‘Diverse viewpoints drive more well-informed outcomes’, says Victorian Plumbing MD

Stephnie Judge, MD of Victorian Plumbing believes that diversity can fuel creativity and innovation in any business, especially in the bathroom market.

Q: Have you ever felt that your gender was an aid or an obstacle to the MD role?

ON: My journey into this role felt like a whirlwind. Entry into the business in 2013 as PA to MD [Judge’s predecessor and company founder Mark Radcliffe] At a critical stage in the company’s growth, I was able to witness so many aspects of the business that I had never come across them before. This gave me fantastic insight into managing business development and I made a living from the diversity of the role. I don’t feel that my gender has hindered my development, despite the fact that the industry is male-led.

Q: What role do you think Victorian Plumbing needs to play in promoting gender equality in the KBB industry?

ON: I take pride in being part of a culture that can lead the way for gender equality. At this company, we value people for their talents, not their gender, and I believe other companies should recognize what women have to offer for leadership in the workplace. We want to encourage everyone in our company to achieve
their potential.

Q:Why do you think there are so few women in top positions in the KBB industry?

ON: Typically, our industry has a very close relationship with commercial professions that have traditionally been geared towards men. The shortage of women in management positions is not only evident in this industry – women are underrepresented on executive boards worldwide and hold less than 20% of the board seats.

Q: How would the KBB industry benefit from having more women in top positions?

ON: Diversity can host creativity and innovation. This industry thrives on these things. Women and men will inevitably have different experiences that will determine what they can bring to the table – it makes sense to use both in the workplace.

Q: What do you think women at board level can bring to the industry?

ON: The diversity that women emanate at board level means the board can make more balanced and representative decisions. Different perspectives lead to better informed results.

Q: As a woman, what do you bring to Victorian Plumbing?

ON: I believe everyone has strengths and it is my job to find those strengths in people and to develop them. I value collaboration, encouragement and clear communication in the workplace. I enjoy finding ways to develop our talent and watching them adjust to their aspirations.

Q: What advice would you give women starting a business?

ON: Look for the learning experience in everything – it may be difficult to get started, you may not always get it right, but it is important to view any setback as a learning experience. It will help you develop your knowledge or skills.

Q: What advice would you give women aspiring to top positions in the industry?

ON: Know your worth. Don’t give into self-doubt. Remember that your skills and experience add value to employers.

Q:Do you feel that you have a role to play in encouraging women to reach the top?

ON: I would like to encourage more women in the industry to consider a higher position. Don’t wait for progress – use your strengths to guide your career path and development. Introduce yourself and show your employer that you want to be considered.

Listen to the special on International Women’s Day on the kbbreview podcast on the kbbreview podcast. Now listen with the player below or search for “kbbreview” in a podcast app.

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