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Blog: One Year at the CBA – Caitlin …

Blog: One Year at the CBA – Caitlin Finnigan and Heather Carroll

10 July 2024

Two of our CB-A team have recently celebrated 1 year in their respective roles. In this blog, we hear from our Core Services Administrator, Caitlin, and our People & Skills Lead, Heather, about their experience of those first 12 months.

I recently celebrated one year of working at the Chemical Business Association. It’s been a whirlwind year, and I wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to break down some of my highlights, and reflect on what I’ve achieved, both individually and as part of the CB-A Team, during that time.

When I first joined the CBA, I had no idea what to expect. Coming from a retail background, it was a completely new and different experience, which felt both exciting, and, speaking honestly, a little intimidating to begin with.

Originally, I joined the CBA to support their administrative efforts, but was given the opportunity to follow my own ambitions, getting involved in the writing of their articles and press releases, and overseeing the publication of the monthly newsletter. A real highlight was writing the entries for the Trade Association Forum Awards 2024. Heather and I did the Skills Development Award together, and we collected the award on the night in February, along with the Best Association Transformation Award. Both awards were testament to the hard work the team had put in during 2023 to continue expand the services of the CBA to ensure we continue to represent our members in the most effective way possible.

Networking amongst our membership and stakeholder network has also allowed me to embed myself into the role. Whether that be through my media work, outreach, our events such as Annual Lunch and Awards Night, or the Future Council, which has helped me get to know others who work in the chemical supply chain and better understand the industry as someone completely new to it. Truthfully, coming into the industry I had no idea it was so vast and had such a far-reaching impact. It’s been fantastic speaking to young people who mirror me a few years ago and seeing them engage with what the chemical supply chain has to offer.

Alongside my work, it has been incredibly rewarding getting to know the CBA team and working with them on a daily basis. I want to thank them all for their support since I’ve been here.

My role has developed to allow the CBA to build our own media strategy, and we have big projects in the pipeline as part of this work (watch this space!) Going forward, I’m excited to see these projects come to fruition. Although the last year hasn’t been without challenges, I’m really pleased with the progress I have made so far, and I feel it’s important to document, as we can all be guilty of constantly looking forward and never thinking about how far we’ve come!

Here’s to the next year of success.


July marks exactly one year since I became the People & Skills Hub Lead at the CBA. I’m chuffed to be part of the CB-A TEAM and thank you to all my colleagues and our members for your support over the last 12 months. I too wanted to share a few of my highlights in what has been a challenging, yet rewarding, first year in my role.

Overseeing the People & Skills Hub in its infancy has been hugely rewarding, giving me the opportunity to provide personalised guidance to our membership and helping some of those companies explore the benefits of apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships for the very first time.

I am extremely proud of Generation STEAM and 5050 vision, two initiatives we introduced at the CBA to encourage the idea that careers in our sector are for everyone, regardless of age and career/educational background. We have begun to recruit Generation STEAM ambassadors across our membership, allowing us to further our message that careers in the chemical supply chain are diverse and inclusive.

It has helped that, from the very start, I have partaken in outreach work. Even in my first week I was with some of our members showcasing the amazing careers available in the Chemical Supply Chain.  Together we met young people exploring their career choices, and with our partners, Stockton Council, we all shared our career pathways. Since then, together with our Future Council, we’ve reached 18,500 young people by engaging with more schools and organisations to inspire the next generation. My work experience was with my Dad where he was the Export Manager with a chemical company.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is a cornerstone of all the work the People & Skills Hub does and is one of our values at the CBA. Setting up our ED&I forum has been a milestone moment of my experience at the CBA so far, allowing me to share knowledge and best practice with our membership and stakeholders. Fostering inclusive workplaces within our industry is hugely important, and utilising collaboration to make a difference is a step towards achieving true ED&I.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to continue our journey, supporting our members and creating even more opportunities for growth and development.

Thank you all for being part of my incredible journey and here’s to year 2!


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