International Women’s Day is just around the corner! As part of this, we sat down with Wendy Maiden, our Regional Manager. Beginning her career as an SBFM cover cleaner, we talked about the inspiring journey she’s been on.

Hello Wendy! Could you share what International Women’s Day mean for you?

“Hi! I think it’s a brilliant idea to highlight women that have made a difference and stood out! Unfortunately, there still is a gender divide, especially in the workplace. I think it’s important to recognise women who are really excelling in their own field and give credit where credit is due. Sometimes women are overlooked and it should change, and International Women’s Day draws attention to that, to create positive change.”

Can you share any experiences that have been particularly empowering for you as a woman leader?

“I think the most empowering moments are when I see the positive impact my ideas and my work have made on people. Seeing people genuinely appreciate and value my contributions, and recognising the benefits of my leadership, those moments really stand out for me. They’ve been a huge confidence boost for me in my career.”

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?

“I think the biggest challenge is pushing your own limits. When I began my career, I realised that I wanted to develop myself and become a leader, so I worked at it and began taking on extra responsibilities. I kept pushing the limits of what I thought I could achieve, and it was a challenge to do that, to keep pushing myself. But I kept going, kept overcoming challenges, learning more, and progressing myself. It can seem scary at the time, but it’s well worth it once you see how far you’ve come!”

How has SBFM supported you?

“When I began my career with SBFM, I quickly realised that it had a genuine culture of reward and recognition. I knew that if I worked hard and committed myself, it would be picked up on, and I would be supported to progress my career – regardless of my gender. Even in areas I had little experience of, SBFM supported me because they saw I had the right attitude. I was helped to understand new systems, develop leadership skills, and gain more knowledge through group training and development opportunities. I’m even studying for a degree in leadership, which SBFM has supported me to achieve.”

Have you had mentors or role models who have inspired or guided you in your journey?

“There are so many women in SBFM who have inspired and supported me, but definitely my manager, Ceri Williams. She saw that I had the drive and commitment to go far in my career, and she encouraged me every step of the way. Thank you, Ceri! There are so many other successful women in leading roles here at SBFM, which definitely gave me some extra confidence, because I saw that I could achieve that same development and progression.”

Thank you Wendy! Your journey is truly inspiring and it’s been a pleasure discussing it with you as part of the International Women’s Day campaign.