061 GGP 0416

GGP 04 Apr 2016

61 WOMEN IN GLAZING www.ggpmag.com April 2016 Julie Warner, product manager, Carl F Groupco: GGP: Please describe your present position and what that involves. JW: I am PN product manager for Carl F Groupco. My role focusses on specialised reversible window hardware from Peder Nielsen: this involves working with the supplier, preparing quotations for customers and creating sales orders. I work closely with profile systems companies and customers on large scale projects and contracts to ensure the smooth supply of hardware. GGP: How did you come to work in the window industry? JW: I started off in a job share at Groupco to get back into work when my children were young – I soon progressed to full time. After a few years in this position I moved to work at a large fabricator where I gained a lot of experience before I was head hunted to lead a standalone department for what is now Carl F Groupco. In my role heading up the business unit my remit includes full commercial responsibility. GGP: Which of your characteristics and which circumstances do you believe have been most important in achieving your status within the industry? JW: I feel key facets of my personality in attaining a management position include my loyalty, reliability and total customer focus. I enjoy working with people to get the best results for our customers and building relationships. My career path has been aided by having employers who believe in me and judge me on my merits. GGP: And which have presented the greatest barriers to you, if any? JW: I recognise that delegation is a challenge. I take considerable pride and ownership in my work which means letting go can be hard. GGP: What are the best things about working in the window, door and conservatory industry? JW: I get a lot of personal satisfaction from the fact that this is an industry and role where I can enjoy working on a project or contract and see it through to completion. GGP: What are the worst? JW: I don’t have a worst part as I believe that causes negativity. GGP: What are your aspirations for yourself and the industry? JW: Having seen how the industry has changed since 1989 when I became involved in it, I am looking forward to being part of the next generation. Sarah Gyde, marketing manager, Mila UK GGP: Please describe your present position and what that involves. SG: I’m responsible for the Mila brand in the UK, so anything to do with marketing and promoting our products and services comes through my department. This includes everything from formulating strategy and launching products to managing advertising, PR, internal communications, social media and events. GGP: How did you come to work in the window industry? SG: I just got lucky I guess! I graduated with an honours degree from DMU on 10 July 2000, and, having had an interview for a job in the marketing team at Mila a couple of months before, I started at Mila on 11 July 2000 as Multimedia Designer. Since then, I’ve obviously gained stacks of experience and now drive the strategic side of things. I’m very hands on though and am heavily involved with web design, literature and catalogue production and packaging. GGP: Which of your characteristics and which circumstances do you believe have been most important in achieving your status within the industry? SG: Probably the most important characteristics are: creativity, commitment, hard work, a drive to get the job done – and being passionate about what I do. I always have a lot on my plate, so it’s a must to be organised as well – those who know me will say I love a spreadsheet and a tick list! ‘ATD’ is a phrase we often use at Mila, which stands for ‘attention to detail’ – and I’m a stickler for the details. In terms of circumstances, being in a marketing role means your work is always visible which means it’s easy to get noticed when things go well, but obviously it also means there’s nowhere to hide if they go badly and that definitely keeps you on your toes. I’ve also been fortunate to be in a business which listens, is trusting and supportive of its staff and, in terms of marketing, is willing to take some risks and give creative types like me the freedom to experiment just a bit. There’s a strong culture here of everyone striving for a common goal – to be the best at what we do – and I definitely think I’ve thrived in that environment. GGP: And which have presented the greatest barriers to you, if any? SG: As this was my first full time job after uni, being a young girl of 22 in a male dominated industry was a challenge. I’ve had plenty of time to prove myself since then though and the industry has changed massively over the years to a point where I think women are now being taken much more seriously. Certainly, at Mila there are two women in our senior management team of six and two of our group MDs are now women. In recent years, a different challenge for me has probably been the fact that people are aware that my husband is Richard Gyde, Mila’s MD. Particularly since, after 10 years together, we got married last year and my surname is now a giveaway. No doubt, some might think that I have achieved my current status because of that or that I get special treatment somehow, but the opposite is actually true and I have to work extra hard to get recognition. GGP: What are the best things about working in the window, door and conservatory industry? SG: It’s got to be the people. At Mila HQ, more than a third of our 75 strong team have been with the business for over 10 years and, of those, 10 have been with the business for over 25 years. When people visit Mila HQ they often comment that the business has a family feel and I really enjoy that. It’s very common for people to stay within this industry and, in my 15 years with Mila, I’ve been fortunate to build really good relationships with lots of customers, suppliers and industry colleagues. One thing is for sure, everyone seems to know everyone else, which must be a good thing, even if it does mean that gossip spreads like wildfire… GGP: What are the worst? SG: I genuinely love this industry so I can’t think of many, but perhaps we sometimes sell ourselves a bit short. You’ve only got to look in the trade press or go to a show like FIT to see that there’s so much innovation going on all the time. Fantastic things have been achieved over the years in things like security and energy efficiency but I don’t think we have shouted about that enough on a wider stage. GGP: What are your aspirations for yourself and the industry? SG: Personally, I’m a creative person with a real passion for marketing so my aspirations are mostly based around the type of work I’d like to be doing and what I can achieve with the next series of campaigns. On a wider level, I’d obviously like to see more women in senior positions in the industry – not to fulfil any type of equality quotas but because I think women are a great source of talent. Joanna Hankinson, marketing manager, Lancashire Trade Frames GGP: Please describe your present position and what that involves. JH: I am the marketing manager for Lancashire Trade Frames, a 2,500 frames per week fabricator based in Continued on page 62


GGP 04 Apr 2016
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