Lisa Rowlinson-Brown

People Director at Advanced Supply Chain Group Ltd

The thoughts and perspectives from Lisa Rowlinson-Brown, People Director at Advanced Supply Chain Group Ltd

March 4, 2022
Mar 8, 2022
International Women's Day
Introduction and Biography

Lisa Rowlinson-Brown is a board-level strategic Human Resources professional with over 15 years’ experience of working in industry. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Lisa currently sits on the executive board as HR Director of Advanced Supply Chain Group. (An international supply chain business with a head count of around 1800)

Lisa has a wealth of experience across a number of sectors and brings a great deal of passion in regard to her profession. Lisa takes great pride in delivering an industry leading people function with emphasis on change management, strategic leadership, and high-performance culture.  

We love working with Lisa, her positive high energy approach is infectious, and we were delighted when she agreed to be part of our international women’s day interviews.

What is your personal story? How have you reached the position of HRD? What can others learn from your experiences?

After graduating I went straight into a modern apprenticeship programme with Fujitsu Siemens. They were about to go through a transformational people agenda and, as a fresh graduate, I jumped at the chance to be involved in everything that I could from a HR perspective. This involved mostly administration, but it is where I developed a real thirst for all things people. From here I was supported to complete the CIPD professional development qualification (now known as level 7) which I graduated with distinction. I then went on to complete a Masters in HRM and Talent which I absolutely loved – I still love learning!

Throughout this time I worked across the environmental services and retail industry before landing in FMCG food manufacturing where I stayed for 15 years. My first Board level appointment was age 27 for a global sugar production business and I have never looked back!

I firmly believe that a combination of hard work, being in the right place at the right time and having an excellent support system is the key to my successful journey so far. I have two daughters – Lily and Willow –and am supported by my husband who runs his own business and takes the lions share of childcare which has meant that I’ve been able to have the flexibility required to grow my career over the years.

Have you experienced any barriers to your growth as a female leader?

I feel that I have been lucky with some brilliant mentors and coaches. I have always been extremely driven and my confidence has grown over time to a point where I am secure and have felt comfortable challenging unconscious bias, but in a kind way. An example of this is where women and men are treated differently for the same behaviours – a driven female leader can be categorised as “bossy” whereas a male leader is “focussed and driven.” I believe that by pushing boundaries and challenging these bias’, as well as empowering women in the workplace, we can make a real change for the future.

We are celebrating International Women’s Day today. What do you think is causing the lack of diversity in top leadership?

The cost of childcare is still a barrier for many families where women remain the primary care givers. For some families its necessary to have one working parent and one at home, meaning that typically women’s careers are paused until such a point as their children are at school. At one point when my eldest daughter was still at nursery we paid more in childcare fees than we did towards our mortgage!

If you  could share a dinner party with any three guests in history or in the  celebrity world, who would they be?

Michelle Obama – what a woman!

Beyonce – I’m a massive fan and I love how she role models to women from all backgrounds

Billie Eilish – Again I’m a massive fan of her music and how true she is to herself, plus I’d score serious cool points with my daughter!

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