What advice would I give? Get qualified, says RSA Group's Amanda Earnshaw ©Peter Spinney
What advice would I give? Get qualified, says RSA Group's Amanda Earnshaw ©Peter Spinney

This is who I am: Amanda Earnshaw

23 February 2018

The lowdown on RSA Insurance Group's head of procurement

How I got into procurement…
I was working as a recruiter and found it fascinating interviewing people in procurement. Their jobs sounded so varied. I wrote to 250 firms asking them to create a post for me. Just one – Aramark – responded with a job offer, but that was all I needed.

How I got my current role…
I was approached for another role that I didn’t feel played to my strengths, but thought RSA sounded great. I told them that, and they requested I come back for the head of procurement role, my dream job.

The best piece of advice I’ve received…
Take time out to think. I love juggling things, and shutting out deep thinking is becoming all too easy in today’s online world. It pays dividends to step back.

The advice I would give others…
Get qualified. It will support your development and you’ll get paid more. The CIPS Fellows of the Future programme aims to develop rising stars into Fellows in four years by helping them find a sponsor, develop a peer network and adopt soft skills to progress fast.

The biggest mistake I’ve made in my working life…
In a meeting with senior stakeholders in my first week of a new role, I pushed a point of process instead of seeing the bigger picture. It was a make-or-break moment for my reputation. I realised my error quickly and restored credibility by acknowledging I should have taken a different approach.

The future of procurement is…
Partnering with suppliers to feed in market insights that help company strategy. Procurement is in the unique position of understanding the business needs and sharing lessons from suppliers. I work with our business to identify challenges and see what innovations our suppliers have seen that we can adapt to our competitive advantage.

I relax in my free time by…
Painting, gardening or relaxing in front of the TV with my man and our three cats.

My dream dinner-party guest would be…
Emmeline Pankhurst. A century on from women getting the vote, would she be proud of the progress or frustrated there is still so much more to achieve?

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London (Central), London (Greater)
£40,169 per annum
Royal College of General Practitioners
London or East Kilbride
London total package - £35,700, East Kilbride total package - £30,700
Cabinet Office