Julia Woodhouse is a non-executive director at Outokumpu, a leading global stainless steel manufacturer, and sits on their ESG Advisory Council. She is also on the board of Surface Transforms Plc, and is a member of the Standards & Regulation Board of RICS. Previously, Julia had an executive career in the global automotive industry with Ford Motor Company. Here, she shares what makes a truly exceptional CEO stand out, what to look out for when joining a new board, plus what Finnish boards do that we can learn from in the UK.
Are there any defining moments that stand out from your career? And what have you learned from them?
- Taking on a global leadership role at Ford; I learnt the importance of ensuring that everyone, from every culture, feels comfortable and has a chance to make their contribution. It is very easy to make assumptions about how each culture wants to work which may not be correct. Even working with Americans there are cultural differences that our common language may disguise. Allowing everyone to make their contribution is key to optimising global teams.
Surface Transforms plc (LON:SCE) is a manufacturer of next-generation carbon-ceramic brake discs for automotive and aircraft applications and has been certified to IS9001-2000 since 2008 and was certified to TS16949 automotive quality accreditation and AS9100C aerospace quality accreditation in 2015.