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Q. Tell us a little bit about your background…
I left school at 16 and went right into a Youth Training Scheme, at that point with no desire nor inclination to enter the logistics trade! I’m a single mother to one daughter, Lauren, who I’m extremely proud of; she’s currently completing her master’s degree at King’s College, London and now jokes she’s been replaced by my adored dog Lilly! I’m amazed at what I’ve managed to achieve and hope I can be an inspiration to other women out there, proving that you can still forge a successful career whilst nurturing a family.
Q. What made you enter the industry?
Logistics has long been embedded into my family history; my father was in Road Haulage for 50 years. I came in to do the books whilst I was in between jobs, my potential was discovered, and I'm still here, continuing the family legacy.
Q. How long have you been with AKW?
Over 30 years, and I’ve loved every minute!
Q. What’s the most exciting thing about the industry?
For me, added value logistics like Rework and Customisation of products. It’s rewarding to see the work we’ve done on retail displays throughout the country.
Q. Describe your typical working day?
Customers are always a top priority. I’ll usually have a meeting with an existing customer to build the relationship or meet with a potential customer to expand upon new and exciting opportunities. I ensure I touch base with my team every day, remaining visible and approachable for them to discuss any concerns, and chat in general about how things are going. I also spend time considering the training and development needs of my staff; ensuring all employees realise their full potential is incredibly important to me.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people I work with absolutely make it for me. I want to be remembered as someone who’s great to work for, who always has time for her team.
Q. What do you enjoy least about your job?
Managing my email inbox! The blessing of being an MD is coupled with the curse of being constantly in demand!
Q. Who do you look to for inspiration?
Tony Worthington (founder of AKW). What he’s built from the ground up is amazing. He’ll never cease to be an inspiration to me.
Q. What personal values do you live by?
Kindness, responsibility, accountability, integrity, loyalty and a positive can-do attitude. I believe you can’t go far wrong with these attributes.
Q. What would you change about your career journey if you could?
I’d probably carve a little more time out for work/life balance; it’s easy to get so submerged in the workplace that you forget to come up for air on occasion, but it’s so important to ensure downtime for wellbeing and productivity reasons. You can’t perform optimally if you’re not the best, rested version of yourself.
Q. If you could go back to the beginning of your career and offer yourself advice, what would it be?
Keep exercising, eating well, and healthy living in balance. Schedule rest and recreation regularly. The older you get, the more you’ll understand why.
Q. If you had a personal brand, what would it symbolise?
Authenticity, passion, courage, work ethic and integrity. With hard work, bravery and a strong moral compass, you’ll go places. Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.
Q. How would you say the industry has changed over the years?
What hasn’t changed! Aside from the fundamentals, there’s been a wold of progress, from basic regulations through to state of the art technology; they’re developing fully autonomous warehouses now, run only by robotics, which was unimaginable when I first started out.
Q. What are the top three traits that make you a great leader?
Passion, Communication and Integrity.
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