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Suttons Celebrates International Women's Day!

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Suttons are proud employers of women in all areas of our business and are pleased to celebrate international women’s day, this year we have asked women from across the Suttons global network to tell us a little bit about themselves and their experiences in the chemical logistics industry.

Joanna Dunn – Fleet Office Manager UK Tankers (Tankers Compliance Department)

In my position I most enjoy that 2 days are never the same. I feel I am always learning from the newest Brexit plans and requirements to helping all departments, right down to spending time in the garage, gaining knowledge of the repairs carried out on our assets. I have a dedicated team who work extremely hard to ensure our department reaches targets and succeed in all areas. It is a very fast paced environment which suit me.

Personally I have never felt any different being a women in Suttons and have always been appreciated for the work I have done and what the fleet department have achieved.

Future goals for myself would to pass my transport CPC exam which I am studying for currently. After that I hope to progress to Fleet and Compliance manager. 

Michelle Atkinson – Head of HR, International

International Women’s Day – Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them.

I accidently fell into HR in 1995 as a young mum with 2 daughters under the age of 4.  From day one, I absolutely loved it and I knew that I had found the right career choice for me.  I was lucky that I had the opportunity to be sponsored to complete my CIPD qualification by my company.  It was tough going, but I never gave up, my success came from sheer determination.  My last 15 years in HR were in manufacturing businesses where I had the privilege of working alongside some really inspiring people, both men and women.  I joined Suttons as Head of HR for the International Business in April 2019.

Suttons is an exciting international business who can offer some brilliant development opportunities, and I am delighted to see that we have appointed 2 female Directors in the International Senior Management Team during 2019.

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the successful achievements of women all around the globe – of course we shouldn’t only just do that on one day, but all year round.  It’s great that we have made such positive progress over the last few years, but we should also recognise that there is a long way to go before our industry is truly diverse.

Winnie Lee – Operations Manager, South Asia and Middle East

When I first joined Suttons in 2012, I was a single parent thus I had to juggle between work and my children. In less than a year, I received the opportunity to look after the South East Asia Operations team even though I do not know much about people managing, but I was really fortunate to have a really supportive superior and team mates then who helped me get though the challenges.

Today, I am still looking after the Operations team but in a wider scope - South Asia and Middle East. Although there are more responsibilities, bigger challenges and heavier workload, I like that I am able to put my competencies and skills to use and I hope to be the kind of leader that inspires others to dream more, learn more and do more.

In Suttons, we are very fortunate to have a CEO & MD that do not hesitate to promote woman to management and executive positions (depending on their capability of course!) and gives an equal opportunity to every employee to own their career development and be rewarded for their progress regardless of their age, qualifications or their sexuality. 

Chrisi Lloyd-Roberts, Business Improvement Director, Tankers

Before joining Suttons I worked in automotive manufacturing, working at top tier suppliers to General Motors, BMW, JLR and Peugeot. During 15 years of manufacturing experience I worked experience in a range of functions including production control & logistics, warehousing and operations. I fell in love with Six Sigma, Lean and Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) philosophy and gained qualifications in these disciplines.  I moved later into Procurement and Supply Chain Management, and completed a Procurement degree whilst working full time.

I joined the Suttons Group 6 years ago, initially in a Group Procurement Role, and 3 years later I moved to Tankers as Business Improvement Director. I sit on the Tankers Board, contributing to the strategy for the Division, and have functional responsibility for Projects, Procurement, Systems & Technology, Fleet Engineering, Property and our Drumming operation in St Helens.

The best thing about my job is having the opportunity to work with different teams in the organisation. We have drivers and staff who are talented and committed, and every day there’s opportunity to learn from their experience and in depth knowledge.

It’s been an exciting start to 2020 with the successful launch of a significant customer contract, and we’ve further new business wins to bring into the business in the coming months. We’ve starting to roll out our Fleet technology project which is already receiving good feedback from end users, and by the end of the year we will have implemented this across all of our UK depots. It’s really exciting to be part of this journey of growth and transformation.

