After returning to my hometown of Wellington, I was working in a part time capacity as Account Manager for a Packaging Company while looking after my 3 school-aged children. I wanted a fulltime career in sales and I had met people at Wesfarmers' Packaging House business. I liked the structure and systems Wesfarmers had in place and the sense of belonging to a large, successful international company. A substantial Head Office with purchasing and marketing teams that were proactive in the market place seemed attractive to me. I was offered an Account Manager role with Protector Safety and worked with a female Branch Manager with a strong personality like myself and a very positive 'can do' attitude.
I commenced as a very 'green' account manager with a positive outlook who liked to get the job done. I was very successful in achieving lots of new accounts and big orders within my first 2-3 years. My approach was to ask for the orders or clarify with customers what was needed to get an order. If I missed out on an order, I made a practice of always asking to be considered for any future orders and built relationships with people my own way. Later, I became Sales Supervisor and I then progressed to be Branch Manager which I have been for the past 6 years. I have recently been appointed Branch Manager of our combined Blackwoods Protector store which opens in February 2015. This will be a massive learning curve for me.
WIS is such a good all round company to work for - with company shares, the Kiwi Saver scheme, training courses and career opportunities it would be hard to find better. Being a parent can be difficult when working full time, however WIS has always been supportive and understanding to me and others with children. Years ago I would never have thought I would be capable of doing what I am doing today – actually running a business and having people report to me.
After finishing school, I came to Mount Isa. I was working at Mount Isa Mines before being offered a role at Bullivants as Administration Officer in 2008. I saw this as a foot in the door as I wanted to become a Safety Officer. By this time, I had started studying for a Bachelor in Occupational Health and Safety at university and WIS were a great support to me during this time.
From my role as Administration Officer, I quickly progressed into Customer Service. In 2010 I became an Account Manager. In February 2012 I became the first female Branch Manager for Bullivants. I aspire to become a Regional or State Manager someday, following in my boss (and mentor's) footsteps.
In my branch, we have equal number of men to women. I think WIS is a female friendly workplace; I recently had a baby boy and I have been supported in my return to work enabling me to transition back to employment with ease. I have been given many opportunities to progress and learn new things including the 'Emerging Leaders Development Program' which especially helped me to progress into the management role I am in and has equipped me for future leadership roles with WIS.
I joined WIS after working with ASP Australasia as an International Surfing Judge on the Woman's Prime Tour Event
My employment with Blackwoods commenced in 2006 as a Picker within the Conveyor Team. I saw WIS as having a good reputation within the community, offering me a stable employment opportunity.
In the interest of expanding my knowledge of the company, I chose to work in various teams within the warehouse over the years. This enabled me to gain a better understanding of the complex processes involved in running a major Distribution Centre.
I made my way into the office and worked in a Customer Service position for a period of time, this allowed me to experience and learn more about the Customer Service/Sales side of the business. After being with the business for some time, I was asked to return to the warehouse and assist with improvements being made across multiple teams. I have since become a Team Leader within the Perth operation, assisting our current warehouse supervisor, whilst also leading a small team of 8 administration employees.
I genuinely believe that WIS provides a fair and equal working environment for all employees. If you possess the drive and motivation required, the business provides you a multitude of options which allow you to further your experience so you can grow into a leadership role. The support and opportunities available are vast within each division of the WIS group, allowing women to pursue and succeed in leadership positions.
At the beginning of my career, I worked as a chartered accountant before moving into the consulting space both in Australia and overseas. I then decided to further my career and progressed into senior commercial roles across a number of different sectors. Following my commercial roles, I successfully secured and progressed into general management operational roles in industries such as recruitment and mining services before joining WIS.
I chose to join WIS because of the opportunities and support the business provided. WIS offered a diverse and interesting role with involvement across many parts of the business. I also knew WIS to be an employer which supported its employees and provided excellent prospects for growth and development.
I began my career with WIS in 2013 as a Regional Commercial Manager working closely with the branch network and the regional leadership team. My skills outside of the finance and commercial areas were recognised and I was promoted to the role of Regional Operations Manager in 2015. This role gave me the chance to broaden my remit and add value with significant impact on business results. In 2016, my performance was again recognised and I was promoted to State Operations Manager.
I believe WIS presents excellent opportunities for growth and advancement and provides the support to pursue these opportunities. I have been given the opportunity to participate in the WIS Development Program, as well as the Wesfarmers Executive Mentoring Program. As a senior business leader, I want to encourage women in WIS to pursue their career aspirations. It is not only possible for females to progress and succeed in senior operational roles, but it is encouraged and supported. Demonstrate confidence with a can-do attitude, and WIS will provide you with the opportunities and support to achieve your goals.