Real Model interview episode #28 featuring Gemma Burdett, Senior Account Manager at Close Brothers Motor Finance and Inspiring Automotive Women Award Winner for 2020

Gemma takes ownership of her professional development and proactively shares best practice in supporting her peer group.

She’s delivered Dealer Satisfaction Scores in excess of 96% with consistently great feedback from her dealer partners. Gemma achieves fantastic performance results each year by delivering growth across territory metrics to ensure sustainable long-term growth, a performance built on great relationships, sharing knowledge and supporting regulatory change and digital innovation in an ever-changing marketplace. 

She was voted Chair of Close Brothers’ Women in Motor Forum because of her passion, drive and the respect she has from her female colleagues and beyond. She’s attended interview skills training and supported the recruitment of new account managers, has written blogs and presented at meetings, championing the Forum and details why gender balance is so important. In addition, she has inspired others to join, including male advocates.

How did you feel to be nominated by your colleagues in the Inspiring Automotive Women Awards 2020 and how did it feel to be one of our winners?

I was completely overwhelmed to be nominated and then to win was just unbelievable. It didn’t really become real until I knew how many nominations there were and then when I saw the other winners and how successful they were in their roles. It really was a very memorable experience and I was proud to be a part of the awards ceremony.

What is your job and what does it involve? 

I am a field-based Account Manager looking after independent motor dealers in the South West. I help dealers with their daily needs from stocking their forecourt to providing market insight. Behind the scenes there is a lot of prep work involved for my day-to-day activities which are helped along by our in-house customer relationship management system. I am also lucky enough to be the chair of our Women in Motor forum which has given me the opportunity to develop myself whilst helping with the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy.

More recently I am now looking at JCT600’s Group Parts, this includes understanding the current, creating strategy to then start driving future performance through wider teams and colleagues. 

How long have you worked in the sector?

I have worked in the motor industry for just over 17 years, starting as a business manager in a prominent franchise retail group, and have now been with Close Brothers Motor Finance for just over 5 years.

What do you like best about your job?

I love the flexibility, I run my own diary and can tailor my week to ensure a healthy work-life balance whilst being successful in my role.

What are your future aspirations?

I really enjoy the role that I am doing now, however, I would look to potentially move into sales management within Close or one of the subject matter expert roles that are available within the business.

Can you name a woman in automotive that inspires you and why?

I’d have to say our CEO, Rebecca McNeil, hearing the story of how she has got to where she has is truly inspirational. If you get the chance, ask her about how she stops at nothing to get herself in front of the right person! It is a funny story but shows how focused she is. 

What makes you happy?

Spending time with my friends and family and doing as many activities as I can with my horse Rose.

Which word or phrase do you most overuse?

Every day’s a school day. There is always something new to learn.

What is your worst trait?

Letting go, I’m secretly a control freak!  Although I’ve been told this isn’t as much of a secret as I’d thought!

How would you like to be remembered?

For making a difference and being kind!

What advice would you give to women who are wanting to progress in the sector?

To believe in yourself and to not think twice about going for the role that you want, if you get a no the first time, don’t take it personally, there will always be another chance so keep pushing for what you want!

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