Although transport is traditionally a male dominated environment, I believe that Suttons values skill and behaviour over gender. These days there’s as much career opportunity for women as there is for men – you just need drive and determination! 

Faye Campbell, HR Advisor, Tankers

I really enjoy working at Suttons because of the dynamic, fast paced environment. It keeps me on my toes and no two days are ever the same. In my role, I really enjoy meeting and working with a lot of different people across the organisation. It helps me to understand how each department contributes to our success.

For an industry which is undoubtedly male orientated, I think it is great how well represented women are in the organisation, especially in senior roles. What stands out is the camaraderie throughout the organisation. Women are treated exactly the same as the men on the team.

My goals are to engage with teams more that aren’t based in Widnes, to make sure we are all on the same page. I am working with the HR team to streamline some HR processes and introduce some upskilling sessions for line managers to make sure that working with the HR team is as easy as it can be for everyone.

Sharron Griffith, ADR Driver

Hello my name is Sharon Griffith, I have worked for Sutton’s for nearly 8 months now after my previous manager Jason Brown joined the company. Jason said there would be a variety of work and this has been proved to be more than true. I have been in the haulage industry for 20yrs and each day brings a new challenge but also rewards. As you are aware the industry has always been seen as ‘a man’s world’ but I see this changing, already there are far more female drivers these days it would be nice to see more. My role within the company is tramping, leaving the yard on a Monday and returning on a Friday is what I love to do. I myself move all classes of ADR from fuel to liquid gases and bitumen.

I think if I have any type of ambition it is to see that all drivers are treated equally and with respect, as a female driver I find that some work places you attend don’t have separate amenities for woman and a lot of the services also lack in this department.

Driving to me is not only a job but a lifestyle, it’s what I enjoy and look forward to doing for many years to come.

Jessica Russell, Marketing Manager, Tankers

I really enjoy my role as Marketing Manager at Suttons and I have the privilege of working with a great team who have a wealth of knowledge in the transport and logistics sector.

Having worked in logistics for the past 3 and a half years, it has been great to watch the progress that is being made daily in breaking down gender stereotypes. There are many women in senior roles at Suttons and I have worked with women at a Board and Executive level in my previous role. I always find it so refreshing to watch women talk with such confidence and exert great influence over an often male dominated room.

International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to take the time to celebrate all of the fantastic ladies we have working at Suttons who always go the extra mile in everything they do. I feel very lucky to work with some really inspirational women every day. 

Kim Hanique, Regional Director Europe, International

I joined Suttons mid 2017 as operations manager Mainland Europe.  Previous to that I worked for Maersk Line for 11 years in the customer service department in different leadership functions.   After leaving ML in October 2016 I joined a trucking company as a temporary customer service manager. In November 2019 I was promoted to regional director for Mainland Europe, a job I’m really looking forward to in taking up the challenge and bringing Suttons Europe to a higher level.

Claire Marshall, Transport Supervisor, Tankers

I love how dynamic being a Traffic Supervisor is. There is usually a lot of variety in my day.

The industry in which we work is fast paced and challenging and problem solving skills are essential.

I monitor the drivers once they are on the road and advise customers if they run into any delays.

Compliance is a key part of my work and I need to make sure drivers and vehicles are on sent on the road legally.

When I first started at Suttons in 1998 I was the only female in the office. Now, I am one of four ladies who work on the traffic desk, along with another six ladies who work in various roles within the depot. 

Yolanda Hillebrandt, Administration Manager, International

My journey at Suttons started 25 years ago. Along the years, the company has expanded and I became a wife and eventually a mom. In both roles, I learned that organization and sheer dedication are the key to success.  I take pride in the knowledge that Suttons fosters an environment of growth for women within the organization.  Suttons has afforded me the opportunity to gain invaluable professional experience and to establish amazing friendships across the pond.  My role is both diverse and challenging.  I would not have it any other way.

I look forward to continue playing a part in the prosperity of the company that I have grown to love and respect.

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