Inspirational Women at Work: “Right is always better than might”

Who: Tracey Woodward

Job: Chief Executive, Aromatherapy Associates since 2016

Tracey is a kickass beauty veteran beloved in a notoriously high stakes industry. She has worked with several global brands over the course of her 30 plus years in the business. Among them Donna Karan, Marks & Spencer and Urban Retreat at Harrods. “My success comes from dismantling organisations and putting them back together again for the greater good,”she says.

Aromatherapy Associates just so happens to one of The F Club‘s favourite brands –  founded on the holistic practice of aromatherapy, it uses natural oils from plants to enhance wellbeing to revive, relax, de-stress, support and strengthen. Believe us when we say these are seriously superior quality products. They have just released their first house fragrance.

How did your own childhood affect your personal success?

Having a difficult childhood (Tracey’s mum had her at just 18, and she was premature and a sickly child who missed so much school she only learnt to read and write at 14)  lit a fire under me, made me more driven and determined to succeed

What attracted you to the beauty industry?

I thought that working on a beauty counter as a consultant was a very glamorous job and the women who worked there had the most fabulous shoes!

What does your typical work day look like?

Long! It generally starts with calls from 6am onwards and finishes with a brand or industry event. Every Tuesday is ‘open office day’ – I try to catch up with every employee

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being able to work for a meaningful company and building an empowered team

What is your least favourite part of the role?

Hmm, I would have to say it is public speaking

Who has been your most influential mentor was or inspiring boss?

Hilary Dart, Tracy Jadda, Eileen Border, Cynthia Aherne, Caroline Neville – all of these women have changed my life and made me believe in myself.

What has been your biggest professional achievement?

Aromatherapy Associates winning 6 CEW Awards this year, I was just amazed at the support of the industry for this beautiful brand.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?

1. What other people think of you is their business

2. Right is always better than might (meaning know your stuff and don’t bully)

Looking back on your career now, what do you wish you had known?

Actually, knowing what I don’t know has been more exciting, learning and growing is what keeps us able to adapt to change.

What is the trait you most dislike in others and the one you most value?

Greed and Kindness

What is the trait you most dislike in yourself at work?

I’d want to be able to listen more and talk less.

What has been your biggest career challenge?

Every role brings challenges and opportunities to learn. I’m not sure if I’ve faced my biggest challenge yet… the one that affected me and my family was returning to work three weeks after having my son. In those days if you wanted to keep your job that’s what you had to do.

If you could name one, what is your top tip for professional success be?

Never be afraid to say you don’t know or understand. Learning is part of living well.

What has been your luckiest break?

My first job at Clinique gave me the opportunity to work in the Beauty industry – 33 years on I am still doing what I love.

What do you do to wind down?

I love to hike with my Kerry Blue Terrier ‘Stanley’ and being able to be amongst nature

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