Celebrating International Women’s Day with H.R. Owen Bentley

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Women have always played such a significant part of Bentley’s history; Bentley girls always refused to take a back seat, and never paled in comparison to the rousing Bentley Boys. Always making their mark with matchless Bentley finesse, the likes of Mary Petre Bruce, Dorothy Paget and Diana Barnato – Bentley’s Flying Lady – have shaped the iconic marque into what it is today.

At H.R. Owen Bentley, we can also attribute our continued success to the inspiring women that work tirelessly to uphold our position as the one of the leading ‘Certified by Bentley’ sales and servicing centres in the UK. With March 8th dedicated to International Women’s Day, we take a look at, and highlight, some of the women behind H.R. Owen Bentley, for whom our success we celebrate every day could not have been possible.

CATHERINE DESMOND
Group HR Director

Catherine Desmond

A bit about what I do
My role has changed significantly in my 16 years with H.R. Owen and I am pleased to have been part of the company’s efforts to employ fairly, appointing women across all areas of the business. I have progressed to the role of HR Director while also being part of the Senior Management team. In my role, I oversee the personnel and training strategy for H.R. Owen employees. The main objective is to provide all managers with tools to get the most out of our valued workforce. In the HR department, we are responsible for writing policies and procedures, consulting with Managers on how to implement policies to ensure we are compliant with employment law, as well as safeguarding the wellbeing and protection of all our employees within the working environment.

My time at H.R. Owen Bentley
My first experience with Bentley at H.R. Owen was in early 2004, when I was working from Jack Barclay Bentley and welcomed the delivery of many new Bentley Continental GTs after the 2003 launch. I had the opportunity to drive one early on and loved it, though the GTC is my favourite. It’s fair to say that gender balance in the automotive industry was imbalanced when I first joined, but it’s been great to see this start, and continue to, change. We have female colleagues working across all the departments: finance, sales, service, aftersales, property, marketing and HR. These coworkers bring different experience and skills that are integral to the development of the company.

Highlight
One of my highlights is the introduction of the HRO Trainee Programme. I developed this programme with the thought that it could be applied for every role we have in the company. This year, we hope to deploy the programme for other positions and start our ‘grow our own’ programme.

Favourite Bentley
A Bentley Continental GT Convertible in Alpine Green with Black roof would be my dream car.

JAYNE LAVERY
Sales Executive – Jack Barclay Bentley

A bit about what I do
Maintaining and building customer relationships, and taking customers through the Jack Barclay Bentley journey; from meeting them to delivering their new car. I pride myself on giving my customers the best customer experience, and representing H.R. Owen and Bentley to the best of my ability.

My time at H.R. Owen Bentley
I have been with Jack Barclay Bentley 7 years this May and I don’t think I will ever forget walking through those amazing Jack Barclay doors on my first day. I have worked in the Automotive Industry for 22 years and I have to say it’s a pleasure to work with Jack Barclay Bentley.

Highlight
A memorable highlight was selling a Bentley to Rod Stewart. Not only was it great to sell the car, but Rod Stewart is my favourite artist, I have grown up with and loved his music, and have been to many of his concerts. 

MIKAELA GODLEY
Service Adviser – Bentley Berkshire

My time at H.R. Owen Bentley
I joined HR Owen Pangbourne in August 2018, after coming back from 3 months travelling around South East Asia, Fiji & Australia. I was initially brought in to cover Bentley, Aston Martin & Lamborghini Service Advisors, as and when required for the first 5 months & then became the Sole Bentley Service Advisor in Pangbourne from January 2019. Since joining the motor trade back in 2014 & working for various brands/franchises, HR Owen is by far my favourite place to work. I love everyone I work with & I really enjoy the working environment here, which makes for a happy & productive working day.

Highlight
I received my Silver Bentley accreditation in March 2019 which I am really proud of. My aim for 2021 is to get my Gold Bentley accreditation, do as much training as possible to gain as much knowledge as I can to move my career forward within HR Owen.

Favourite Bentley
My favourite Bentley has to be the New Continental GT Convertible in Glacier White with Black Line specification.

These are just some of the brilliant women who contribute to the success of H.R. Owen Bentley, and we are thrilled to have many other women working across all departments.

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