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From Deli Manager to General Manager of Liquor

22 years ago, the role of General Manager of National Liquor Operations was far from Cathi Scarce's career radar. Back then she was managing the deli at Coles in Manly, but the intervening years have seen her progress steadily through every level of management to her current national role.

'I've been astounded at the opportunities that have been made available to progress in this business. And I have been fortunate to have a number of great role models and sponsors that have provided good counsel as I went through my career journey.'

Cathi is happy to admit that Coles has taken chances with her promotions, placing her in roles with ever increasing scope regardless of her relative lack of experience in each area.

'It's all been about my aptitude and potential. They have supported me with development both formal and on the job in all the many roles I've performed, and have provided feedback along the way that has helped me build confidence around my strengths.'

Reasons for retail

Cathi is passionate about selling and passionate about people. She visits stores, meets the teams, and drives initiatives to constantly improve operations and drive liquor sales.

'It's fast paced, fun, and always changing as the market changes. Retail is a constant learning curve.'

She believes women bring important diversity of thought to the retail industry, along with perspectives that are more representative of the customers served. They are willing to seek different solutions to retail issues, supporting a more flexible approach to management.

Support for the team

For Cathi, one of the most satisfying elements of her job is igniting the passion and flair of her team members, and celebrating their successes. She loves to give her people the same career development opportunities she enjoyed, listening to their aspirations and providing guidelines and support.

'In terms of careers, there is a wonderful sense of community and support amongst women in retail that is very rewarding and inspiring to be a part of,' she says. 'There's a role that suits everyone regardless of what phase of life they are in, from starting a career to raising a family to empty nesters.'



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