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Meghan C. McCarthy

Head of HR, SAP UK&I

I’m now in a role I would never have seen myself in a few years ago – and I’m loving it. All because SAP enables it and empowers me.

Meghan C. McCarthy

At SAP, we believe that when you bring everything you are, you can become everything you want.

Meghan is originally from the US but has moved around a lot in her life, coming to the UK in 2007.

“I moved 7 times before I was 14 and haven’t physically lived in one place for more than 4 years! I have lived/studied/worked in 4 different countries and have been living in the UK (apart from a 2-year stint in Dubai) since 2007.

In 2018 I took on the role of HR Director for the UK, and I’m still figuring out the role!

Having had a 25 year+ career in sales and sales leadership, HR is a new world for me. I’m finding that not many people understand the role HR is meant to play and since I’m guilty of not having understood it properly myself, part of my role is trying to educate myself and the 2,500 people in the UK! If I were to break it down into the basics – my role is to lead an internal team of subject matter experts into enhancing both the internal and external brand of SAP – to our employees and to our customers."

So how did Meghan come to find herself at SAP?

“I first heard about SAP from my customers when I was working for another company. They were always talking about business transformation and having solutions that were business relevant so when it came time for me to look around, I asked 3 of my best customers who I should consider and they all mentioned SAP.

I was interested in working at a more strategic and business relevant level in my customer base. Typically, where I came from, we spent much of our time with the CIO and occasionally the CFO – but most of the time the projects I worked on were supporting business relevant changes as opposed to being at the centre of them. So, I took the advice of my customers and called SAP.”

Meghan joined SAP as the VP of General Business and the Partner Organization for the UK and Ireland.

“We were one of the early teams who were able to take on Sales Academy Graduates for individuals who were in the first stages of their sales career – after a couple of years, I decided to take a role managing the Sales Academy Program for EMEA. This unique experience gave me greater and more focused exposure to topics such as workforce demographics, learning and development and leadership and after doing this for a year, a chance to run HR came up and I took it.

Success for me is the ability to do what I do best as much as possible every day. As my career has evolved, SAP has supported me every step of the way. I’m now in a role I would never have seen myself in a few years ago – and I’m loving it. All because SAP enables it and empowers me.

Many have helped to shape my career – they have titles such as those mentioned (coaches, mentors, managers) – as well as fellow employees and customers. I’m of the view that anyone can help to shape your career if you are open to it. If I had to choose one person, I would say my external coach has done much to influence me (including encouraging me to become a professional coach myself). The most important aspect I have appreciated is her ability challenge me and raise my awareness of the impact my style of leadership can have (positively and negatively) to ensure that I am, as much as possible, choosing that impact.

When I transitioned into HR, that was a challenge! Giving up that which was familiar to me for so long and jumping head first into a new role was exciting and daunting. The team I have around me who have supported me in this transition are amazing. There are always challenges to face in HR and the team we have in the UK is the most professional team of individuals with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure of working.

The day I was told I got the job as HR Director for SAP UK was the best day (so far)! It demonstrated to me that SAP saw value in me and was willing to take a risk and continue to invest in me as a Leader. “

Meghan’s role is obviously people-focused, but outside of this environment what are her passions?

“My favourite activity by far is going on safari. In our hyper-connected world, I find that I am never more present, in the moment and aware of the diversity this world has to offer than when I am out there actively searching for it. There is something about being on the lookout for new animals to spot, a new activity to witness that makes you fully aware of your surroundings and of the people with whom you travel.”

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