Kelly Brownlee – My role as a Depot Manager – Leading by example

Kelly Brownlee is a Depot Manager at Civils and Lintels (Leeds). Here she gives us an isight into her role into the building materials industry and how she feels very much encouraged by her peers.

There is no typical day in my career, we start off with a brief to staff on sales against budget/check reports for sales/profit/deal with any staffing issues/deal with customers/suppliers/accounts & customer queries/admin tasks/transport/meetings/quotations – varied role no day ever the same.

I did not specifically choose this career or industry.  I started in my career in an Admin role, there was a position available in this industry which I applied for and once I joined the industry I could straight away see there was potential to work hard and move on in the business.

I got to where I am now by starting in an Admin role, moved on to sales/ then Assistant Manager, now Manager.  I was encouraged by colleagues and Management Teams within the Business I worked in. Once Depot Manager, I did come across some challenges but always had the support of the Management Team.

‘I became more confident and determined’

I overcame setbacks by working hard and being determined not to be beat.  I found the first year extremely difficult, but I had the support of my line Manager and peers and with their guidance and support with every setback I overcame, I became more confident and determined to make the Depot a success.

An important initiative I believe in is being a good leader and inspiring the team, leading by example.

I think I have always had the determination and drive as I have always been encouraged by my peers and Line Managers and my family and their belief in me has made me determined not to let them down and to ensure I succeed.

The great thing about being a female in my role is the encouragement I get from others.

My biggest achievement in life is working my way up the ladder in a Male dominated industry from an Administrator, to a Depot Manager and winning Depot of the year and getting the highest scores in safety and operational audits in my previous role/Depot.

The biggest lesson that I’ve learnt along the way is everybody is different and needs to be managed in different ways.

In my role as Depot Manager, I have felt my gender has brought unnecessary challenges. Sometimes staff have found it difficult never having had a Female Manager before.

My favorite hobbies are cooking, walking and spending time with family and friends.

The three tips I would give to young females starting their roles are have faith in yourself, every challenge makes you stronger as you learn something new. It may be tough at times, but don’t ever give up.

The best bit of advice that I have ever been given is to believe in myself more.

One woman who has impacted my life would be my Nana who always encouraged me and believed in me.

‘You need to have the support of your peers’

My key motivators to be successful, to be part of a successful team that I have helped to create.

Some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations are hard work and determination. You need to have the support of your peers and Line Management Team. Don’t give up when things get tough, there may be many hurdles, just remember with each hurdle, there is a learning for the future.

One key leadership lesson I’ve learned along the way is to get to know your team, as everyone needs to be managed and encouraged in different ways.  People have different motivators.

What I would say to your 16-year-old self is to believe in yourself more/have more confidence and less self-doubt.


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