Amanda inspires with her ability to communicate key operational messages, support the development of group wide initiatives and promote their adoption across all stakeholders.
Striving to change outdated perceptions of the automotive industry, Amanda is a true advocate of creating a business culture inclusive to all. She increases engagement, empowers all colleagues to have a voice and has developed Jardine’s culture and community. Her passion and consideration for others is evident in her devotion to colleague wellbeing across the group.
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 really surprised to be a winner for a second year. There are some amazing women in this industry, across all levels. I don’t really think of myself as inspiring in anyway. I just get on with my job, love what I do, and hope that I’m having an impact and making a difference.
What is your job and what does it involve?
My job title is Head of Communications and Engagement; it’s a role that with the support of those more senior than me, I was enabled and empowered to create. As such it plays to my strengths and the areas I am passionate about, as well as gives me scope to develop. My remit is very broad and varied and I am responsible for a team of creatives, designers, video production, content and communications so we support the business across all brands and functions. This covers internal and external comms, branding, events, some parts of social media, PR and support with customer communications. I also work alongside members of the leadership team on our D&I, sustainability and CSR strategies.
How long have you worked in the sector?
I joined the industry about 3 years ago. I’d had lots of automotive clients through my time in agency and always loved the industry so when an opportunity became available to move inhouse, I jumped at the chance.
What do you like best about your job?
The variety, pace and people.
What are your future aspirations?
That’s a tough one; I’m really not sure. One of the things I love about my job and working at Jardine Motors is the support and encouragement I get from by boss and other members of the leadership team who facilitate opportunities for me to continually develop and learn. From understanding more about the commercial and operational aspects of the business, through to getting a greater insight into the business strategy, I’m just enjoying taking all the opportunities I can and seeing where it will lead in the future. There is no master plan anymore.
Can you name a woman in automotive that inspires you and why?
That’s an easy one, it has to be our Group HR Director Clare Wright. I’ve known Clare for over 7 years now, first as my client when I was agency-side, then as a colleague. She is a formidable driving force in our business and the wider industry and does it with compassion. She genuinely cares about people and is a great example of how you can be a senior leader, make tough decisions, but ultimately put people first, do the right thing and always be yourself.
What makes you happy?
My family, exercise, food and wine. I’m married to a chef so exercise is necessary! Plus I love being outdoors. I like to set goals and challenges each year to keep me focused on training so right now I’m preparing for an Ironman. (I wish they would change their branding to make it more inclusive by the way!)
Which word or phrase do you most overuse?
I wouldn’t say I overuse it, but I do like the phrase: Put a time stamp on it and move on. I say it to myself and sometimes my team. The principle of it is that we can sometimes dwell too much on something when it may not have gone to plan or have irritated or frustrated us and this can impact on your mindset and performance. I tell myself, I’m only going to worry or feel hassled by this issue for a set period longer, then I’m going to shut it down in my mind and move on. Sometimes that time stamp can be minutes, hours or even days depending on the issue, but it does work.
What is your worst trait?
Depends on who you ask! I don’t hold back on my views and opinions so some people will say I’m outspoken and I can be unfiltered. Depending on who I am with, I really have to focus and carefully consider how I position something and there have been times when I’ve got it wrong and it’s not gone well. But I learn each time. I also have really high expectations of myself, my team and generally colleagues around me. I’ve had to learn not everyone has the same priorities, agenda and pace of work as me, so I have to be patient and find a way of collaborating to achieve a shared outcome.
How would you like to be remembered?
Someone who was kind, considerate, fun and excelled in life. I’m not the kind of person to do things by half; if I’m going to do something, I go all out and give it my best always. I’m a very determined person.
What advice would you give to women who are wanting to progress in the sector?
Don’t settle for second best, know your worth and don’t listen to other’s opinions. When I took the job at JMG, some people said I was taking a step back in my career but I didn’t see it like that. A step sideways perhaps, but that was only short-term and what I believe was necessary in order to then progress further. Also, recognise the difference between when someone is presenting an opportunity to you because it’s great for your career development and when they are just taking advantage of your skills and commitment. There is a difference and you deserve to have your ambition and impact recognised and rewarded.