International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to lift each other up and be inspired by women from all industries. Our founder Amadea looks back on her career to date and discusses some of the inspirational women she has met in her journey of setting up a sustainable business.
A Career in Supply Chain
My career in Supply Chain started after I left university in 2012. From the interview process, where every single interviewer was male it was clear that it was a predominantly male environment, especially at upper management level. This perception has not been proved wrong to me in the 9 years that have followed. I have progressed relatively quickly from an entry level role in a blue-chip company moving within 5 years to a Head of Supply Chain to a fresh food company and now into a Supply Chain Manager for a comestics company responsible for both UK and European Distribution and Demand.
During that time, I have always felt a need to prove myself, and justify my role more than my male counterparts. My roles in Supply Chain heavily overlap with warehousing and logistics and in these environments particularly I have faced commentary that I cannot possibly be a senior manager within Supply Chain, that I was not what they were expecting, that I am too young. I have attended industry events where you can see attendees faces drop as I sit down next to them, only to find 30 minutes into conversation that I do know what I am talking about and am in fact knowledgeable in my role.
Personally, I have not viewed this as a negative experience but as an encouragement to continue to build on my role and career, and I have been lucky enough to have had several managers (both male & female) who have helped me grow and develop. I have also always had a supportive family who help me shrug off and laugh off comments or reactions that I might have received.
That being said, I have always felt that I would have benefitted, especially earlier on in my career, whilst understanding myself and building confidence from being aware of women in a senior management position within supply chain. I can count the number of women on one hand (well one finger in fact) that I know of in such positions. For me, this is what International Women’s Day is all about. It is about sharing the successes of other women, hearing stories we can relate to and inspiration; both inspiring others and being inspired.
Setting up Waves UK
I have been lucky enough, through careful time management and support from Friends & Family to set up Waves UK, whilst still working full-time. For me, this has been important as it has provided me the financial stability to invest and grow the business. I love that I am now a director of my own firm, whilst maintaining a senior position in a global company, one in-fact that is founded on the principles of providing women across the world with a independent income and was founded by a women.
One thing that has really struck me since setting up Waves UK is the number of inspirational and supportive women, I have met on my journey so far, and the number of them achieving absolutely wonderful things both for themselves and the planet.
I wanted to take this opportunity to call out some of these businesses:
Beth Noy @ Plastic Freedom:
Beth owns and runs Plastic Freedom – your one-stop shop for anything plastic-free and planet saving swaps! Beth supports a wide range of businesses, as long as they are plastic-free and have a desire to make a better planet for now and for the future. Beth was one of our first wholesale orders and recognised our product for it’s quality and unique plastic-free benefits. Not only does she have an awesome business but she has an inspirational and positive outlook and everyday life. Check out @bethnoy on Instagram for your daily dose of surfing happiness and @plasticfreedom_ to find a plastic free alternative to almost anything.
Petra Tiziani @ Womu-nation
Petra has set up Womu-nation. Womu-nation was set up to inspire, educate and create change for a better planet by bringing together women to support women on their eco, ethical, sustainable business journey’s, work towards the 2030 sustainable development goals together and create a community of women to harness knowledge and move forward supporting one another for a better planet. She encouraged and supported me to push outside of my comfort zone and take part in her Podcast series “The Follow” which follows the journey to setting up a sustainable business with a number of female leaders. You can listen on Apple, & Spotify.
Bex Walker @ Bexfast
Bexfast Pots are whole food, no junk breakfast pots all based on popular cake flavours – all the yum, none of the junk. Bex set up Bexfast back in 2015 and it has since rapidly evolved into a successful business. I love following Bex’s no nonsense Instagram, giving an honest and open insight into running a small and growing business.
Rachel Knowles @ Trenchmore
Trenchmore farm is somewhere that bought us much joy over the past year during multiple lockdowns and social restrictions. Previously predominantly providing sustainably farmed beef to restaurants, lockdown V1 meant they needed to reassess, and that’s how I had the joy of discovering Trenchmore and their beef (and cider). Focusing on regenerative farming, this is genuinely the most delicious beef I have had the joy of eating, and has made my principle of little but high quality and sustainable meat eating more enjoyable and achievable. They also have awesome Silly Moo Cider and throughout last summer, lockdown permitting had a series of pop-up food events on their farm (pizza, burgers and kebabs). A fantastic example of a business adapting and thriving to this years challenges.
For me, International Women’s Day is about highlighting and celebrating success. Whether you are a man or a woman, it is a time to reflect on what you can achieve and to make sure you are surrounded by friends, family and colleagues who are there to celebrate in your successes and build you up. Think about something that is holding you back and find inspirational stories that have faced the same challenges and overcome them. There will be so many great stories out there this 8th March, there may be too many to choose from!