Kathryn M. so appreciates the opportunities she's had at Kimberly-Clark that she’s leading an initiative to advance other women across all manufacturing roles in the company.

“I am very motivated by Kimberly-Clark’s (commitment to) Inclusion & Diversity,” says Kathryn, who joined the company in 2001 and currently serves as Procurement Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“During my time with K-C, I have seen significant developments in our culture to ensure that diverse teams are encouraged and the value that women bring to teams is well understood and actively encouraged.”

Kathryn participates in the company’s Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN), an Employee Resource Group that champions women’s career growth.

“WIN provides opportunities to engage on topics relevant to women in the workplace, and I have been able to build helpful connections with other women,” she notes. “In addition, there is a really kind culture where women routinely reach out to other women to support and encourage them, particularly when they are new on a team or facing a particularly challenging issue.”

Her belief in Kimberly-Clark helps fuel her dedication to helping others succeed.

“Kimberly-Clark is a great employer, offering fantastic career opportunities,” she enthuses. “Be confident in your abilities and focus on what you can bring to a role rather than worrying about meeting every element of the role specification.”

Kathryn is a people person, which is why she abandoned her career in nuclear chemistry to work in a commercial field. At Kimberly-Clark, she moved up steadily in procurement through positions with various category, regional, and global responsibilities.

However, it was her 2015 promotion to mill manager at a global tampon factory in Czech Republic that she cites as the key milestone.

“Marco Q., EMEA Supply Chain Vice President, took a chance on me as a mill manager when I had had no previous manufacturing experience,” Kathryn explains. “This was a game changer for me in terms of both personal and professional development and enabled me to see myself as a strong leader able to bring value to any business function.”

Now, she’s tasked with ensuring that sourcing delivers optimal results for each of the myriad business units and markets that EMEA supports, which definitely keeps her on her toes.

“There is so much diversity across our region with markets varying from embryonic to very mature,” she reflects. “Each has its own challenges, and we must stay agile to be sure to evolve with changing external and internal environments.”

Kathryn, who holds bachelors and masters degrees in nuclear chemistry from Oxford University, manages it all through wits and collaboration.

“I am creative in problem solving and have a very strong focus on people development, which means that I have a fabulous team with me as we step up to every challenge,” she says.

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly increased the complexity of her job, and she’s worked hard to ensure that her team felt connected, supported, and appreciated during extended periods of lockdown and remote work.

Kathryn relieves stress by running races with a club and she’s also completed marathons to raise money for a local hospice.

She also relaxes by walking her dogs with her partner, James, and watching their kids, David and Helen, play team sports.