Caroline Sutcliffe, now Warner (1979-1993)
What do you do now?
Brand Director for Moet & Chandon (the champagne house). I manage all the marketing for the brand in UK; including advertising, PR, events, promotions, packaging etc everything that is involved with brand communication. I recommend marketing to anyone who has a bit of flair, likes to keep busy and do a bit of everything. . .
How did you get into this line of work?
From university, I went to work at LOreal on their Management Trainee Scheme. Graduate schemes like this are, on the whole, the best way to get into marketing so look out for presentations from the big companies once you get to university. My first job was as Assistant Brand Manager for one of their haircare brands. It was lots of fun I once had my hair dyed black at the ends with bright red roots!
Have you ever encountered prejudice or unfairness because of your sex?
No but I have often found myself at boardroom tables as the only woman amongst lots of men of a certain age! Its often harder for women to keep ahead once they have a family, as responsibilities increase and priorities change (unless, of course, you have a partner willing to be a house husband I dont!). The solution is flexible working, but most employers are slow to implement realistic options that keep talented mums in the workplace. Theres a trend called Kitchen Table Tycoons lots of women starting their own businesses from home as big corporations are unable to offer them flexible options to suit family life. Keep campaigning for flexibility in the workplace girls well change the world eventually!
What does it take to be successful?
I dont know anyone who is successful in a career they dont enjoy. Take time to examine all the potential options when you are at university (and before that, do the same with courses and universities chose the subject you are passionate about). Try internships and work shadowing to work out what you are going to enjoy most. Of course, youre most likely to enjoy something that makes the most of your natural talents. If you make the right choice, youre 90% there. For the rest, be willing to learn, work hard, ask questions, persevere through tricky patches and have some fun.
Any advice for Westholme girls today?
Stay confident and smile. . .Talk with passion about what you do know, ask enquiring questions about what you dont! Make sure your role models are worthy of respect in this age of too much adulation of threadbare celebrity. Plan your goals and work hard to achieve them dont expect things to fall into your lap. Dont be disheartened there is no real success without failures on the way. Make choices for you, not for anyone else and enjoy all that life has to offer its an amazing world out there! Good luck!