Women in access: Climbing the corporate ladder
By Leila Steed08 March 2023
Powered access rental company Nationwide Platforms has marked International Women’s Day (8 March 2023) by putting the spotlight on two of its senior level managers - who revealed three key things that helped them to develop their careers.
Customer Service Director Stacey Wade and Kate Bell, Head of Partnerships & Training, have both had long careers in the equipment sector and have now spoken about the three things that helped them to rise into leadership positions.
According to UK-based rental company Nationwide, neither Wade or Bell had linear career paths.
After working in the construction sector for a brief period of time, Wade joined Nationwide in 2010 and worked her way up “through various departments and roles including administration, office manager, and operations manager until her recent promotion to UK Customer Service Director”.
Similarly, Bell also gained experience in a number of roles before taking up her current position as head of Partnerships & training. She began working in the construction equipment rental sector 20 years ago and spent nearly 15 years at Speedy. Over the years she held a number of positions, gaining experience in sales, operations and customers services, which have now led her to the “senior role she occupies today”.
One of the key things that helped Wade and Bell progress their careers was a management structure and ethos that encouraged career development.
Both Wade and Bell “credit Nationwide Platforms for its supportive management structure, which provided oppportunities for rapid career advancement”.
1. Management structure that supports rapid career progression
Customer Services Director Wade said, “There’s a real emphasis on development plans and recognising who wants to advance,” said Wade. “No matter your background or role, you’re encouraged to share your ideas which has really helped the two of us shape our careers across so many departments.
“Equity to me is all about giving everyone a voice and the opportunity to be heard, and that’s something Nationwide Platforms has always done well in my years of working here.”
Bell added, “The senior team is fantastic at encouraging you to challenge the norms of what your role usually covers – being inquisitive, asking questions, and making suggestions are all supported.”
According to Nationwide, this helped Bell secure her current position at the company, in which she advises women starting their careers to lean into their curiosity.
“I think cross-training is so important to broaden your horizons and would encourage anyone to seek those opportunities,” said Bell.
“Not only does it help you ascertain the best role and department for yourself, you gain a better understanding of the business as a whole and that sets you up for future leadership roles.”
2. Be vocal about your career goals
Bell also recommends that employees, particularly women, should be more vocal about their career goals.
“It’s something that’s said a lot, but assert yourself. Work on creating your own development plan and schedule 1-2-1s with your manager to put it into place. You have to take responsibility for your own path, but equally build and lean on your support network.”
3. Seek out mentors to progress your career
Both women are also keen champions of mentorship.
“One of my early mentors was a mother of two,” said Kate. “Having her guidance really gave me the confidence that I could also progress in my career as a mother and hopefully I’m setting that example not just within the company, but to my daughters too.”
“Never be afraid to seek mentorship,” Stacey adds. “Most women want to see others succeed, and pay forward the opportunities they were once given.
“We couldn’t have reached the position we’re in today without the support of others, and we love cheering on other women as they climb the ladder.”