Cawleys, the waste management firm celebrating its 70th anniversary in business this year, has just appointed its first woman to the board, Anna Cawley.

A recent study by Credit Suisse said companies with at least one woman director received a better return on their investments compared with companies with all-male boardrooms.

Cawleys has certainly been delivering impressive results recently, increasing profit and revenue by 30 per cent in the past three years, while delivering innovation and investment across the business.  

Anna says: “We’ve made significant investments in improving the business using technology and innovation, making customer service a top priority.  Every business, including waste management, is about people, providing a great service and experience.”

Cawleys was the first company in the UK to provide a commercial food waste collection service in the UK in 2008 working with retail chain Waitrose.  It is unusual in owning and operating its own ‘dirty’ MRF in Luton which enables it to offer customers exceptionally high recycling rates.

The business employs 200 staff with an operational footprint across south east England, providing resource management services solely to business customers, rather than household or local authority contracts.

Anna continues: “We pride ourselves at Cawleys on offering the best of all business worlds. The strong belief in good relationships and values, which comes from being a family business, combined with the energy and innovation of a business still hungry to grow.”

“As director of Customer Service, I’m going to use my place on the board to ensure we remain focused on the quality of our customer service at every stage in the waste management hierarchy.”

Phil Gudgeon, director of Waste Management and Logistics also recently joined the board of Cawleys, and has also played an instrumental part in delivering the rapid increase in profitability and performance at Cawleys.

Phil said: “Cawleys is a very dynamic business.  We have the scale and profitability to research and invest in the latest industry developments, but also the flexibility to deliver change quickly. Having Anna on the board will give us an even greater focus. Together we make up the youngsters on the board.”

Anna is the third generation of the family to work in the business. Her great uncle Frank co-founded the business in 1947 and her father Jon is current Chairman.  Anna’s sister Kate also works in the business, setting up her own highly successful partner environmental services company, Veris Strategies in 2009.   Anna has worked in Cawleys since 2001 and became Head of Customer Service in 2011.

Jon Cawley, MD said: “I’m enormously proud of Anna, she has earned her place on the board through hard work and determination.  She spearheaded the introduction of new IT and HR systems across the business which has helped to transform the way we work.  She has the vision and energy to help our business keep growing and rising to the resource management challenges we’re all going to face in the future.

“I’m very lucky to have two dynamic daughters who each bring different skills to the business, but we all feel like family here. I’m proud of all our staff.  Waste management is a tough, highly competitive, highly regulated sector. We have to be constantly innovating and changing to keep ahead of the game. Our new board is well placed to ensure this keeps happening.”