Holly Fergusson, Innovation Manager

 

I am the Innovation Manager for the Beverages Division which means I create and drive our innovation and renovation strategy for some of our world class coffee brands. This involves coming up with lots of concepts and ideas – then turning them into products, experiences and services that our consumers love! One of the reasons I love what I do is the incredible people I get to work with all over the world. Delivering great innovation requires diverse perspectives and lots of different functions and I find that environment really inspiring, and also challenging – making it a very exciting place to be.

Why are balanced teams better for the business?

It’s been proven time and time again that more diverse teams lead to improved performance, specifically in areas like innovation where I work - so ultimately, a balanced team is more likely to be a winning team. Women specifically, also make up around half of the total labour supply on planet earth – that’s a pretty big talent pool to be missing out on if we don’t do a great job at recruiting and retaining them. But beyond this, businesses are part of society, and enabling woman and girls to thrive is of critical importance to societies social and economic development. From a very personal perspective, it is also hugely motivating to work as part of a team where you feel a sense of belonging, and where you believe you can thrive. For this reason, without any data or statistics, it is so clear to me why people perform better in an environment where they truly feel included, and why they leave or find it more difficult to succeed where they don’t.

Who has inspired you either personally or professionally and why?

My mum is a big inspiration to me (don’t tell her). She is the most fiercely determined woman I have ever met – and she has been throwing my sisters and I in at the deep end our whole lives! From encouraging us to climb trees, travel, try new things, speak up for ourselves – she has inspired a confidence to ‘go for it’ within my three sisters and I, whatever the challenge.