Barbara Cox Awards 2020 nominees: Sarah Symcox

Sarah Symcox of Volvo Cars

on Feb 28, 08:30 AM

Sarah Symcox

Could you give us a brief biography of you and your career?

  • 1990 – Started my working life as a Sales Negotiator in commercial property sales.

  • 1992 – moved into automotive working for a Volvo Retailer as a Fleet Sales Executive. After managing large corporate accounts and Leasing Company relationships I moved across to local Business and developed sales in the local area for Volvo/Honda.

  • 1997 – progressed to Evans Halshaw Fleetcare in a newly created team offering contract hire and funding solutions to businesses nationally.

  • 1999 – joined Volvo in the Finance company managing the finance and insurance performance of around 20 retailers. I went on to be a top performer and Ford Financial award winner for the processes which I implemented.

  • 2005 – Special Vehicles Manager for Volvo Car UK in a specialist role managing all aspects of sales to the Emergency Services market. This included developing a complete package for our Emergency Service customers encompassing sales and aftersales including a one-stop-shop solution for equipment fitment, Blue Light Assistance Programme, training and access to vehicle diagnostics.

  • 2008 – diagnosed with Breast Cancer aged 36. Underwent removal of the tumour and radiotherapy.

  • 2012 – maternity leave to have my son – George.

  • 2013 – Strategic Partnerships Manager for Volvo in a role with responsibility for creating the Affinity Programme as well as managing sales via Motability, Public Sector, Retailer Daily Rental, Retailer Employee Programmes and Chauffeur.

  • 2017 – National Business Sales Manager for Volvo leading the large corporate team to achieve 20% growth year on year in 2019 and gaining industry recognition through various awards.

  • 2018 – diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the second time. This was a new primary cancer in a much more aggressive form with a large mass and tumours in the lymph nodes. Underwent 8 rounds of adjuvant chemotherapy to reduce the mass before having a radical mastectomy in June 2019.

  • 2020 – Given responsibility for Volvo SME sales, the Retailer Business Centre Programme and management of the Volvo Car Business Centre which supports business sales.

  • Outside of work I enjoy practicing yoga and cooking for friends and family but most of my spare time is dedicated to my son who enjoys a wide variety of sports including football and skateboarding.

Tell us what this nomination means to you?

I am immensely proud to work for an organisation with such a strong people culture which has supported and developed me over the past 20 years. I am thrilled that Volvo has nominated me for this award as it recognises the hard work and determination that I have given in return to the organisation and its people which continue to inspire me and motivate me every day to the best I can be.
Most importantly however I hope that my story will demonstrate to other women that with the right attitude, drive and determination you can overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of your success.

What advice would you give to a women considering a career in automotive?

I would advise any woman that the automotive industry is an exciting, ever changing and competitively charged industry with a huge variety of roles available appealing to many different skill sets.
For me a love of cars is a motivator to anyone considering a career in automotive however markets for cars continue to grow and the industry is at the forefront of technological advancements compared to other declining sectors.
The automotive industry has historically been male dominated but this is changing as automotive organisations recognise the contribution which women can make across all areas from design, engineering and manufacturing through to sales, marketing and customer service.
I would encourage any woman to forge a career in this diverse industry which offers high rewards for success and the opportunity to work with exciting products which generate fantastic emotions in our customers.

What advice would you give your younger self on having a successful career?

To be more bold in moving to new roles earlier in my career which I now believe would have allowed me to progress further.

Thanks for your time speaking with us

About the Barbara Cox Award 2020
Nominees: Alison Jones, Karen Bickerstaff, Leanne Christmas, Sarah Symcox and Sue Sansome

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Categories Barbara Cox Award