In the third in the 'Women in business' blogs, which highlight and support how important diversity in our workplace is, we talk to Women in Business award finalist and Director of Business Services, Kathleen Smith who offers us a insight into her success.
A new dawn
In terms of support for Kathleen for this award many people have been happy to step forward and offer their backing. Shonagh Dillon of Aurora Dawn says:
“Kathleen became my business mentor in early 2015. I can honestly say that her input to me as a professional has been invaluable. Her manner and demeanour lends itself well to supporting women in business. She is direct, honest and empowering. Kathleen uses her skills as an excellent business woman to inspire and support other women. Her impact on me has been priceless and is by far the best support and mentoring I have had in my career. Since being mentored by Kathleen I have regained my confidence and am a better business woman because of her input. She rightly deserves recognition for her support of women in business as her passion for supporting women makes a real difference to all sectors.”
A support (Serocor) group
There is also great respect and admiration for Kathleen within the Serocor Group. John Dunaway MD, ARM Specialist Markets notes:
“Inspirational, intelligent, hard working, focused, solutions. To elaborate, Kathleen has dramatically transformed the look and feel of our solutions business, and consequently the service levels and performance have also improved. She has a wealth of experience that she utilises, yet has a rare ability to listen and learn from others for the best joined up outcome. Very passionate, and blends a really strong personality with empathy.”
So what makes our Director of Business Services tick?
We caught up with Kathleen on the eve of the Women in Business award ceremony to find out…
How did you get where you are today?
I am not exactly sure I know “where I am today”, but hard work and a sense of humour usually help in most situations.
What woman inspires you and why?
In the staffing industry, Julia Robertson, the CEO of Impellam, is somebody who has led businesses and organisations of all sizes, from start-ups to global corporations; she is also a real advocate of women in business. Both within and outside of the industry, we all know hundreds of “quiet heroes”.
How does it feel to be a finalist in the Women in Business awards?
A bit surreal. The shortlist is very daunting but the support I’ve had from all quarters has been amazing.
What top three tips do you have for women in business today?
- Enjoy it. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and tomorrow is an opportunity to put it into practice.
- “Hire talent and train skill”. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and trust them to do their jobs.
- “Progress, not perfection”. Keep pushing things forward, don’t try to make everything perfect before you implement change - or things will never change!
What are the biggest changes you've seen in terms of women in business?
I think the biggest change has been in women themselves. There is now a whole generation of women who 100% know in their bones that they are absolutely equal to men – it’s not even a debate.
What was your dream job as a child and why?
I wanted to be an actor. Even though I was really shy as a kid, I absolutely loved acting.