International Womens Day
To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, let’s take a look at some of the women who make Charcroft what it is today.
Debbie Rowland, Director
Having grown within a male dominated industry: from a clerical assistant in the early 90s at Charcroft being a company of 5 people and the only female, to a Director of the same company in 2020 with 55 people, I have enjoyed being able to offer opportunities to others without the struggles that I faced.
As women we are often measured and judged by so many important categories in our eyes: are we good parents, are we good wives, are we fit enough, are we slim enough, are we happy enough, are we popular enough…are our kids popular enough? Are we good at our jobs…..I think we all would like to be but this can slip to the bottom of our priority list. I was fortunate enough to have a supportive husband and family which enabled me to balance this well and grow my career.
I am proud of the team that I have supported and helped to grow over the years and not a day goes by that I am not reminded of this. For both the girls who work with me and my children, I am proof that we can succeed when the odds are against us – today the opportunities are there for everyone and equality has gone from a dream to a reality – embrace it, make yourself proud and feel empowered!
Tina Ford, Business Development Manager (BDM)
I’ve been with Charcroft for over 20 years now! As a BDM, my priority is to assist the company to acquire new customers and sell additional products or services to existing ones. This is a major part of the business with the ambition to expand or the necessity to diversify its clientele. It includes account management, visiting customers and supporting supplier joint visits and design where required.
I enjoy the diversity that can be created by seeing different technologies being used within the customers. Seeing customers grow from having a very small spend to a large key customer is a great achievement to be part of, as is being involved with the design of components that are used on very specialised high-end equipment.
Outside of work, I have a border collie called Blue. I do voluntary work for the Welsh air ambulance, and I love to travel – my favourite place I’ve visited is Singapore.
Lisa O’Neil-Smith, Solutions Manager
In my role as Solutions Manager, I most enjoy solving problems and collaborating with all departments. It’s also great being able to work without too much restriction on decision making. Definitely my biggest achievements in work have been learning about products in detail I had no idea existed before I started with Charcroft, and developing the first customer at Charcroft with over a £million spend.
Outside of work, I am married to a farmer and have 2 children, a boy and a girl - my son is an international karate champion when he’s not at university. We also own 2 Weimaraner’s and breed puppies when time permits. Our youngest Weimaraner recently won a photography competition for an Aga company so we won lots of Aga goodies!
Kathryn Stevenson, Management Assistant
As a management assistant, my role is really varied and can be totally different day to day – one day I can be creating adverts and writing articles, the next I could be assisting with budgeting and reports. The variety is what I enjoy though. My biggest achievement through work isn’t really any one thing, it’s the small rewards that make it worthwhile – when we take someone on who flourishes and becomes an asset to the business, or when something I do can help solve a problem.
Outside of work, my biggest personal achievement would have to be either completing my Masters’ degree or completing Man Vs Horse last year – both were equally as hard but in very different ways!
It can be hard to balance work with a young family, but I want my daughters to see that they can be successful and achieve their goals, and hard work and dedication are key to that.
Amy Gillon, Strategic Account Executive
My job involves looking after customers by helping with any queries, dealing with enquiries and hopefully getting orders – which is definitely my favourite part of the job. I still get a great buzz from securing orders even after 12 years in the job, it never gets boring. I love working as part of the Sales team here at Charcroft, it’s a great environment.
When I’m not in work, you’ll mainly find me horse riding – I have 2 horses called Neo and Bert. I also keep busy with running and bootcamp. My biggest achievement would have to be being a mum to my son, Thomas.
Eleanor Bolt, Sales Support
I work within the Sales Support team. Our core responsibilities are the processing of enquires and loading and checking customer orders but we’ve always got a few extra jobs in the pipeline, which keeps it nicely varied. My favourite part of the job is working with such a great team, we’ve all got different strengths but we work really well together!
My biggest personal achievement is probably in persevering with white water kayaking. It involves a lot of early starts, is physically taxing and very, very scary but it’s been absolutely brilliant fun. In the 3 years that I’ve been paddling I’ve become significantly less shy, completed first aid courses, safety and rescue training, personal paddling awards and the BCU Level 1 Coach qualification. I love exploring so many different place too, so far, I‘ve paddled rivers in Wales, England, Scotland and Slovenia and am looking forward to new adventures in the French Alps this summer! It’s constantly challenging and I’m always striving for better performance and confidence on bigger and bigger rapids and waterfalls!