Celebrating the women in Wilsons Auctions on International Women’s Day

Wilsons Auctions applauds the diverse number of women in its business, setting it apart from the industry stereotype.

Wilsons Auctions has been making an impact within the auction industry in recent years as a result of its innovative new auction services, however the growth of female staff in diverse roles across the auction company is not going unnoticed as it marks International Women’s Day.

As an independent auction company, in business for 84 years, its longevity is the result of its ability to welcome change and evolve the business. This is certainly the case with its staff, with women covering almost 40% of its workforce, Wilsons Auctions can proudly say that women are represented across every area of the business.

As a director and auctioneer, Rebecca Wilson isn't just part of the senior leadership team, she also heads up something of a revolution that's been changing the face of the company right across its UK and Ireland operations.
“I've been part of the business for 14 years now and I can really see the difference in the gender balance,” she says. “In years gone past the female staff we had tended to work in administrative roles or as clerks to the auctioneers, all of whom were male” says Rebecca.

“I am really encouraged with the direction that Wilsons Auctions is going in terms of female representation within the company. I feel we are shifting the trend not only with the number of women working within the Wilsons Auctions Group but also within their diverse roles. The stigma of the auction industry being male dominated is definitely a thing of the past.”

“We have women in every department; working on our offsite auctions and out in the yard with our plant and machinery customers, we have women as vehicle appraisers and drivers, and we have women working in the property department, marketing and accounts. And that's just to mention a few of the roles right across our locations.”

“As the auctioneers tend to be the face of our business, at times I don’t think the public are aware of the number of people involved in bringing our auctions to them and I’m proud, on International Women’s Day, to be able to highlight the great work carried out by all of the extremely talented and hardworking women across the Wilsons Auctions Group” Rebecca comments enthusiastically.

“The gender balance across the company has happened organically. The jobs have gone to the best people...and those people just happen to be women.”

Two of Wilsons Auctions longest serving members of staff, Gillian Melville and Amanda Barton, have been integral parts of the business for over 30 years.

Other long serving members of staff across the group include Janice Stewart (15yrs), Laura Streight (13yrs), Tori Anderson (12yrs), Maeve Heaney (8yrs), Sacha Boyd (8yrs), Grace Fenton (7yrs) and Tori Dixon (7yrs) within the Belfast branch. Laura Murphy (20yrs), Debby McConville (16yrs) and Charlene Murdoch (13yrs) in Portadown, Marion Watson (12yrs) in Dalry and Shanta Lawlor (14yrs) and Valerie Lynch (8.5yrs) in Dublin.

Wilsons Auctions has acquired a number of branches in recent years across the UK and it is proud to have retained its staff members bringing their wealth of knowledge and experience to the business.

Long serving female staff include Julie Wycherley (27yrs), Kaylee O’Neill (15yrs) and Natasha Moran (10yrs) in Telford and Ceri Tate (17yrs), Hayley Williams (15yrs) and Pat Whales (12yrs) in Queensferry. Gill Thom (+20yrs), Catherine Swinbank (13yrs), Julie Gibson (12yrs), Lisa Turnbull (11yrs), Nichola Shoesmith (9yrs) and Anne Shelley (9yrs) in Newcastle and Annemarie Jones (25yrs), Tania Wightman (25yrs) and Rachel Toumazi (9yrs) in Newport.

As the result of expansion across the UK and Ireland, in recent years Wilsons Auctions has required to grow its workforce to ensure it is meeting the demands of both clients and customers as well as giving the best possible service.

Some of the key members of staff who have been part of the expansion of the business include Janice Stewart. Working in Business Improvement, Janice is heavily involved in the tender process for all contacts across the group which has seen significant success over the years.

Working with the company for a number of years, Michele Stewart has progressed to Financial Controller, overseeing the accounts department and playing an important role in helping to manage Wilsons Auctions financial accounts.

The Property Department has seen considerable expansion and welcomed a number of female staff who have helped to expand the offering across the UK and Ireland. Those heading up the department across the various branches include Lorren Mullen in Dalry, Charlotte Ritchie and Naomh Whewall in Government Property, Celia Lamb and Juliet Gethin in Dublin and Ann Sewell in Newcastle.

Within the Dublin branch we have two prominent female members of staff who play an important role in shifting the stereotype. Shanta Lawlor, as Corporate Services and Offsite Auction Manager has managed some of the biggest offsite auctions the company has been involved in across various industries including quarry’s, hospitality and business liquidations. Valerie Lynch is the branch’s Plant & Machinery Business Developer, managing all of the commercial auctions she works with some of the biggest commercial company’s in Ireland.

Laura Streight has progressed within the company over the years and recently was promoted to Government Contracts Manager. Based within the Belfast head office, Laura is responsible for the operational delivery of all government and large sector clients and internal compliance. Laura also manages all Online Sales, this female-dominated digital department looks after the day to day running of Wilsons Auctions' all-important online auction activities, very much an integral part of the auction business.

Having acquired the Newport branch in November 2017, as Branch Manager, Annmarie Jones has played a pivotal role in the transition of the company as well as overseeing the branch through its expansion and subsequent refurbishment.

Within the Newcastle branch, which hosts up to 24 car auctions per month, Lisa Turnbull, as an Account Manager, looks after the branch’s largest vendor, Eastern Western Group.

Hannah Moore, based across the Telford and Queensferry branches, has also made a positive impact since her arrival to the company, not only generating new business and welcoming new vendors but was the driving force in bringing new innovative services to the branches.

Finally, Jen Higgins Group Communications Coordinator, joined Wilsons Auctions in 2016 to help build the company’s profile and build an awareness through consumer and corporate public relations. Since then the media coverage of the company has exceeded all expectation as a result of its growing business and innovative auctions hitting headlines across the world and in 2019 achieved a potential global reach of 1 billion.

Looking to the future Wilsons Auctions is hopeful to see the number of women continue to grow within the company.

On International Women’s Day, Wilsons Auctions would like to celebrate and thank all of the women within the company for their efforts and dedication in getting the company to where it is today.

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