What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Having a family. Things are definitely moving in the right direction but there is still a long way to go. It is challenging raring children and being a full time working Mum. Better support systems need to be in place for paternity leave and to support working Mums allowing flexitime.
What woman inspires you and why?
Jo Malone – Her passion for what she does shines through in every way. She had a rollercoaster of a journey but it didn’t stop her from getting to where she is today. In life I believe that we need to take the bad with the good and learn from each and every experience we have. It moulds the person we become. I think Jo Malone does a good job of demonstrating this.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The advancement of technology and the potential impact this might have on quality of life. There may become an expectation to always be switched on. How damaging this can be to mental health and family relationships. So important to avoid falling into the trap… Very challenging but it is essential to switch off and have some quality time.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
I’ll be honest and say I am not doing a great job of it at the minute. But I am looking forward to the sun shining again and getting out. It has been a very long Winter. I really enjoy my weekends. My weekday morning and evenings are spent with my one year old and I hope now that the mornings are much brighter we can get out for runs together before work. I love relaxing at the weekend, going to markets, cooking, eating, meeting friends and getting away for weekends.
What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of?
Staying true to the Mission we set ourselves over 14 years ago ‘To empower people of all ages to live healthier lives’. Everyday is an accomplishment in my eyes. We are thriving in such a competitive space.
How have the women in your own life influenced you?
I’m very close to my Mum and two sisters so I am very fortunate that I get to spend so much time with them working together. They have all played a very influential role in the decisions I have made throughout my life, although I am known to be set on my ways and regretfully didn’t always follow their advice. But I think in life it is important to make mistakes. We were introduced to the world of food and business at a very young age. I remember Mum developing a range of salads for one of the major retailors over 20 years ago. These type of projects excited me and led to me pursuing a career in nutrition and dietetics as I became more acutely aware of the impact of diet on our health. Not only has Mum got incredible stamina and drive but she is a wonderful role model in the home. As is my sister Laura who is managing to secure global contracts and raise a family. Still not sure how they do but I can only watch and learn.
Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
Research. Every part of our business is led by research. We look at global market trends in health & snacking. All of our products have a personalised element so we need to know what our customers need and want, incorporating three key factors – health, taste and price. We do not outsource any area of our business. We rely on our people and our partners. Everyone chips in.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Build a strong team of people who share your vision, invest in them and make the journey together.