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    JW Filshill restructures sales and development team

    Elaine Feeney (L); Shirley Ruane

    Glasgow-based wholesaler JW Filshill has restructured its sales and development team with the internal promotions of Shirley Ruane and Elaine Feeney to the newly created positions of sales managers – making the announcement on International Women’s Day.

    Shirley, who has been with the business for eight years as regional development manager, has assumed responsibility for the west of Scotland and northern England territories.

    Meanwhile, Elaine has responsibility for the east and north of Scotland territories, including the islands.

    As Filshill marks International Women’s Day, Craig Brown, chief sales and marketing officer at JW Filshill, said: “This is the perfect time to announce these new appointments and celebrate the success not just of Shirley and Elaine in progressing their careers with Filshill but also the many other inspirational women within our business who make such a valuable contribution.

    “We are an inclusive, welcoming wholesaler and embrace diversity across all areas of the business and we have worked hard to send out a strong message that Filshill is a modern employer that offers career progression to those who want to challenge and development themselves – regardless of gender.

    “Both Shirley and Elaine have worked hard in recent years to earn their promotions and we look forward to watching them progress even further as they lead their respective teams to develop our KeyStore convenience store division, working with ambitious and tech-savvy retailers who want to grow their businesses.

    “Having such strong and experienced regional development teams in place, as more retailers choose KeyStore as the best solution for achieving increased profit and margin, gives us confidence in stimulating growth for our brand and customers in a competitive convenience marketplace.”

    Ayrshire-based Shirley praised the culture at Filshill, a long-established family business, as one that encourages its people to push themselves and embrace new challenges. “In my case, I made it clear that I was ambitious to develop my career with the business and step up to a more challenging managerial role – the door is always open at Filshill and you are encouraged to speak up,” she commented.

    Shirley, who also takes responsibility for Filshill’s Click & Collect operation in her new role, said it’s encouraging to see more women in senior roles at the wholesaler and she is not fazed to be managing an all-male team.

    “While wholesale continues to be a male-dominated industry it’s certainly make inroads and Filshill is definitely up there with those leading the way to show that wholesale can be a great place to work for women in many different roles.”

    For Elaine, who joined the business nearly four years ago, there’s no doubt that “Filshill is a great company to work for”. Now in the second month of her new role – as is Shirley – she said she is looking forward to getting out into the field with her team and working with KeyStore customers to grow and develop their businesses.

    She believes her promotion sends out a strong and clear message that women can be successful in wholesale. “Here at Filshill, we have a lot of female buyers now, we have female supervisors in the warehouse – it’s tremendous progress,” she says.

    “There are definitely good career prospects for everyone, male and female – you are encouraged to step up.”

    She also highlights the company’s work around diversity, equality and inclusion. “There’s a big focus on that and I think it’s made all of us think a bit differently and deal with certain situations differently.”

    Filshill, one of Scotland’s oldest independent food and drink wholesalers, relocated from Hillington to Westway Park near Glasgow Airport in March 2023.

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