Unique women, Unique stories

Unique women, Unique stories

While Unique Health Products started as a one-man band, that’s certainly not the case today. Over the last 25+ years, Unique has grown to a team of more than 170 people. Women make up a significant proportion of our workforce, from our senior leadership team to our warehouse.

With International Women’s Day just behind us, we’re celebrating four of the unique stories of our unique women.

Faith Ireland

A valued member of our Dispatch team and a forklift driver extraordinaire, Faith had a 20-year career as a chef. While living in Bali, she started working at a fashion label warehouse thanks to a friend who was already working there.

“My friend had worked at Unique in the past and always spoke so highly of it,” recalls Faith. “When I moved back to Australia, I knew there was nowhere else I wanted to work. It just sounded like such a beautiful workplace.”

Faith started in the picking team and within a few months was offered a role in Dispatch. She was familiar with working in male-dominated environments after so many years spent as a chef working in kitchens.

After recently having her second baby, Faith is gradually returning to her role. She says that the support she’s received has been amazing.

“It can be hard for a woman to integrate back into work life when you’ve had a baby,” she adds. “But the support I’ve had has made me feel like I can actually be a mother and not feel that I’m letting people down.”

Faith IrelandFaith Ireland
Faith Ireland

Kim McKechnie

Kim was a mum of three young children and working as a flight attendant. Struggling to balance the demands of family life with a busy flying schedule, she was seeking to change her career. She’d never set foot in a warehouse in her life but after a friend told her about an opening at Unique, as a casual picker, she applied.

In the 12 years since, Kim has worked in a number of roles in picking, dispatch, warehouse support and replenishment. Today she is the Warehouse Operations Manager on the senior leadership team.

“Coming from a flight attendant background, I was big on communication,” she explains. “I could see the missing links and my role evolved to where I am today. I love working with and talking to people and I love solving problems. They were skills that I used a lot in my flight attendant days and I use them every day at Unique.”

Another skill that Kim developed in her previous career was reading people. In the airline industry this was so she could determine who to call on in the case of an emergency. At Unique, this is a skill she uses to lead her team.

“I’m constantly reading the room,” she says. “I’m working out who my team players are, who my high achievers are, who needs more help and who needs more of a challenge.”

Kim says that working alongside so many other female leaders is empowering.

“It’s very enjoyable to sit in senior manager meetings and see a lot of other capable women around the table,” she adds. “These women are all very productive, capable and practical, and it’s inspiring for other women in our business to see the opportunities.”

Kim McKechnieKim McKechnie
Kim McKechnie

Tealia Robertson

Self-confessed workaholic Tealia was looking for a change and a better work/life balance. She’d spent the better part of 30 years working in the retail industry, most of them as a buyer in the surf industry and then at Australia Zoo. She was looking for a role that would allow her to do what she was good at and what she enjoyed – watching brands grow and excel.

“The ad popped up for a Product Procurement role at Unique,” she recalls. “I’d never sat on the distributor side of products but I could tick all the boxes for the skills they were looking for. The customer base was different but I knew that would give me the challenge I was looking for.”

10 months after joining Unique, Tealia says that applying for the role was the best decision she’s ever made. She’s now enjoying a work/life balance like she’s never experienced before and she gets to do what she loves every day working with a great balance of brands.

“Dale has this really great vision of work/life balance,” she says. “We have our allocated breaks which means I’m actually taking time away from my desk and getting to know my colleagues across different departments. I also really appreciate our focus days which allow me to balance my family life with work.”

Of Unique as a workplace for women, Tealia speaks highly of the way everyone in the team supports each other.

“This is one place where women genuinely support women on all different levels,” she explains. “Everyone has their own skills and their own race they’re running. But they seem to do it very well by including everyone else in that.”

Tealia RobertsonTealia Robertson
Tealia Robertson

Ari Arantza Ariza

Colombian born Ari planned to spend six months in Australia to study English. Fast forward 10 years and she’s now an Australian citizen and has found a new career at Unique.

“I chose to come to Australia because I could work and study at the same time,” she recalls. “I started working for GYG and they offered to sponsor me. I worked there for eight years, ending up in a store manager role. But then I decided I needed a change.”

That change led Ari to a casual picking role at Unique. Within a few months, she was then appointed to the role of 2IC Order Picking. After a year, a part-time Accounts Officer role came up and Ari jumped at the opportunity to try something new.

“In Colombia I studied culinary arts, business and hospitality management,” she explains. “I’m really good with numbers and my experience with inventory ordering and placing orders at GYG gave me the confidence to apply. I had the basics and I’m a fast learner.”

Ari agrees that the culture at Unique is welcoming and supportive, and has helped her to grow in her career.

“It’s impressive to see so many women on the senior leadership team,” she says. “I wouldn’t be working in accounts if it wasn’t from the support I got from Kim, my warehouse manager. She listened to me and looked for ways to help me grow at Unique.”

Ari Arantza ArizaAri Arantza Ariza
Ari Arantza Ariza

Looking for a Unique career?

Our business is fast-growing and we’re always looking for new people to join the team. Learn more about careers and vacancies at Unique.

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