Gender and business

It was International Women’s Day this month so in light of this, we took a look at the different perspectives of a male and a female running a business.

Husband and wife Adam and Emma Spradbury run EAS Windows together with equal responsibility. They’re leaders in windows, doors and conservatory design and installation. What does it take to have this success? Who is behind the scenes? What is it like to be a ‘double act’ in this industry?

Here is Adam’s account of being a male business owner. Emma’s story will follow for comparison.

Adam Spradbury – Men in business

What is your career background?

I left school at 16 and began working for our family business, EA Signs. Initially, I was involved in the manufacture and erection of signs throughout the midlands, but the company then diversified when the UPVC industry launched and EAS Windows was born. I worked with my dad and uncle, plus several other members of the family over the years. I was a window fabricator so I worked in our factory in Oadby, manufacturing UPVC windows and doors.

How has your role evolved?

I have worked my way across and up the business, touching most of the roles within the business to a greater or lesser extent. I have been in charge of the day-to-day running of the business for the last 15 years and I have been MD since 2007. I became sole owner approximately three years ago, and now share ownership with my wife Emma.

What challenges have you had since starting the business and do you think being a man has had any bearing on those challenges?

There are many challenges in dealing with suppliers, customers and internal working teams – especially as we are so dependent upon third parties. Our business is relatively straightforward but there is a surprising number of links in the chain and these throw up challenges every day! I do think it has got more demanding as the internet and social media have taken over a large part of our world, too.

It’s a fact that our industry is heavily male-dominated and it’s always a refreshing change to have dealings with any females. Unfortunately, there are not many ladies involved in this technical and operational element of businesses like EAS. This is highlighted, especially, when it comes to managing the installations onsite, so in this respect it’s likely to remain a man’s world for some time - but when it comes to the internal running of the business, it’s quite common for women to play a key role and this is as it should be!

Keep an eye out for Emma’s experience in business.