Carine Jessamine: We should embrace the differences we all have and play to our strengths as a team

For over 20 years Carine Jessamine has shown grit, drive and determination in her career. Aside from her attitude towards hard work she has also had the fortune of having some inspirational managers at key points throughout her working life.


In her current role, Carine is the Marketing Director at Selco Builders Warehouse. She has been featured as an Inspiring Woman by #YesSheCan due to how she has been able to take on a role in the leadership team in a male-dominated industry.


My career

I’m Marketing Director for Selco Builders Warehouse and it’s a wide and varied position. I oversee a large team of in-house staff and suppliers and am ultimately responsible for the strategy and delivery of all Selco’s marketing activity, whether that be advertising, creative, internal and external communications, PR and digital and social media. I also sit on the Leadership Team so it’s fair to say there is never a dull moment!


I think it’s important to have a good understanding of what’s happening across your department but also to give your team the chance to deliver campaigns with their own interpretation. I think people work best with an element of freedom but my door is always open if anybody wants to come and talk through something, whether that be work related or something from their personal life they want to share. I also like to have a relaxed atmosphere in the department. We all work extremely hard but I want everyone to take a moment out to smile and laugh every now and then.


My proudest career achievements

When I get an occasional quiet moment to myself, I look back with some satisfaction that I’ve been a head of department in my last three roles and I’m honoured to be the marketing director at a major UK-wide business such as Selco. But my greatest sense of pride comes from the engagement scores I have with my team. Particularly in marketing, communication is so important and getting that right gives the best chance of me and the team performing to our full potential.


Traditionally, the builders merchant industry is very male-dominated so it’s nice to have the chance to make a difference and offer a fresh perspective on things. Conversely, male-dominated industries come with unique challenges. When issues arise, I find that communication is key. Ongoing dialogue is so important to tackle these issues – keep talking!


Barriers (or challenges) in my career

I can honestly say that I don’t perceive difficulties as barriers, more challenges. I’ve certainly never felt my gender has been an issue wherever I’ve worked and I’m glad to say that – in my experiences so far – every decision someone has made about me has been based purely on ability.


What I’d change in the working world

Something that I strongly believe is to reduce the expectation across all industries for employees to work long hours. Speaking to people from different sectors, it’s rare to find somebody whose working day is truly complete until very late in the evening and that is unsustainable, both for the individual in question and in terms of productivity.


How diversity can help organisations

Of course, a mixture of skills can only be a positive for any industry. But I believe it shouldn’t be made a major talking point. If diversity is an issue, action is required, not just conversations about it. Ways of working should be looked at, including flexible working hours, part-time contracts etc. That way you’ll get a good mix of people from both genders, all ages and ethnicities.


I respect all my colleagues for the work they do and vice-versa. We should embrace the differences we all have and play to our strengths as a team.


My advice to my 16-year-old self

Go out and have some fun. Yes, work is a serious – and at times – stressful business but it becomes a lot easier if you have can make time for enjoyment occasionally too.


If you want to read more posts about women in construction then check out Katy Kelleher’s blog – she operates the tallest crane in Britain.


If you would like to apply for a role with Selco please see the YesSheCan jobs board.


If you would like to know more about Selco as a company please visit

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