Partnerships that make a difference – Capital Chemist

3 May 2017

Jessica Abramovic

Jessica is the Communications and Events Coordinator at YWCA Canberra.

At YWCA Canberra, we are fortunate to have built strong partnerships with organisations that support gender equality and women’s leadership. Capital Chemist are a partner for the She Leads Conference 2017. We had a chat to Stacey Fuller, Managing Partner of Capital Chemist Southlands, about her leadership journey through Capital Chemist, the opportunities it has afforded her, and what advice she has to offer to young women.

What drove you to become a pharmacist?

My first job as a 15-year-old was in my local community pharmacy. At the time, I thought it would just be a means to that extra bit of pocket money. Before I knew it, I was working more hours and really enjoying my role as a pharmacy assistant. It gave me the much-needed confidence a teenager struggles to find, and the ability to think on my feet and ask questions that needed to be asked both of the customers and my colleagues.

My thoughts of becoming a pharmacist were confirmed when I realised I could make a difference in people’s lives, through education and involvement in their health. I have worked in both hospital and community pharmacies, but have really found my place in community pharmacy ownership.

What has your leadership journey been like, and where do you hope it will lead?

Relatively new to leadership, my journey has been busy, exciting, full of hard work and long hours, but most of all rewarding.

I am hoping that with the commitment and dedication myself and business partner Louise bring to our business, and the hard work of our staff, we can grow Capital Chemist Southlands to new heights in healthcare and relationships with our customers and other health professionals.

How does Capital Chemist support women’s leadership, and why is this important?

Capital Chemist has policies that support anyone willing to have a go – with no discrimination based on gender, age, background. For this reason, our ownership group reflects an industry mix with plenty of women and young people in leadership roles.

Capital Chemist also has an attitude that supports families as well as helping us to develop strong careers. A family or the potential of a family has been no disincentive either before or after commencing ownership. This has evolved from the very beginning of Capital Chemist, an attitude which has always been sharing and generous, and a vibe whereby what is good for all is good for one.

What challenges do you face as a Managing Partner for Capital Chemist Southlands?

The greatest challenge for us in the future for the pharmacy is staying one step ahead of the curve. The pharmacy industry is constantly changing and evolving. Added to these challenges is the firm commitment of the myself and Louise to continually expanding and improving what our professional services offer, regardless of any hurdles we may face.

We have to achieve this while continuing to grow and develop to meet the changing expectations of our customers. Pharmacists expanding their professional role are gaining acceptance within the broader community. Our service delivery will need to be continually reviewed and improved, particularly as our pharmacists’ role in primary healthcare increases.

What defines your leadership style?

I am still yet to fully understand and find my leadership style, I am growing as a leader and learning something new every day. There are many influential figures in Capital Chemist with whom my evolving leadership style is growing.

However, my leadership style definitely involves team work. I try to involve my staff as much as possible to help me make decisions for our pharmacy. I don’t want to be the leader who tells her staff what and how to do a job. Instead, I am hungry to learn from my staff and want to empower them to achieve in their workplace. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” … I couldn’t do what I do without the support from my staff.

What is most rewarding about your role?

Each and every day I make a difference in not only my customers lives, but that of my staff and community. We see our pharmacy as its own community. Our team and customers come together to contribute to a variety of wonderful causes by way of donating time, gifts, and money.

We actively encourage and provide financial support to our team to undertake further training to increase their professional knowledge and skills, giving them every opportunity to thrive in our working environment.

Capital Chemist Southland won the 2017 Guild Pharmacy of the Year: Business Management award; what does this achievement mean to you?

My business partner Louise McLean was the driver for us to apply for 2017 Guild Pharmacy of the Year. Winning this award confirms that we are excelling in our work and creating a difference in our customer’s lives. We are making a difference in our community. We are striving towards innovation and excellence. Louise and I know we have a great workplace and staff who work hard to provide the level of service our customers come to expect. We know we are heading in the right direction and will keep seeking to improve our service offerings.

Who inspires you?

My family inspire me to work hard to get back. My husband is my biggest fan, and has supported me in this leadership journey when it began as a managing pharmacist five years ago. He has been there when times have been stressful, when I have needed to stay back at work to get the job done. My husband listens when I need to talk about an idea or issue out loud. My daughter, while only young, is also a large inspiration for me. I want to show her anything is possible if you work hard enough and follow your dreams. She inspires me to be a better mother and business woman.

Lastly, my business partner Louise inspires me to put in the effort to seek the rewards. Louise has been in the leadership role a few years longer than me and is a great source of advice, is the hardest worker I have ever worked with, and is great to have a laugh or a cry with!

What advice would you give to someone about to embark on their leadership journey?

Give it a go, you will never turn back! I love leading my team and showing them that anything is possible.

To hear from more inspiring women leaders, attend the upcoming She Leads Conference.

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