To coincide with International Women's Day (8th March), La-Z-Boy Manufacturing has revealed how its HR manager, Robyn Lee, discovered her passion for helping people succeed after losing her own job.
"In her role, Robyn is determined to make sure everyone is treated fairly and given the opportunity to fulfil their potential," states the manufacturer, "but she only discovered the career she is so passionate about when she was sacked from a previous job, and believed the dismissal was not only unfair, but could be classed as sex discrimination."
For International Women’s Day, Robyn decided to share her experience and explain why it made her determined to do her bit to make sure women are treated fairly in the workplace.
"When Robyn left university, she had no real idea what she wanted to do with her life," states the manufacturer. "After spending time working in a number of different sectors, including optometry, purchasing and marketing, it took a negative experience for her to realise her true calling."
Robyn says: “In one job, I was sacked for a reason I didn’t feel was fair. I spent a week or two wallowing and then I hit the books.
“As I student, I had studied international business management and completed some HR modules. I felt that the way my employment had been terminated was illegal, so I started putting a case together.”
In the end, Robyn decided not to pursue legal action, but the research she carried out made her realise she had found a career she could be passionate about, says La-Z-Boy Manufacturing: "She initially thought she might study employment law, but ended up getting a job in HR and completing her CIPD qualifications."
She continues: “Rather than fighting my individual battle, I realised I wanted to focus on helping companies to be better employers. There are a lot of people who aren’t aware what their rights are and what the rules are.
“I love helping people progress their careers and become better versions of themselves. Often all they need is someone to believe in them.”
Robyn started working for La-Z-Boy Manufacturing, based in Colne, Lancashire, in July last year. The business manufactures British-made collections for the La-Z-Boy brand, which is known worldwide for being the originator of the first recliner chair.
Robyn adds: “I love working for a global enterprise run by a woman – La-Z-Boy Incorporated’s CEO Melinda Whittington is such an inspiration. When I first started out, I did used to find I got talked over in boardrooms in a way I was sure wouldn’t have happened if I was a man. In my role, I make sure everyone is heard, and I enjoy that.”