International Women’s Day – celebrating the achievements of our female colleagues

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, and the mission for 2022 is to advance gender equality in a time of climate crisis through women’s leadership. These two key themes are fundamental to the core values of Procura Consulting. We aim to create an environment where women can thrive, feel valued and can lead our sustainable procurement goals.

Today we celebrate the achievements of our female colleagues by asking some of them to share what a typical day at Procura looks like, and what International Women’s Day means to them.

Catch up with Consultant Adele Bleakley

Adele Bleakley

What is your role at Procura?

My current role at Procura is as a Consultant. I joined Procura in August 2020 after working in the Automotive Industry as a Buyer for 3 years.

I help support the Procura team on many different projects, which is great, as it is allows me to experience an insight to many different industries. So far, I have been involved in topics and industries such as; electronic components, waste management, Biotech and Insurance.

I decided to further my career into Consulting, as I enjoy working with new people and love to help others solve business issues. As a consultant, these combine really well and help me reach these desired areas.

What does your typical day at Procura look like?

Every day is so different, and each day has so much variation to it. In the past 7 months since joining Procura, I have worked on a range of projects, from locating EOL semiconductors in China, to cost reduction and waste optimization projects for a BioTech company based in US, to sourcing insurance for a global not for profit charity.

Having this much variation has really helped me develop a more flexible approach to working and adapt to change quicker. Being submerged into many different industries also allows for further knowledge development and market insights.

I also am part of the Procura Value Council, working closely with our sustainability goals and how we as a company can become Carbon Neutral by 2023, which is great to have the responsibility and independence to run with such an important topic.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy how diverse and different each day is, which keeps the work fresh and interesting. I have been supported to undertake sourcing responsibilities including face-to-face client meetings since my first week at Procura, which has really helped me develop the confidence to work closely with clients and become a more experienced consultant.

Working for a specialised boutique consultancy also fosters a sense of equality amongst the Procura team, and I really respect the fact we can speak with anyone in the company, regardless of their title, for support and insights to help support on projects and further develop my career.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Throughout my life, I have always been in male dominated environments; Business at A-Level, Business at University, working in the Automotive Industry and currently in Procurement Consulting.

I am not sure if there is a connotation that these areas are more specifically for males – however being part of these industries has really opened my eyes to potentially how much further we need to go to help promote and represent women’s ideas, values and what we can positively contribute to the working world.

On the basis that we are still discussing gender equality in the workplace shows we are still a long way off in equality being the ‘norm’ in society. Being able to highlight this and the amazing work women are producing in all aspects of the world of work, and in particular consulting, really demonstrates what we are capable of, and I am excited to see where women can progress to in the next few years.

Catch up with Senior Manager Anna Nuttall

Anna Nuttall

What is your role at Procura?

My current role is Senior Manager, which means that I get directly involved with delivering a range of different client projects, managing and mentoring internal team members and also leading operational and learning enhancements. As part of client projects, I lead the Procurement Transformation service line of our business, helping clients to further enhance the capabilities of their procurement function.

I joined Procura in 2018 following a 9-year career working in a variety of procurement teams across the aerospace engineering industry. I decided to move into consultancy because I wanted to gain experience working with a range of organisations in both the public and private sector, whilst also helping clients to make step-change improvements.

What does your typical day at Procura look like?

I know that it sounds like a cliché, but every day at Procura is different. One day I might be implementing a new Supply Base Management process at a growing Biotech company in the USA, and on another day I might be delivering virtual negotiation training for a steel manufacturing company to a procurement team based across 4 different continents. I get involved with a really interesting and diverse range of projects, whilst also helping to develop our business and mentoring younger team members.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy working with people in different countries and across different cultures. Having lived and worked abroad, I feel that I have quite a lot of empathy when things sometimes do not get communicated correctly or there is a ‘lost in translation’ moment. In my role, in order to help the client achieve improvements, it’s vital that everyone is working towards the same goal. I therefore enjoy engaging with lots of different stakeholders and ensuring that people see the value in what we’re trying to achieve.

I’m particularly proud of the 4-day Procurement Conference that I organised for a client, with over 90 attendees across 11 different countries with the aim of encouraging team collaboration and procurement improvements – and this during the height of the pandemic!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I recently attended a large dinner reception, with over 200 attendees from a range of leading consultancy firms. Looking around the room, I was shocked to see so few women present. Maybe consultancy doesn’t naturally attract many females or maybe they are put off by the occasional travel to see clients, but I believe that the only way to encourage more women to join the industry is by promoting female ideas, values and leadership skills.

When I talk about International Women’s Day, many people ask me why we even need it. It’s true that a lot of progress has been made to improve gender equality within the workplace and recognise female leaders. However, much more still needs to be done and I feel that it is important to reflect on this, not only on the 8th March, but throughout the year.

Catch up with Consultant Siyi Xu

Siyi Xu

What is your role at Procura?

My current role at Procura is as a Consultant. I joined Procura’s annual graduate scheme last September after graduating from the London School of Economics with an undergraduate degree in Politics and Philosophy. Apart from consolidating my knowledge and skills through in-depth trainings and 1-1 mentoring, the graduate scheme also provides me a wide industry exposure to business and procurement while working alongside senior colleagues across different business service lines. I have also enhanced my wider understanding of business through involvement in the developments of Procura’s internal projects, such as D&I developments and internal training programmes.

What does your typical day at Procura look like?

My typical day at Procura starts with a group hub call where my line manager helps prioritise my daily task list and check in on strategic projects. I would usually update my progress, set up a plan based on the priority of the tasks and discuss with my manager for points of clarification. As a consultant, we work in a very enjoyable, dynamic and fast-paced environment. One day I might be assisting a project team to conduct desk research on the semi-conductor market in China; on another day, I might be assisting my manager during a client meeting, conducting data visualisation of a client’s scope 3 carbon emissions or supporting internal operations activities such as market intelligence or developing internal policies such as carbon reduction.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy the meritocratic environment of working in a boutique consultancy like Procura. From an early stage of my career, I was entrusted with responsibilities and given the opportunity to actively engage and be supported by more senior members of the company. This helped me to build a smooth transition from a university graduate to a young professional working in a fast-paced environment. I also enjoy the level of diverse industry exposure and challenges I get on a daily basis, which motivates me to always aim for a steep learning curve and build a solid foundation for my future career development.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, International Women’s Day is about raising awareness of gender equality within workplace and to promote a better representation of women’s ideas, values and leadership in all kinds of professional environments. A lot of the time when we talk about gender equality, we should also recognise the presence of unconscious bias and that perhaps it requires companies to step in, take the initiative, to encourage more open discussion regarding gender issues and provide gender equality trainings.


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