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Professional Beauty brings to you our Powerful Women series – interviews with the leading ladies behind some much-loved salon industry brands across the skincare, cosmetics and technology spaces. Anita Quade caught up with Timely Limited Senior Vice President of PX, Culture & Inclusion, Mary Haddock-Staniland.

Mary Haddock-Staniland, tell us what inspired you to join the company? 

“In my previous role I did some work with Timely around diversity and inclusion and came to know a bit about their story and their culture. I was very impressed with the thinking and approach of the then co-founder & CEO, Ryan Baker and his progressive view of how the right company culture can have such an enormous impact on the lives of those who work there and also play a part in helping to change the world we live in. 

Ryan approached me to help add depth to that embracing culture he was working to develop, and I couldn’t say ‘no’.” 

What was one of the hardest challenges starting out in your position? 

“Continuing Timely’s diversity journey always has it’s challenges because you’re breaking new ground all the time. If you aren’t, then you really aren’t moving. So, does it get easier? Not necessarily, it will always be about pushing new boundaries while at the same time ensuring any changes benefit the company as well as the people working in it.”

Being a powerful woman as a business leader – what is an important piece of advice you can share with your peers? 

“Own it! You know, I certainly suffered from “imposter syndrome” in the early days in this role, and I’d challenge anyone, particularly if you come from a minority group, who says they have never suffered from self-doubt. In fact, some days the thought passes my mind still, but I have an amazing and supportive group of people around me. 

I think at times like that, you need to remember that the person who chose you for the role that you are in has seen something in you that they think is valuable. They believe in you, so you just need to believe in yourself as well. 

And there is some truth to the saying “fake it until you make it”. But above all, just believe in yourself – you’re as good as anyone around you.” 

“It is all about standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before, and giving each other a hand. In the end, our careers aren’t a zero-sum game, you don’t suffer or lose anything by helping someone else along. In fact, I find the more support you put out there, the more you get back.”

How have you found the support from like minded women in the industry (any examples)? 

“It’s been fantastic. Obviously we are all here to do a job, it’s not a mutual support society, but we can all relate to the challenges each of us has experienced. This can mean that when you hit a roadblock, or experience a new situation that you are unsure how to navigate, you can call on that support, and I certainly do. 

It is all about standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before, and giving each other a hand. In the end, our careers aren’t a zero-sum game, you don’t suffer or lose anything by helping someone else along. In fact, I find the more support you put out there, the more you get back.”

What is it you love most about being an industry trailblazer?

“I’m unsure if I’m a “trailblazer”, but I do enjoy being given the latitude to try new initiatives. 

Timely are huge proponents of innovation and fresh thinking. We accept that not all new initiatives will be amazing successes, and that means I can try things without the crushing fear of failure (although you don’t want too many failures). 

The flip side of course is when you try a new initiative and it makes a real difference, both to peoples lives and to the fortunes of the Company. You can stand back and say, DEIB is the right thing to do, and when it’s done right it also pays off commercially. That’s a real sustainable success. 

Of course you can then leverage successful initiatives and share them with other stakeholders, “this is what we did and it’s been great, we can support you if you want to try it.

That’s how we make progress in creating a more accepting world.”

This article originally appeared in the March-April 2022 issue of Professional Beauty.

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