COVID-19 Team Blog: Donna Scully
16 June 2020
3 minutes to read.
We’re proud of what our teams are achieving at Carpenters during the coronavirus pandemic. Written by colleagues across multiple divisions of the company, they hopefully provide a small insight into our continuing working practices and values as we all adjust to our new world.
Here is the tenth in the series from Director, Donna Scully.
Tech, lockdown & Me!
"My name is Donna Scully and I still use a Filofax!
I felt I needed to start there to really give you a picture of how much I have had to learn and how far I have come, tech wise, during the pandemic.
I know it is a bit weird because I co-own a company which is massively technology-focused with a huge IT Department that operates 24/7 and has some of the best developers around including our brilliant Chief Information Officer, Karen Campbell. When I joined John, I was adamant, having worked in London for a number of years, that cutting-edge IT was imperative. It needed to be in-house, run, controlled, trained, and developed by us. We have invested heavily in IT from day one and it is the nerve centre of our business after customer service.
Well, that said, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am not at all techy. Our IT Department have held my hand for years, dragging me kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. As I have always said to my twin boys, it is a case of do what I say, not as I do! I’m a bit of a demon on social media, in the Irish storyteller mould, but I can only just about post messages and photos!
Then along comes the pandemic, lockdown and homeworking literally overnight and I need to learn tech and fast! I need to do Zoom, Teams, Hop-on and goodness knows what else.
As somebody who does public speaking as part of my role, I have had to do podcasts, webinars, virtual roundtables and the like and to make it all work. There have been some very funny moments along the way as you would expect. My first podcast was funny because they couldn’t see my whole head as my chair is very low so I grabbed some books off a shelf to put under my iPad, one of which was ‘Delia Smith’! As my family and friends will testify, I can’t cook, so the fact that I turned to this unopened book to save me is somewhat ironic.
I have pestered our poor people in IT throughout lockdown and WFH. Each time I must do something live and on-line, they have patiently talked me through it with such kindness and in plain English that it is only thanks to them that I’ve muddled through! I suspect they must go away afterwards and laugh at how I can be so tech illiterate but, bless them, they don’t let on and keep their frustrations to themselves!
I will emerge from Covid (please God) knowing a lot more about IT, being even more appreciative of what IT brings to us at Carpenters and into a post-Covid world with new skills. That is a good thing to come out of an awful time. It’s all about ‘one day at a time’ for me and I do want to thank all the great people along the way who have made this journey more bearable, work better and given us laughs when we have most needed them. Stay safe and technical!"
About the author
Donna Scully, Director
Donna is a Director at Carpenters Group, having worked for various law firms in London before joining in 1997 and setting up its specialist Personal Injury department. She was Chair of MASS from 2010-12. During her term, she was closely involved in the formation of AskCUE PI and the implementation of the LASPO legislation. Donna has held a seat on the Insurance Times’ Fraud Charter since its launch in 2010, is a member of the editorial board for Modern Insurance Magazine and she received the Outstanding Achievement award at the 2014 Personal Injury Awards.