Ten months after becoming CUB's first female Plant Manager, Anita Holdsworth is thriving on the challenge and paying it forward.
Holdsworth was appointed as Cascade’s brewery manager in February, selected to lead Cascade’s upgrade and its craft brewing vision.
At the time, Jan Craps, CEO of CUB, noted: "Anita brings to the role a dynamic passionate leadership style, perfectly suited to the challenge and the opportunity of growing Cascade as CUB’s craft hub.”
"Each day presents me with a new problem to solve, encourages me to work with my team on innovative solutions and stretches all of us to be better," she said.
Holdsworth is conscious that as a woman working in beer she is part of a vanguard of change in the once male-dominated industry.
She said that CUB has not shied away from the task of encouraging diversity in the workplace, actively working to engage and retain women.
Her own experience of the culture at CUB has been overwhelmingly positive. She describes the working environment as ‘a meritocracy: inclusive, dynamic and innovative’, values that led to her own appointment as not only the first female Plant Manager at Cascade but at CUB. And she is excited about the future for women at the company, which she sees as ‘full of potential’.
Holdsworth is keen to play a role in shaping this future. She has a passion for helping women in STEM careers and says CUB has provided her with a platform to express this interest, from being a mentor to public speaking. These opportunities are part of CUB's commitment to ‘recruit, develop and train people who can be better than ourselves’.
She encourages new and prospective employees to take advantage of this willingness of the organisation to nurture talent: "It is our job to help you, teach you, stretch you and develop you. Ask questions, interrogate our thinking, learn from mistakes, innovate, change and grow."
Asked about her favourite position of her career so far, Woodword said: "Plant Manager! Being at the forefront of the business of making great-tasting beers and ciders has been the most rewarding and the most challenging role."
One of her major challenges is the $10.3 million upgrade that Cascade, Australia’s oldest brewery, is currently undergoing, necessitating a change in the way brewing is undertaken as well as the way that the brewery fits into the wider CUB network.
Holdsworth's role involves managing the site through this development.
"‘My aim is to ensure that, as we navigate this change, we don’t lose sight of the reason we are here, which is to make great-tasting beers and ciders for our customers while driving value for CUB," she said.