Clare Hughes to develop ‘collaborative’ strategy and champion women leaders
Leading hygiene services provider, phs Group, has appointed Clare Hughes as its commercial director, a new role created to develop a collaborative strategy that will drive commercial success across its core sectors.
As part of her new role, which includes a position on the company’s executive team, Clare will also champion career development and leadership opportunities for women in the workplace as part of a new mentoring scheme launched by phs.
With 17 years’ experience at phs, Clare first joined phs Direct, the company’s consumables division, in 2004 as a national accounts manager before being promoted to head of key accounts for phs Direct. She then progressed to head of key accounts for the hygiene division.
In her new role as commercial director, responsible for 94 employees, she will develop and implement a commercial strategy that will steer the group’s core sectors, including washroom hygiene, healthcare, floorcare and consumables, in unison.
Commenting on her appointment, Clare said: “I’m looking forward to bringing together our core sectors to deliver collaborative solutions that meet our customers’ needs and ensure commercial success while supporting the business’s overarching aims.”
“We’re looking to grow, increase retention, provide added value, and continue to develop long-term partnerships. Many challenges lie ahead, but where there is challenge there is opportunity – to be creative and innovative, to provide simple and effective solutions, to be agile in our response to customers’ needs, and to be a trusted partner.”
She added: “Furthermore, I’m very proud to join the phs executive team; I think it’s very important to have balance in any team and we’ve come a long way in the 17 years I have been working for the business. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved and what we’re looking to do.”
Clare’s mission to encourage more women leaders is a shared aim with her husband, Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes, government minister for rough sleeping and housing, who became a member of the women and equalities committee after his election in 2017.
“Eddie has been very inspirational to me and wholly supports empowering women. I have been fortunate and had great managers at phs who supported my development, and it’s a company that wants to lead by example. I want to encourage more women into the business, to give them the confidence to strive and reach for the stars.”
Chief commercial officer Philip Clark commented: “phs is renowned for its innovation, market-leading products, services and customer care. We want to maximise the strengths of our core sectors by taking a collaborative, cohesive approach that ensures we continue to deliver the best solutions possible for our customers.
“We’re also incredibly proud of our work to raise awareness about important issues for girls and women, such as our period inequality campaign, and we are just as committed to encouraging equality in the workplace at every level. Clare has a huge amount of experience with the company and will be an invaluable member of the executive team.”