeing, operating policies, and diversity and inclusion. Being named responsible business of the year 2015 by Business in the Community’s (BITC) is, for Moran, an external validation of the organisation’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Fujitsu was commended for embedding sustainability into its business strategy, displaying exceptional leadership and reach within and beyond its own sector. “If we can use technology to enable people to work more effectively, they can do more good,” she says.

"Be conscious of your role as a leader 
and the impact you
can have"

Plugging the female talent pipeline

Moran is keen to increase Fujitsu’s female workforce in the UK and Ireland from 23% to 30%. She acknowledges that not enough girls are choosing technical careers.

“We do have good female representation at senior levels, but in the middle there’s a dynamic of people leaving and not coming back,” she says.

To address this, Fujitsu has implemented its 5Rs programme, covering recruitment, retention, representation, realisation and reputation.

Fujitsu’s mission involves working with schools to educate girls about careers in technology. “Make choices so you don’t qualify yourself out of a career,” she advises. “If 50% of the population decides they are not going to be in the game, it’s a huge fall out. It starts at a young age with stereotypes about choosing science.”

She believes tackling this will involve uncovering industry role models. As a mother of three, Moran is herself a role model. How has she managed to balance motherhood with her career? “When my youngest was born, my husband gave up his job. I couldn’t do my job without his support,” she says. “That was the right balance for us.”

She adds that children demand you stay “in the moment”. “It’s good to have that time where you are switched off from work.”

To progress to senior levels, Moran believes you must figure out for yourself what you want. “Ask yourself: can you plan the balance you want yourself and back yourself to go after it?”
Regardless of gender, Moran’s advice to leaders at all levels of seniority is to be in the moment with your people. “It’s better to give someone 15 minutes of presence than an hour with interrupts,” she says. “It’s all about awareness.”