With a style shaped by a career spanning the military and manufacturing, this Baxter plant manager instills a mix of compassion, resilience, humor and positivity with her team.
An interview with Caroline Houston, United Kingdom, Plant Manager
Q: Tell us about your role at Baxter.
Caroline: I manage two manufacturing facilities in southern England: our Thetford plant, which makes intravenous solutions bags, and our Elstree plant, which makes hemostasis products.
Q: How did your career path lead you to your current role?
Caroline: I began my career as a medic in the Royal Air Force, and after leaving the military I took a role in finance and accounting with a large manufacturing company. This ignited in me a real curiosity to understand the "DNA" of manufacturing organisations. I have since worked in many different industries — nuclear, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods, to name a few — but always with a focus on safety of people and products.
Q: How do you feel being named Baxter's 2021 Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA)?
Caroline: I am proud and honored: it’s a huge motivation and inspiration to be recognised by a prestigious organisation like the HBA.
Q: How do you exemplify leadership and serve as a role model for others?
Caroline: I try to empower and nurture employees by demonstrating compassion, humor, resilience, and a positive attitude. I try to instill in my team an unwavering belief that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. I tell them, "You must be prepared to fail, learn, recover and try again."
Q: From your perspective, how does Baxter empower and encourage women to achieve their career goals?
Caroline: I think Baxter truly "walks the talk" in this area by offering flexible work schedules, professional development, coaching and a fantastic mentoring program for women. This overall dedication to empowering and encouraging women is one of the reasons I chose to work for Baxter.
HBA Rising Star
Caroline was recently named Baxter's 2021 Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). The HBA Rising Star award recognises women who have demonstrated noteworthy achievements and proven attention to furthering their careers.