Sarah joined Croda in 2006
Sarah joined Croda in 2006
With over five years’ experience supporting a number of businesses with their marketing communication activities, latterly in the further and high education sector; my role at Croda was applying these skills within a very new and different industry. I took part in sales training events and spent time with our technical team in the labs to understand our products, so that I could produce product promotional material such as presentations and brochures, and also organise exhibitions and conferences. At this time, there was just myself and my line manager in the department full time, so the role was wide and varied. Since I joined Croda a month before the acquition of Uniqema from ICI, my role changed in January 2007 when I was given line manager responsibility for the Marketing Administrator.
With the integration of Uniqema and the successful growth of Croda, my role quickly evolved. Resource in the department grew and I was asked to focus on communication activities, which was my background, so that the Marketing Co-ordinator role could concentrate on the more technical positioning of our products. I was also given responsibility for the communications of our Health Care business. Two major landmarks for me and the team during this time was the relaunch of our market websites and also a customer extranet website. The Personal Care division in Europe was the first to do this in the business, and through collaboration with colleagues in other departments, we were able to help lead the way. The other was the publication of a new Personal Care product guide, the first since 2006, which sounds like quite a simple task, but it was a big co-ordination task of marketing, technical and sales. A great personal development achievement in this time was my participation in the Croda New Managers Development Programme, which saw me gain a Diploma in Managing People from the University of Derby.
Due to my knowledge and skill set, in 2010 I was asked to support the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Graduate in the development of an internal communications plan and then the publication of our annual CSR Report. This was alongside by role in Personal Care, which continued to grow as the department did. The new challenge of learning about CSR was exciting and I was soon asked to sit on the CSR Steering Committee, a senior management team within the business who develops our CSR programme.
In May 2011 the new role of Group CSR Manager was created to establish a new dedicated CSR department. Following the assessment centre, I was given the job and the very exciting challenge of taking our CSR activities to the next level. Since then, I have been on a great learning curve, given a lot of autonomy within the business to research, develop and implement a sustainability strategy, along with an internal and external communications plan to ensure that we publicise our activities more proactively. This role is allowing me to grow my knowledge in a new discipline, yet use and further enhance the communication skills have I developed since leaving university in 2001.
In February 2014 I was asked to support the development of our Corporate Communications function. This opportunity not only allows me to use my past marketing experience, but it fits very well with our sustainability objectives. We also took this opportunity to reposition CSR as sustainability to align with our customers and investors.