Tell us about your background.
Ko hikurangi te maunga, ko waiapu te awa, ko horouta te waka, ko hinepare te marae, ko Ngati Porou te iwi, ko Candice Pardy ahau no Te Tairawhiti. I’m Candice Pardy – my family come from the East Coast of Aotearoa and I grew up in Gisborne. I’m one of 8 and remember the struggle my mother went through to make ends meet as a sole parent beneficiary. When she did work, my mum has fond memories of her time working with Dean Witters in the packhouse now known as Cedenco and all the friends she made there.
What do you do now?
Ko au te kaiwhakahaere matua o kamupene Jobloads. I’m the CEO of Jobloads.
How did you get that role? What was the pathway to that?
I have a corporate background working as a merchant in Supermarkets and big box Retail. In 2017, my husband and I moved our young family back Gisborne. We purchased a 4-canopy hectare persimmon orchard, and I took over management. Pretty quickly I encountered the pain of flexing up my workforce during our busiest times. I also saw how vulnerable the workers were and the poor treatment of many by contractors I had entrusted to find and hire them. I decided that there had to be a better way and Jobloads was born.
What’s the best thing about your role?
Building a team of people passionate about executing on our vision to make every job experience tika/right. No two days are the same. I spend my time out on work sites, in the office with my team, working across the marketing functions of our business, and working with our engineering team on our software and platform development. It’s exciting and chaotic and I love it!
Do you travel much for the role ?
Mainly regional travel at the moment with a particular focus on the Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay areas.
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?
We have 3 tamariki: Michelle-Bianca is 3, Oscar is 5, and Noah is 9. Having 3 young kids, a busy husband, and a growing business can be challenging. What I realized is that I am just not superwoman and if I don’t set up positive routines then the wheels will start falling off. So, my hubby and I have our set routines to keep everything going and my mum comes in every weekday to help keep our house tidy – otherwise it would sit in a regular tornado state! During 2020 we also successfully set our team up to work remotely for the different COVID alert levels. That has helped a lot as I now pick up my tamariki from school and work from home in the afternoons.
Was being a woman a hindrance or a help in getting this role?
It was really challenging to grow a business from a pain point on my orchard into what it is today. To make a true impact on the industry I needed capital investment and finding that was tough for me as a women and seeking capital from angels who are not close to the industry. However, within the industry I have had amazing support from Growers in the community. We are an industry that is built on entrepreneurial spirit so Growers like what I’m doing.
Do you have any qualifications?
Master of Management Studies Degree with First Class Honours, Management Communication. Bachelor of Management Studies Degree with First Class Honours, Marketing and International Management and an Interdisciplinary Media Studies Programme.
Did you require any specific education or training for this role?
If you want to build a Horticulture startup business I would recommend applying for an Accelerator. I’m currently participating on Startmate which has a few intakes a year. An accelerator is like lighting a rocket under your business giving your business the support it needs to take off!
If you had your time again would you do anything different?
I believe things happen the way they are supposed to even the things that make you uncomfortable. You learn so much about yourself when things don’t go to plan. COVID was a good example of things not quite going to plan but you take stock of the situation and you push through it.
Do you have any advice/tips for other women wanting a role like yours?
As women we create powerful businesses and leaders, often from a place of empathy and I think that comes back to us as mothers and nurturers. I say to you all to just embrace who you are. Bring your authentic true self to the table in everything that you choose to do. Not everyone will like you and that is fine. You will find the crowd who will love and support you.
As a woman involved in horticulture is there anything that you would like to see change that would make your life/role better?
I’d like to see more women in leadership roles across our industry. This website is a great start in us canvasing the careers available and amazing wahine toa working in the industry. Want to see more of us shine!
Are you on any Boards? If so which ones
Have you received any awards? Can you tell us a little about them
Startmate Accelerator Summer21 Cohort, voted IN as a SheEO Venture Cohort 2020, Graduate of the HortNZ Leadership Cohort 2019, Startup Weekend Tairāwhiti Winner 2019.