Women in Leadership


Tell us about your role in McArdle Skeath.

I joined McArdle Skeath in March 2000 after working with Kingspan Insulation for six years. I thought after graduation I would walk back into the family business to continue the help with the work which distracted my social life during college, Saturdays, Bank Holidays and Summer work. But no …. I was informed that I had to find work elsewhere and experience working outside the family business.  I was devastated, I had all these plans I was going to implement but that was all put on hold.  In hindsight, which is great, my parents are very wise and clever, and this outside experience was very beneficial. When I returned at my Dads request, I began in National Transport Operations scheduling loads, organising drivers and dealing with customers daily.  Following that I decided to work in all departments of the company to one understand the duties and responsibilities of each department and two the difficulties those areas faced.  Departments included Quality, Health & Safety, Exports, Imports and finally Accounts.  When I got to dig into the financials I realised that this is where I can have the most influence and at the same time to be able to support each department.  As part of my role I am part of the Management Team, only lady but I’m well fit to fight my corner, and I’m also a Director on our Board but most importantly I’m a mother to two beautiful teenage girls, a daughter of two wonderful parents, a sister to three strapping brothers and an individual with strong values and beliefs.

What are your values and how do they contribute to the business success?

For me one of the most important value is Respect. Respect for each other, respect in our dealings with both Customers and Suppliers and respect for the hard work and dedication that each employee puts into working for McArdle Skeath.  This respect keeps each of us connected to doing the right thing for one another and growing the business along without customers.  The second is Empathy.  Empathy for me, is to listen, talk and understand how people (Staff, Suppliers & Customers alike) operate and go about their daily lives gives me an appreciation and awareness of what’s important to them.  This recognition helps me to make the right decisions for the people I work with.

Tell us about the women of McArdle Skeath

Traditionally our industry was very male dominated and at all levels it still is.  This however is slowly changing.  McArdle Skeath is also changing, today we have numerous female roles, accounts, transport operations, quality, PR and marketing, warehouse operators, warehouse admin and in management.  Each person brings their own individualism, talents and skills with them to the table.  Twenty years ago, we employed three ladies as part of our workforce today that number is twenty-one.  We have come a long way but still have a long way to go to improve the gender balance in our industry.

What advice would you give to women wanting to thrive in a traditionally male-dominated industry?

My advice is to follow your dreams and dream big.  If you are willing to put in the time and effort “the world is your oyster”.  No obstacle should ever stop you, there are many solutions to get you to your end goal and your work ethic will help get you there.  Surround yourself with positive, supportive and caring people to guide and encourage you, and never give up…. The Reward Is Worth It!!