WHEN SHE was at British Petroleum, Rose Mary Farenden became used to 'life in a boiler suit and hard hate,' but the job did not attract her as a long-term career prospect.
'The oil industry is just not exciting in the way the car industry is,' she said in an interview on Ford's Geneva stand. 'The car industry is an emotional business. There were tears in my eyes when the Focus was revealed at the show this morning.'
Farenden was project manager for the car, which will replace the Escort in the lower-medium segment.
She started at Ford as a systems analyst working in CAD-CAM at Dunton, UK. In 1992 she became a manager in the company's European quality office, and subsequently joined the transition team coordinating the global restructuring of Ford under its Ford 2000 program.
In 1995 she was appointed quality manager for the Escort car line, and in March 1997 she became project manager for the Focus.
Farenden said it is an emotional moment 'every time you take a new car to dealers or to your customer clinics, anywhere there is interaction between people and your car.'
She is married to a Ford engineer and has a young son and a daughter. Juggling her heavy work load and family commitments is a constant balancing act, she says. 'I manage it with great difficulty. I make a point of always going home to have dinner with my family because I believe that is very important. Then when they have gone to bed I will work again. I have everything set up at home, computer, fax and so on. Basically I have two 24-hour jobs.'