Photo of Louise Joslin

Humility and understanding are essential no matter your profession

Published on : 6/1/22
  • Through 70 years of leadership, The Queen has inspired us all. Sodexo features in the only official book marking the Platinum Jubilee pageant in recognition of how we champion women in leadership. To celebrate this honour, we spoke to Louise Joslin, General Manager at Oxford Aunts about her experiences, challenges and the guidance she'd give to others who might want to follow in her footsteps.

    Platinum Jubilee logoLouise Joslin, General Manager at Sodexo's Oxford Aunts, heads up a team of care experts who provide specialist home care services. An award-winning leader, Louise is not only focussed on care delivery excellence, but on ensuring connection with clients, carers, and colleagues. She explains the importance of having a strong team of people behind her and the women who have inspired her throughout her career. 

    It is an honour and a privilege to work in care

    When you talk to people about how they got into care, there is often a personal driver, which is certainly the case for me. When my son was born over 20 years ago with various complexities and a rare form of Down’s syndrome, a seismic shift in my life took place.  

    I wanted to find out as much as I possibly could about his condition, and it was through this research I realised I needed to pursue a career in care. I began working at a care home overseeing care for residents living with dementia and loved it immediately, knowing I had found my spiritual home. It was a privilege to me to be helping people who'd lived incredible lives go through a final phase in their journey. 

    A day in the life

    Towards the end of 2019, I began leading Oxford Aunts, part of a family of care home brands in the UK owned by Sodexo. Over the past 30 years, Oxford Aunts has been providing live-in care throughout Oxfordshire, helping thousands of people live well at home with the support of an experienced and dedicated carer.

    As General Manager, there's no such thing as a typical day, which I find incredibly rewarding. From overseeing day to day operational business to making strategic decisions about our future, I can be holding a meeting about health and safety one minute and the next, be talking about digital transformation projects that will see the company take the next leap into technology that will further enhance a client’s experience of our service.

    Improve your work culture 

    I am a firm believer in better performance being the result of constant communication and meaningful conversations. With all the changes in the last few years at Oxford Aunts, and especially with the pandemic, I have always found it critical as a leader to listen to what my staff have to say. 

    Having a structure where the whole team can come together and talk about transformational behaviours has made a big difference. Of course, mistakes happen, and people can grow by owning and learning from it. I am proud to have built a fantastic team and seeing them succeed has been incredible. 

    Why change is important 

    When working in dementia care, I was approached by a previous senior manager who asked if I wanted to be a part of a new start-up – The Good Care Group. In the beginning, my roles were a little bit of everything and then gradually, as the business expanded, I progressed through several different leadership roles. I was fortunate as I always felt that there was enough room for development within one organisation. 

    Another reason I appreciated The Good Care Group was the number of women in top leadership roles, something I hadn't experienced elsewhere. I learned an awful lot from the CEO, an inspiring businesswoman and a friend to this day. The same can be said for Oxford Aunts, and I am very proud of all the amazing women that help make up my team. 

    Challenging stereotypes

    It's a misnomer that there isn't such thing as a career in care. Something I find particularly sad is people not considering the variety of jobs available within the industry. I have an accountant, a recruiter, a marketeer, a business developer, and many operational roles in my office alone. They are all experiencing rewarding careers.

    Being a carer is such a special role and one that goes unsung far too often.

    For those that want it, there is progression. Having a background as a carer often gives people a huge amount of humility and understanding, and if people decide to switch to other areas of the business, these qualities are valuable. As both a family carer and a professional working in the industry, I feel privileged to see both sides. 

    Challenging stereotypes and ensuring that people know about the rewards of a career in this sector is something I am passionate about. There are not many jobs where you can feel you're having such an invaluable impact on an individual's life.


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