GROWING up in Bull Savannah, St Elizabeth, Naedria Dyer's goal was to become a teacher, but her life took an unexpected turn when she began her first job as a customer service representative at ARC Manufacturing Limited. The St Elizabeth native was determined to make her mark in the male-dominated field, which led to a career spanning roles in the commercial, credit and human resources arenas while in the big city.
Now the head of the company's Montego Bay branch, Dyer's journey to the top was no easy feat. She traded in her stilettos for steel-toed boots, and defied all odds to become a respected leader in the building materials industry.
We spent five minutes with the senior manager to learn about the woman powerhouse.
AW: What would you say is your best career achievement to date?
ND: That's an easy one. When I started at ARC I was a customer service representative before spanning other roles in commercial, credit, and human resources. Today I have oversight of the company's Montego Bay branch, which has been my best career achievement to date.
AW: How would you introduce yourself to the world?
ND: I am a little firecracker who lives on the humorous side of life. I love to laugh, just as much as I enjoy spreading this joy to others around me. I am a realist, so I tend to live and appreciate each moment for what it is.
AW: What is your advice to young women who are looking to pursue a career in yo ur field?
ND: Don't let the narrative that 'It's a man's job' scare you. If you have the passion and the drive, follow your heart. Females are thriving in male-dominated industries all across the world, so recognise your power as a woman and be confident in what you have to offer.
AW: Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.
ND: As a leader, I admire Michelle Obama's ability to inspire others through her own experiences, challenge antiquated norms and fight for social issues, regardless of how controversial they were. She is not afraid to step outside of traditional first-lady stereotypes and hold her own — so much so that many wanted her to run for office, albeit in a 'world' dominated by men.
AW: What is your go-to thing for inspiration/motivation?
ND: Regardless of what I am going through, I can always count on my inner circle to help me to put things into perspective. My friends are very supportive so they are always available for any situation I might face. I also try to meditate from time to time, as it helps me to channel positive energies and find a sense of peace.
AW: What does self-care/unwinding look like for you?
ND: Self-care for me is feeding my mind and body to achieve overall health and wellness. So that means eating nutritious foods, maintaining healthy relationships and engaging in wholesome conversations. Also, you can find me in the gym at 5:15 am four times per week, as the gym is my happy place.
AW: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
ND: I can't think of a meal per se, as I am not very adventurous with food. However, I can drink some cold jelly water, eat sugar cane or East Indian mangoes for the rest of my life.
AW: What's your biggest pet peeve?
ND: A disorganised or untidy space is definitely my biggest pet peeve. Whether at home or work, being in a clean and organised environment helps me to think clearly and operate more efficiently.