Type to search

Business Community

Talley’s – ‘a great place for women’

Luke Lynch Dec 12

“But the team was outstanding and coped with it really well. It was so unknown and we had to rely on each other even more than normal, which made everyone closer.”

Sarah Bradley, manager Talley’s fish factory Motueka.

The biggest of Talley’s fish factories is at HQ in Motueka and Sarah Bradley, its first female manager, is now running it.

Originally set up in the 1970s the factory processes about 12,000 tonnes of fish a year with approximately 250 people at the Motueka fish processing plant itself and about 650 employed across the whole site.

Sarah came through the Talley’s cadet programme and says it was a smooth transition to factory manager as she had already been a part of the processing team for a number of years including working as a leading hand on the factory floor.

Sarah took on the management role in May but before that had been given the task of managing the Covid-19 response for the Motueka site ahead of the Level-4 lockdown.

“It was a crazy time and you had to learn in the moment. There was no training for what we had to do to prepare for the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But the team was outstanding and coped with it really well. It was so unknown and we had to rely on each other even more than normal, which made everyone closer.”

She says her management style is to act on any issues people may have and to celebrate any positives straight away.

“If you act on what is in front of you immediately you can build trust and respect. It shows people you take things seriously and act on it in an efficient manner.”

Sarah says this approach with her team has been really rewarding.
“I have had staff thank me and encourage me, and it is this feeling of family that makes me come to work every day. Thanking people at the end of shift and appreciating what everyone does matters.”

Sarah is also enjoying leading her team through Talley’s new REAL Values Programme. The REAL values are Respect, Energy and Effort, Attitude and Leadership.

“We hold weekly toolbox meetings and employees from the factory floor will nominate one of their peers for a REAL award, recognising their outstanding efforts.

“It is great fun, and the team loves it. We are also being asked by management to drive the Values Plus programme through the factories.

“This is ‘from catch to customer’, so it is all about the quality customers expect from us and all about the Talley’s slogan: Bringing you the best of New Zealand.”

Sarah is a big advocate of encouraging other women into roles in the fishing industry and says there are many career and training options at Talley’s including apprenticeships in engineering and electrical trades.

“One of my friends is a factory manager on one of the Talley’s deep sea fishing boats, another has gone through a Talley’s management cadet programme like I did and is a truck driver, and there are quite a few women on the boats and in the factory.

“We are trying to change the old school culture that believes the industry is primarily for men.”

Tags:

You Might also Like