Only 1 in every 3 entrepreneurs in the UK is female. Within paper and manufacturing industries the gender employment split is roughly one woman to every three men.
Enter stage left, Poonam Gupta OBE and her award-winning company PG Paper. Much has been written about Poonam’s truly inspiring story; from struggling to find work when she first arrived in the UK, to building a multi-million, global business within the male-dominated paper industry.
In addition to running PG Paper, Poonam lends her time to many charities and third-sector organisations, continually supporting her core values of entrepreneurship and education for women. But what about PG Paper itself?
PG’s ten-strong management team consists of 8 women and 2 men. PG’s female managers hold positions across finance, sales, procurement, logistics, marketing and commercial.
PG’s Head of Finance, Beth MacLeod, was recognised in 2019 when she was named Scottish Accountant of the Year at the Scottish Accountancy & Financial Technology Awards 2019.
Beth said: “I’ve been PG’s Financial Controller for five years now. I joined at a point where I needed to balance work and childcare. PG offered me that flexibility and support, allowing me to continue to progress in a fulfilling career while also bringing up a young family. “
Poonam, who runs PG Paper with her husband Puneet Gupta states: “PG Paper is an extremely ambitious organisation, with turnover more than doubling in the past 5 years. We are entering new markets, and opening offices across the world and it is increasingly important that Puneet and I have a strong management team that we can trust to run the day-to-day business and help us realise the company’s ambitions.
“There has never been a positive discrimination policy in our recruitment process, we simply recruit the best people for PG and this has resulted in a female-dominated management team.”
Fiona Dempster manages PG’s logistics division, currently navigating the implications of Brexit along with a global container shortage issue causing issues across many sectors.
Fiona said: “I’ve worked with Poonam and Puneet at PG Paper for 8 years. During this time we have grown both in staff numbers and across continents. The culture is very supportive, and we are empowered to manage our departments, positively impacting overall organisational performance.”
Puneet, PG Paper’s COO said: “There are always things we can learn as an employer but we work hard to foster an inclusive and respectful culture ensuring our staff feel supported and encouraged to continually learn and expand their horizons both for their own benefit and for the benefit of PG Paper.
“We are very proud of our team and look forward to welcoming more staff to PG as we continue on our path of growth.”