Go Plant Fleet Services

This week, for International Women’s Day, and as part of an ongoing series to highlight Women in the Workplace, we interviewed Kearcy Watts, our Head of Strategic Partnerships. Our thanks go out to Kearcy for taking the time to answer our questions and we look forward to showcasing more of these interviews with our employees.

Can you tell us about your journey to your current position within the company? What led you to choose this career path?

Upon leaving college my father, bitterly disappointed with my decision to forgo a career as a Navigation Officer in the Navy promptly instructed me to “go get a job and not return home empty handed”, this led me to my first employment as a chambermaid in a prominent Brighton hotel. Whilst the work was physically demanding it lacked enjoyment but observing the front of house operations left me envious of those working in that environment. This prompted me to proactively pursue roles in reception and subsequently front of house management driven by my enthusiasm for customer interaction.

Some years later, having moved on from the Hotel industry and following a brief stint in HR, I relocated to Birmingham and worked for RBS (Lombard Vehicle Management) initially in Customer Services but with time, dedication, and progression, I managed dealer relationships, manufacturer relationships and then headed up the whole Procurement function of the business. From there, I went on to manage the Group vehicle fleet.  I really enjoyed the relationship management aspects of these roles, and it was during my time with RBS that my then boss, Richard, suggested a shift towards a career in sales and account management. Since then, I’ve occupied a number of Sales & Account Management roles and the valuable skills and experiences I have accumulated in these roles have equipped me well for my current role and responsibilities.

Throughout my career my passion has been centred around the customer, fostering trusted relationships, and positioning myself as their preferred supplier.

How do you think diversity and inclusion initiatives have impacted your experience and the experiences of other women in your field?

Diversity initiatives frequently emphasise the goal of elevating the presence of women in senior management and leadership positions. This increased visibility challenges stereotypes and reinforces the notion that women can excel in high-ranking roles across various industries. The resulting workplace culture and expanded opportunities empower women, like me, to actively pursue challenging roles. Flexible working policies specifically tailored to assist individuals in balancing their career and family responsibilities have been instrumental in encouraging many women to advance their careers.

Go Plant stands out in this regard showcasing a commendable representation of women across various management levels including senior management and board.

Could you share a memorable experience or achievement in your career that you feel proud of?

A little over two years ago I received an e-mail from a dad sharing a touching story about his son’s fascination with the Go Plant sweeper, as it regularly cleaned their housing estate. The young boy expressed a keen desire to become a Go Plant sweeper driver when he grew older, and his father had reached out to see if we might send his son some branded merchandise. With Christmas approaching I came up with the idea of inviting the family to visit Father Christmas in a Go Plant sweeper, collaborating with our driver and the depot, our driver dressed as Santa while I transformed into Santa’s helpful elf. The family joined us for the morning, their children sat in the sweeper and the boy asked Santa a lot of questions about Go Plant, sweepers and of course the North Pole. We gifted the children a selection of presents from Father Christmas and enjoyed a memorable and festive moment. It has stayed with me as it was something so simple to organise that brought such immense joy and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it.

How do you manage to balance your work responsibilities with your personal life? Any tips for others striving to achieve this balance?

Balancing work responsibilities with my personal life can often be a challenge. However, I am the Queen of the to do list and my entire life, both professional and personal is stored in my work calendar. The first thing I do each morning is review my to do list to ensure I’ve prioritised my workload based on urgency and importance and then I start to plot the time each task is going to take me so that my objectives for what can be done on any given day are realistic. My personal life allows me to work outside of core times but I’m conscious of having boundaries to ensure a healthy separation between work and personal life. Having a dog, I get outdoors for an hour every morning and every evening, which I find is therapeutic and creates a great routine for the start and end of my day.

 What do you see as your role in supporting and mentoring other women within the company or industry?           

I’m committed to supporting and mentoring other women within the company and the industry generally. I believe in the power of collaboration and shared experiences to uplift and empower individuals. In some of my previous roles I’ve had the privilege of being involved in mentoring programmes, whether it was offering guidance or career development or providing a listening ear during a challenging time. Those experiences have reinforced my belief in the importance of fostering a supportive community.

 I see my role within Go Plant as being that of an advocate for the professional growth of women. This involves actively promoting their achievements highlighting their contributions and creating opportunities for them to showcase their skills.

What advice would you give to young women who aspire to work in your industry, whether in an office, depot or as a driver?

The industry offers a wide range of roles from office positions to depot operations and driving. It is therefore important to recognise the diversity of opportunity available and find a path that aligns with your skills and interests. I would encourage investment in both technical and soft skills, be this improving your communication or your problem-solving skills or mastering the complexity of routing and managing a hire planner. A well-rounded skill set will open doors.

Networking is crucial in this industry, attend industry events, connect with professionals, and seek out a mentor. Building a strong network not only provides you with valuable insight but also opens doors for career advancement.

Within Go Plant we promote the value of networking and regularly attend “Meet the Buyer” events industry conferences and trade shows.

Over just the next four weeks, I will be attending an event hosted by Morgan Sindall, another hosted by Speedy and a third hosted by the Road Surface Treatment Association (RSTA) Conference where I will meet with existing customers and prospects and listen to seasoned professionals talk about some the current challenges we face economically, environmentally, and technologically.