In anticipation of International Women’s Day this Wednesday, we spoke to our MD and founder, Kim Wilson, about what North South Wines is doing to create an environment where women can thrive.
What do you think makes North South Wines an attractive place for women to work?
NSW provides a business approach that values female progression and this is shown by the fact we have a female MD and a good split of women in management roles. 39% of our staff are women and 50% of management positions are filled by women.
Our open and honest culture helps women to be themselves and thrive at work. We offer flexibility, support, and benefits that help women in the workplace. The results from our staff satisfaction surveys of 4.57/5 satisfied across the business and 4.74/5 for recommending NSW as an employer show how our employees rate us.
What does the business have in place to support women in their role and career progression?
The flexible working we offer all employees is so important in helping women succeed at work and at home. This not only benefits mothers but also fathers who want an active role in childcare during the week. We have been very flexible when it comes to requests to move to part-time or evolving job roles within the business to accommodate a healthier work-life balance. We have a proven track record of training women within the business – such as our Technical Manager, Emily Brighton, who is onto stage 3 of her MW qualification, and our Technical & Buying Assistant, Rebecca Murphy, who recently completed a Business Sustainability Management course – and of females progressing to more senior roles.
Why do you feel it is important to have women well-represented in management roles within NSW?
We need to have the perspective of women to help develop a happy, inclusive workplace. I find that women in management roles have a great sense of awareness of the feelings of their team members, and their emotional stability. They bring new approaches to existing systems and think out of the box. Having a good mix of female and male representatives on the management team helps us look at problems in a more detailed way and come up with better solutions.
It is also very important to the industry to level the playing field; NSW provides a business approach that values female progression and, hopefully, this will filter further throughout the industry.
Have there been any changes you have made to the company policies to better accommodate women? If so, what?
In addition to the flexible working, mentioned above, we have enhanced our maternity policy and introduced a menopause policy. We also put the management team through mental health awareness training to ensure we can support and react in the correct way when we spot any employees struggling.
And, finally, what bottle of wine have you enjoyed recently?
We had a bottle of De Bortoli Deen Vat Botrytis Semillon, made by the incredible Julie Mortlock, at the weekend with sticky toffee pudding. Heaven!