Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

ActionCOACH is helping Chesterfield woman Nicola is flying the flag for females in aggregate industry

ActionCOACH is helping Chesterfield woman Nicola is flying the flag for females in aggregate industry

A trailblazer from Derbyshire who is flying the flag for women working in the aggregate industry has paid tribute to the females who have inspired her during her career.

Nicola Sykes, from Chesterfield, is People Director at AMES UK & ROI; one of the leading manufacturers and distributers of garden products in the country. Supplying to garden centres, retail and DIY stores across the UK and Ireland, Nicola says that although AMES are a very inclusive employer, she would like to see the sector be more inclusive as the world celebrates International Women's Month.

“At AMES, we have a very good balance at leadership level and pride ourselves on being an inclusive employer,” she said.

“However, the aggregates industry is still dominated by males and, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, now is a good time to challenge this.

“I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing female mentors, women who are passionate about making a positive impact and I hope that I can inspire, too.”

According to a recent study by Funding Circle, one in six women in the UK have felt gender stereotyped with 15% avoiding applying for a job because it sounded like a ‘male role’.

And almost a quarter of the 2,000 women who took part in the Funding Circle survey knew that they were getting paid less than their male counterparts in the same role.

Nicola, who is being coached by Tony Prueitt of ActionCOACH Derby, says that her company encourages new starters to explore all aspects of the organisation to ensure that they have a good understanding of how the business works.

“That includes getting to grips with all levels in the organisation from the heavy plant, fork-lift trucks, warehouses and manufacturing environments through to the professional services and strategic functions,” said Nicola, who has previously worked for Derby City Council and Morrison’s.

“Our leadership teams are grounded and always looking for ways to connect with colleagues throughout our organisation and hear what they think about working in AMES. One of our business goals is to be an Employer of Choice, and we are achieving that through connecting with our people.

“Throwing the ladder down has never been more important, and not just to our female counterparts; to all minority groups and individuals who bring difference, a much-needed trait in today’s corporate environment.

“Our people are at the core of our future growth and it’s so important that they are actively involved in our organisation.”

The 39-year-old has a passion for manufacturing and logistics and is keen to empower others.

AMES retained business coach Tony to work with their senior leadership team – including Nicola – to help achieve this goal.

“Tony is very experienced, particularly in this field, after helping to transform Mac Tools Europe into a hugely profitable franchise business,” said Nicola.

“He gives us structure and accountability and challenges us by coaching us on our 90-day action plan. Our sessions with Tony are a ‘safe space’ to share our ideas to help AMES grow as an organisation.

“He is a real champion of people, gives us great advice and signposts us to tools and resources to enable us to grow.”

Tony, who has worked with major global organisations and high-profile SMEs in Derby, is currently offering business owners and executive leaders a free 30-minute sessions to test drive high performing coaching.

Anyone wishing to book a place should visit for details.

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