Maisha Satchell: Two decades of quality service delivery at Red Stripe
MAISHA Satchell would be among the few people who could provide valuable insight into why Red Stripe consistently produces high-quality products for their customers worldwide. The brewery’s packaging shift manager chronicles her 20-year journey of rising to the top of her field in a traditionally male-dominated sector area.
“I did electromechanical studies — a combination of the electrical and mechanical trades — at the National Tool and Engineering Institute. I was sent on my internship as part of completing my diploma programme and that’s how I started as an operator, using my technical skills. I began as an intern in 2003 and at the end of the internship I went into a full-time role,” she shared. “Then about two years after that or so, I was promoted from operator to quality controller.”
Satchell shared a story of being the only woman in a class of over 20 men. She said experiences such as this built her confidence and challenged her to venture into an industry that was considered a “man’s job”. Her grit and determination helped her rise from production operator to machine operator, analyst, and eventually into the more senior role of quality controller.
What drove Satchell even more than her desire to prove others wrong was her love of interacting with and learning from others.
“As the packaging shift manager I am responsible for a key component of our day-to-day operations on different lines but, even more importantly, I am responsible for the development and well-being of a team of people — so my job is to ensure that we meet our production and quality targets and the safety and well-being of everybody on the line,” she said.
Even while operating in a high-performance environment, one of Satchell’s core beliefs is protecting the work-life balance of her team. She passionately explained, “There has to be a balance. I make a point of enquiring about the well-being of my team and urging them to have valuable experiences outside of work. As a leader, more than anything else, your job is to encourage your people to develop in all areas of their lives. It gives them the freedom to build and showcase their skills and achieve the goals they set for themselves.”
Discussing the driving factors behind her success as a leader and that of her team, Satchell underscored the critical role of a collective commitment to excellence, lessons learned from others at Red Stripe, and a healthy dose of competitiveness.
“During our morning meetings we talk about safety and we’ll talk about our plans for the day. Whatever the team before us did, my team will commit to surpassing their score. It’s a rivalry, but it’s a good rivalry. At the end of the 12 hours, one of the most satisfying feelings is hitting those targets,” Satchell proudly asserted.
Shawn Daley, a filler operator who serves on the team of eight led by Satchell, warmly acknowledged her unwavering tenacity and continuous astute guidance as his manager.
“Maisha is a cut above the rest, especially as a new manager. Her warm personality and great communication skills complement her leadership style and has allowed her to truly connect with us. She is always present on the production line, ready to guide and assist. I appreciate her transparency because she always shares what is going on and how we can improve to get the job done right.”
Sharing advice for other women interested in working within industrial sectors Satchell noted, “Most people think it’s a male-dominated industry because the number of females in production is just a handful so I would say to any woman: ‘If you’re interested, get involved. If you want to be an electrician, a mechanic, or a maintenance manager, go for it.’ Our brewing manager is a woman, and the industry is opening up so other women can step into any role and succeed.”
Outside of work Satchell is a passionate football fan who enjoys watching the English Premier League and showing up for her two daughters.
“One of my proudest personal achievements was watching my first child graduate from Campion College; I felt very proud. So that’s one of the things that I’m most proud of, knowing that I was able to be with her and she was able to transition through another five years and leave with honours — and I’m just so excited about that as if it’s my journey,” she mentioned as she beamed with pride.
In March, Red Stripe recognised Satchell’s commitment to excellence by honouring her with a Stand Up Award for outstanding performance. Reflecting on the recognition, she shared her philosophy on leadership. “To be a real leader you must have that passion for people; it has to be about the people. Leadership may be your path if you are about the people and not just concerned about the title. Leadership may be your path if you care about developing others and working together as a team to achieve certain goals. My journey has taught me that you cannot do anything by yourself; it’s never a one-person show. It’s always about the greater collective good.”