March 12, 2021
Stephnie Judge, MD of Victorian Plumbing, believes that diversity can inspire creativity and innovation across any business, especially the bathroom market.
Q: Did you ever feel like your gender was a help or a hindrance in making it to the role of MD?
A: My journey to this role has felt like a whirlwind. Coming into the business in 2013 as PA to the MD [Judge’s predecessor and company founder Mark Radcliffe] at a critical period in the company’s growth I was able to witness and be heavily involved in so many aspects of the business that I had never come across before. This gave me a fantastic insight on how to manage the development of the business and I thrived on the diversity of the role. I don’t feel that my gender hindered my progression, despite the industry being male-led.
Q: What role do you think Victorian Plumbing has to play in championing gender equality in the KBB industry?
A: I am proud to be part of a culture that can lead the way for gender equality. In this company, we value employees for their talents, not their gender and I believe that other companies should realise what women have to offer to leadership in the workplace. We want to encourage everyone in our business to reach
Q:Why do you think there are so few women in top roles in the KBB industry?
A: Typically, our industry has had a very close relationship with trade professions that were traditionally male-oriented. The lack of women in senior positions isn’t just evident in this industry – globally, women are under-represented on boards, holding less than 20% of board seats.
Q: How would the KBB industry benefit from having more women in top roles?
A: Diversity can harbour creativity and innovation. This industry thrives on those things. Inevitably, women and men will have different experiences that shape what they can bring to the table – it makes sense to use both in the workplace.
Q: What do you think women at board level can bring to the industry?
A: The diversity that comes from women at board level means that the board can make more balanced, representative decisions. Diverse viewpoints drive more well-informed outcomes.
Q: As a woman, what do you believe you bring to Victorian Plumbing?
A: I believe everyone has strengths and it’s my job to help find those strengths in people and nurture them. I value collaboration, encouragement and clear communication in the workplace. I enjoy finding ways to develop our talent and watching them tune into their aspirations.
Q: What advice would you give to any women starting out in business?
A: Look for the learning experience in everything – starting out may be tough, you may not always get it right, but it’s important to look at every setback as a learning experience. It will help you to develop your knowledge or skill set.
Q: What advice would you give to women who are aiming for top positions in the industry?
A: Know your worth. Don’t give into self-doubt. Remember, your skills and experience offer employers value.
Q:Do you feel you have a role to play in encouraging women to aim for the top?
A: I would love to encourage more women in the industry to think about moving into a more senior role. Don’t wait for progression to happen – use your strengths to own your career path and development. Put yourself forward and show your employer that you want to be considered.
Listen to the International Women’s Day Special on The kbbreview Podcast on The kbbreview Podcast. Listen now using the player below or search ‘kbbreview’ in a podcast app.
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