International Women's Day interview with GoodShape CXO Amanda Manser

To celebrate International Women's Day, we interviewed our Chief Experience Officer Amanda Manser to learn more about her career, challenges, and advice for women looking to pursue leadership roles.

What made you decide to pursue a career in customer service?

I always knew when I started my first job that I wanted to work in an environment where I was delivering a great service to others. I started off working in an administration environment; my first job was working for the post office processing orders for stamps and postal orders and balancing the numbers on the order list. It became clear to me that I was quite good at customer service, and had an eye for improving processes and making them more efficient. When I was quite quickly promoted to Customer Service Supervisor, I realised I loved leading others, and supporting them in being successful in their own careers.

How have you juggled your career development with your home life?

I’m a mum, and just like any working mum, when my son was younger it was a constant balance of childcare, career, and spending quality time together. I was lucky that I had supportive parents who helped during school holidays, and I was fortunate enough to build a network of friends where we all supported each other with last-minute childcare, school pick-ups and school events. Organisation was definitely key. Conjuring up a costume in the car on the way to school when I’d forgotten it was World Book Day I count as a win! I made sure time outside work and school was OUR time, for all the typical outside school activities such as sports, music, and family time. 

What barriers or challenges have you faced throughout your career? 

I never really felt that being a woman held me back in my career. Maybe I was lucky, as I know not everyone feels that way. What I was very aware of, was that to be successful in my career, I felt I had to work hard, be my best, be committed, deliver results, and set my sights on where I wanted to be. All of that alongside supporting colleagues and making a work environment enjoyable for others. There are always times, of course, that you work with people who aren’t necessarily your cup of tea, but to me, I always see finding a way to build and strengthen those relationships as a positive challenge, and work even harder to make those relationships successful.

What has been your proudest professional achievement?

Gosh, what a great question. There are achievements you forget about over the years. I’m proud of the fact I set up the first ever call centre in a pensions environment, and convinced an initial 5 clients to adapt to the service, eventually onboarding 160 clients and their employees. I was told it couldn’t possibly be done, but I don’t hear "no", I hear "find a way to do it".

Another achievement was when I attended a global sales course. It was really intense, pressurised, was designed to knock you down and build you up again, and was all video recorded. I got through it. I didn’t die (!) and I actually learnt some great sales techniques, although I wouldn’t personally be an advocate of the training style. 

What have you learnt about yourself since joining GoodShape?  

I’ve very much learnt to be myself. Be real, and you reap the rewards. The whole team at GoodShape are a pleasure to work with, and I've never worked with a group of such talented people who are all travelling in the same direction.

Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day? 

International Women's Day is so important because it’s a way to bring attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence and abuse against women, and to take the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across the world.

Which woman inspires you the most? 

You know, no one woman inspires me more than another. There are famous women I admire of course, people in the limelight, but there are also women I meet on a daily basis who just wow me. Women who have overcome life or illness challenges, women who are successful in business, women who stand up on stage and engage everyone in the room. Every woman I have met has a story they can tell that demonstrates why they should be celebrated.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Start a conversation by asking, “How can I help?”. You never know where it will lead you.

What advice do you have for women looking to develop their leadership careers? 

  1. Decide what’s right for you. There’s a difference between being a manager and a leader, and not everyone wants to do both, which is ok.
  2. Find a mentor. Someone who can guide you and provide sound advice, and who you can bounce ideas off.
  3. Have the vision to see beyond what’s in front of you with a project at work. It’s okay to deliver what’s been asked, but step out of your comfort zone, stretch the objective, and work out how you get there, even if it seems like a mountain to climb. Don’t be afraid to climb the mountain, and know that the view when you reach the summit is awesome! 


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