Women in Business

Showcasing all of the amazing women that work in variety of departments within Sytner MINI.

Louise Schembri, Head of Business at Sytner Maidenhead answers our Women In Business questions.

  1. How long have you worked for Sytner BMW/MINI? Since March 2003, 18 years and 3 months!

  2. How long have you been in your current role? Since April 2015, so 6 years and 2 months

  3. What is your favourite part about your current role? Being part of a successful team and being able to celebrate these successes with the team; lockdown has hindered this, so I, like the rest of the Country I’m sure, am looking forward to the current restrictions being removed.

  4. What motivates you in the morning? My (almost) 3 year old son and a good coffee before I leave the house…!

  5. Three words to describe yourself? Loyal, fun-loving and resilient.

  6. What is your greatest achievement? Becoming the first female Head of Business in the Sytner BMW MINI Division and the youngest Head of Business at that time.

  7. What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be in your role? Believe in yourself. Learn from the best around you and absorb as much of their brilliance as possible. Your team make your successes with you, so hire & retain the best. Be approachable; your title doesn’t mean you can’t be nice!

  8. How have you seen the Automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? Some of the best female colleagues can be working Mum’s, however businesses (not just the Automotive Industry) can overlook this fact and be inflexible. We have a female Business Manager who is also a mum of two, who has just celebrated her 10 year service with us. The performance she gave us working 3 days a week, whilst bringing up her two children was as good, if not better than a full time colleague. She was able to continue her career growth whilst maintaining her childcare duties, keeping herself highly motivated and in return, we got to retain an A* colleague. Our CEO, Darren Edwards, also actively encouraged us at our annual Manager conference 5 years ago, to recruit ‘mothers’ looking to return to work, as an untapped workforce – this was a step change I’d not seen before. The Automotive industry has now also realised that woman make up 80% of the decision making in the car buying process and have adapted their marketing to suit. We, within Sytner BMW & MINI Division, now have a strong representation of females in customer facing roles, such as Sales Geniuses, Sales Executives, Business Managers, Service, Parts & Bodyshop Advisors and Sales & Service Managers. When I started 18 years ago, there were very few females in these roles and mostly only in showroom host, accounts and administration roles. It’s great to see we’ve adapted with the times and our customer needs.

  9. Top tip for how you organise your days? My Outlook diary is my PA! To-do lists are my savour and delegation carried out in the correct way, can boost team morale.

  10. Top tip for working in the automotive industry? The Motor Industry demands hard work but is hugely rewarding, especially when working within the Sytner Group and with great brands such as BMW & MINI; you’ll benefit from having the resilience to take the rough with the smooth and remember, repeat customer business and customer referral is an honour, not a given, so don’t lose sight of that.

Louise Shembri