Meet Victoria Walton, General Manager, Volkswagen Towcester, Jardine Motors Group and IAW Award Winner for 2019

 

Victoria joined Jardine Motors Group and became head of its Volkswagen Towcester business in July 2018. She is responsible for 45 colleagues across the dealership covering all aspects of Aftersales, Car Sales and back office staff.

Victoria started working in the motor industry when she was 23 years old and has held various roles to rise to the senior manager level she is at today. This has included trainee business manager, business manager, sales manager and brand manager.

Victoria explains what motivates her to drive gender balance: “I have frequently received first- hand experience of inequality in the workplace. This experience has emboldened me to realise the opportunity I have as a manager to not slavishly follow rules when I think they are wrong or create unintentional bias. As a manager I can now work to put my own equality policies in place that afford me the opportunity to support working mums, consider flexibility in working hours, use objective criteria in recruitment, training and promotion whilst modernising my own business and the attitudes of my team with regard for unconscious bias and the type of language used on a day to day basis.”

Victoria is a full-time, working mum and has often faced criticism within the context of societal attitudes towards this.

Victoria explains: “It took me a long time to feel confident in the choice I made to go back to work full time alongside the responsibility of spending time with my daughter. However, my daughter is of an age now upon which she will often ask about my work and I’m more conscious than ever that I am a role model for her. I now take pride in being able to demonstrate to her what you can achieve if you know what you want and believe in what you are doing. Going back to work was always going to make me more confident as an individual and therefore better prepared to enjoy being a Mum.”

On hearing the news about being part of the Top 30, Victoria said: “I was obviously excited and pride, followed by a sense of reflection on my career and responsibility to keep working hard to achieve more.”

What inspired Victoria to join the industry was the support of a brilliant boss. “Having worked in a high pressurised environment for many years I don’t think I was ever specifically looking for promotion. It was often other managers that would push me to take on more responsibility.

After taking on a more senior role in 2016, I was having a difficult year due to poor performance and remember feeling unable to manage external factors out of my control. I had a new General Manager Andrew Crocker who sat me down… I cried, a lot, he listened, a lot, and then simply encouraged me to believe in myself. I realise now looking back how much that period of support from a manager empowered me to feel more confident and the following year I finished in 6 out of 136 dealers.”

 

You may also be interested in reading;

The winners of the UK Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiring Automotive Women Awards 2019!
Honouring our Inspiring Automotive Women Award Winners who are “Lifting others as they rise”
A conversation with the industry’s most inspiring women
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