Paula Dudley

United Fresh
Tell us about your background.

I grew up on the North Shore of Auckland, trained as a nurse after leaving school and then went on the usual Kiwi OE to the UK, Europe and the USA. When I returned to New Zealand, I had my daughter Katie and worked for an advertising agency. It was after this I started working for United Fresh and the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust.

What’s the best thing about your role?

The people I get to work with and for, and the diversity of work.

If you have children how do/did you balance your job and family?
What are/were the biggest issues?
How did you deal with them?

Working for United Fresh has put me among forward thinkers who have always encouraged a work – family balance. I have been extremely fortunate to have the flexibility to have a great job and raise a family.

Do you have any qualifications? (if so, what are they?)

After I left school I trained as a nurse. While I have worked for United Fresh, I have studied at Massey University and gained a Diploma in Business Studies with a Major in Communications. I have also completed a Governance course with the Institute of Directors New Zealand.

Are you on any Boards? If so which ones(if so, what are they?)

Part of the Women in Horticulture Executive Committee.
Past Chair of the International Fruit and Vegetable Alliance.

What do you do now?

General Manager, United Fresh New Zealand Incorporated.

Do you travel much for the role ?

I travel to International 5aday conferences in Europe and America. These conferences are set up for countries running 5aday programmes to share their work and learn from each other. The WHO and FOA support these meetings.

Was being a woman a hindrance or a help in getting this role? Tell us about that.

I have not found being a woman to be a hindrance in New Zealand, my experiences have been different internationally where countries don’t seem to be as inclusive as we are.

Do you have any advice/tips for other women wanting a role like yours?

Don’t be afraid to apply for big roles. With the climate changing to value diversity and inclusion, the time has never been better for women to achieve their career goals.