The Yorkshire Times – ‘10 in 10’

The Yorkshire Times – ‘10 in 10’

Our development director, Sarah Sanpher-McDowell, recently took part in The Yorkshire Times’ business Q&A. If you missed the original article, you can catch up below…

What does a typical working day for you involve?
I always get to the office early, as I like to plan my day and organise my emails – I can’t function without my to-do list. Really, no one day is the same, but after saying “good morning” to everyone, my time is typically filled with lots of HR and compliance-related tasks.

As development director, I take the lead on all HR and talent acquisition processes, attend meetings, lead employee inductions and work with heads of departments (HoDs) to set workplace standards. I also chair bi-weekly mentoring sessions with the HoDs to discuss recruitment needs. The compliance side of my role sees me head up the department. I oversee the end-to-end process of rubber-stamping our customers, making sure they are compliant end-destinations for our suppliers’ recyclable materials.

I’m also the founder of the Women’s Recycling Alliance – a network which aims to connect women in the waste industry – so I organise events and leadership workshops for members.

Being one of the longest-serving members of staff, I also get drawn into general tasks and answering any staff queries too!

What makes your company special?
Our culture. We’re not just colleagues, we’re like a family. Our work ethic is very dynamic and collaborative, and everyone really cares about making a positive difference.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
Yes, I have a few. The first is to always make time for people, no matter how busy you are, and also make sure everyone feels like their input is appreciated. Secondly, be honest – integrity is a big part of our company ethos – and it’s vital for both personal and professional success.

Do you dress up or down for work?
It depends what day it is. I wear smart/casual clothes in the week, but we also have ‘dress down Friday,’ so I save my comfy clothes for then.

What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
To believe in yourself – hard work always pays off, just don’t give up.

What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?
We would love to do a trip to the east coast for a beach comb – it would be a great way to team build and also give back to the environment. We’d definitely work up an appetite for some fish and chips too!

How do you prefer to travel for business?
Mostly by car. I love travelling with colleagues to meetings, as it gives me the chance to get to know them more.

What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
I love the spa at Rudding Park on the outskirts of Harrogate – it’s the ultimate place to relax and unwind.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?
It has to be a full English breakfast at Betty’s Tea Room – delicious!

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you are away?
There are so many things, but it has to be the people. I’ve lived here all my life, it’s where all my family are too, and everyone is very friendly and easy to get along with. The scenic countryside comes a close second though!

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