In this episode, I chat to Moira Harris, the Managing Director of Hygrade Water Australia, a subsidiary of a highly successful New Zealand family-owned organisation.
The company manufactures, imports and distributes specialised water-related products for the civil construction industry, and employs 25 people across its two branches in Brisbane and Sydney.
Moira is a strong business leader with experience in operations management, sales management, negotiation, marketing and stakeholder relations - all roles she held since emigrating from Scotland to Australia in 2000.
She shares the lessons she’s learned along the way as a female in male-dominated industries, and as the managing director of a ‘isolated’ startup in Australia. Moira also touches on the pressure to assimilate and how executive coaching has taught her to stay true to herself.
Background of Hygrade Water Australia - a startup of parent company, New Zealand-based Hynds Group
Most of Hygrade Water’s products are brought in from Europe - specialised products
Why the owners of Hynds wanted to branch out
Moving from being distributors into the specialist space
Morphing Hygrade Water in New Zealand and Australia
Corporate vs family-owned business
Moira’s background - born in Singapore, moved back to her family’s small village in Scotland and the youngest of her 7 siblings
Moira’s first job working for the Ministry of Defence delivering mail to warships
Why Moira emigrated to Australia in 2000 - bored with everyday life in Scotland
The different jobs and companies Moira has worked for up until now
Succession planning for external candidates - a surprise for Moira in her career
What executive coaching has taught Moira - never change yourself
Working in male dominated industries
The pressure to assimilate as a female
Moira’s thoughts on the lack of female representation - looking at why they’re not attracting female applicants
How Moira came back to Queensland from Melbourne - Humes’ $120m superplant in Ipswich, QLD
Moira finding out she had breast cancer in 2017 - working through it to maintain a shred of normalcy and reflecting on what she wanted to do
The mandate for Hygrade Water Australia - slow and steady conservative growth by building up its customer base that won’t go anywhere else
Preparing to grow into the manufacturing space in the future
What Moira does to invest in growing herself professionally - industry forums and workshops
How the manufacturing space is changing and what Moira thinks about it
Five-year plan for Hygrade Water Australia
Moira’s professional future - nothing is off the cards
Being an introvert in business - forcing yourself out there
How Moira switches off - a member of F45, not for her fitness but for her mental health
“I’m ambitious; I want to be the best possible version of myself, so nothing’s off the cards.” - Moira Harris #HeadhuntedShortlists #Business