International Women’s Day: Q&A with Carol Ross, general manager at Craig International

March 08, 2024

International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across the globe, raise awareness about discrimination and bias, and encourage action towards gender equality.

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the inspiring women at Craig International.

Someone who has achieved a great deal over the two decades she has worked at Craig International is Carol Ross, our general manager, based in Aberdeen.

We sat down with Carol to explore her career journey and insights on nurturing inclusion and diversity within our company. You can read Carol’s full interview below.

Give a brief description of your role/the work you do:

I oversee Craig International’s Aberdeen and Hamburg offices. I’m involved in sales, budgets, new contract implementation, and marketing opportunities, and am a contract representative for several clients in the UK and Internationally, ensuring both internal and client KPIs are achieved or exceeded.

What do you enjoy most about your job/what gives you job satisfaction:

We work in a fast-paced and friendly environment where meeting and exceeding client expectations are paramount. I love seeing a contract evolve through our investment in delivering efficiencies. As a buyer, I enjoyed dealing with clients daily and ensuring that all their requirements were met and while I’m still able to enjoy dealing with clients as a contract representative, I get a real thrill from onboarding new clients and building enduring relationships.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

The opportunity for progression. Starting in 2003, I have progressed from buyer to senior buyer, procurement team lead, office supervisor, operations manager, and finally general manager.

Having the opportunity to travel the world to our different office locations, meeting and working with lots of different people from different cultures and nationalities has been a privilege.

Being part of a family-owned business where I have made great friends and built strong relationships with clients has also been a highlight.

In an industry that used to be predominantly male-orientated, I have never found being female was an issue at Craig International. I feel my achievements have been based on my abilities and I have proven to myself what can be achieved with hard work and commitment.

What opportunities at Craig International stand out?

I have had the pleasure and privilege of setting up offices in Poland, Germany, Canada, Qatar, and Dubai and I also visited our Houston and Cape Town offices. I spent two years in Houston from 2010 running our operations there, and I spent 18 months in Qatar where I was able to work a month in the country and a month back in Aberdeen.

I have had the opportunity to show the management and directors at Craig International what I am capable of and have progressed through the company. I’ve also had the opportunity to represent Craig International in front of current and potential clients which is something I relish.

Would you recommend this as a good career choice for other women, and why?

Yes, becoming a manager has been a goal of mine since I was a young girl. I always wanted to work in an office environment and hopefully, one day become a manager/director of a company. The opportunities that I have been given working at Craig International are down to it being a family-run business that treats all employees the same, offering clear career progression.

How does Craig International inspire inclusion?

It is built into the company. It doesn’t matter what gender you are; everyone has the same opportunities and the same career pathways.

Everyone is treated the same and that is not just in terms of gender but with everyone feeling included. We have over 15 nationalities working across our business. Diversity, equality, and inclusion are celebrated.

Are there any women who have inspired you?

Our joint MD, Jill Macdonald, has inspired me because she, like me, is very career-driven. I want to go as far as I can in my career and hopefully be a director one day. This is a career that I love but Jill was probably the one who inspired me most because she was here when I started. I think she was office manager at the time but has progressed to joint managing director and board member.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy watching football and golf. I have a five-year-old daughter, so I enjoy spending time with her, going on shopping trips, to the cinema, visiting parks, and being outdoors. Visiting family and friends is also important to me.