In December, the company acquired alternative sweetener maker Sweet Green Fields to enhance its portfolio of sweetener products. Beardsell comments: “We were able to deliver these deals in a Covid world by doing our due diligence with limited travel options. Usually, with these kinds of deals that you negotiate around the table, it`s a very different dynamic. I`m really proud of the team for getting these contracts off the ground. “To me, that says a lot about the personalities we have in the legal and compliance space,” Lindsay concluded. “It`s about working with different teams to apply their skills to determine what`s not working, find solutions and make a difference. That is not what it should be. With an established, talented and diverse global team, including the inclusion of lawyers in the region in growing regions to complement those in Europe and North America, Lindsay and her team have worked to create ways of working that motivate people and are constantly evolving. “Personal development is prioritized within the team, with each member having their own plan and opportunities for ongoing training and development,” Lindsay explained. “With our diverse team, the goal now is to ensure colleagues are supported in development and advancement, and part of that is having open and regular conversations about individual needs and goals, and carefully evaluating opportunities as they arise.
After two years, she leads a 20-person legal and compliance team comprised of business partners “who are able to make cross-company connections and proactively identify and address business risks. Here, she explains how she built the team. One of the most important considerations for the jury selection process was the companies` diversity policy. “They were expected to do the right thing, so we talked about their policies and the teams they put in place for jobs. The companies we work with are very receptive to this, which is one of the reasons they sit on the podium. It`s not just about race or gender – we look at diversity in the broadest sense. My philosophy is that the greater the diversity, the better the economic outcomes. A flexible approach to work is another way to engage colleagues and help them balance domestic chores with job demands.
“Careers that align with a healthy, balanced lifestyle bring out the best in people. Companies that understand this attract and retain great employees, which is why I`ve always encouraged my team to find a work model that fits their personal lives,” Lindsay continued. “One of the things that attracted me to this role at Tate & Lyle was the opportunity to build a team that was a good fit for the company`s culture – agile, well-connected, commercially savvy – and able to work effectively with colleagues in 30 countries and a variety of clients,” Lindsay explained. “A legal team that is removed from other functions and sits in an ivory tower is not uncommon in companies, but it can really inhibit the effectiveness and influence of that team within the company,” she continued. During her three years at Renold, she says, she learned a lot by building her own legal team before her next step came along, this time at Russian energy giant Gazprom. There, she led all legal and regulatory matters outside Russia. She says, “It`s a super interesting business and I`ve met some great people. But like many times in my career, I was approached for a more important role. Five Tate & Lyle employees, including myself and another member of the legal team, founded the Black Employee Network (B.E.N.) in early 2020. We knew we needed the support and support of management to succeed, and Lindsay was one of the first leaders to agree to serve as an official B.E.N.
Champion. “I live in the Cotswolds (UK) and have two children, so normally I would have spent three or four days in our London office before Covid and worked the rest of the time in my home office. Nick [Nick Hampton, CEO] and Gerry [Gerry Murphy, President] have supported this approach from the beginning, and I know it`s something my team appreciates as well. This is by no means an advantage for women, as men increasingly act as carers and generally appreciate a more flexible approach to work. I firmly believe that if you have the right colleague, he will do what it takes to get the job done, whether it`s in an office, at home or while traveling. It`s about the person, not the place. “Since joining, I`ve grown the team and worked with Tate & Lyle`s human resources team and a specialist external recruiter to find people with their own voice and perspective, exceptional communicators who know how to manage their stakeholder relationships. People want to join companies that have a purpose they believe in and teams where they can work “their whole being.” Being able to offer both is why we have such a strong team today,” Lindsay added. Along with her own teams, Beardsell says she encourages absolute honesty and no surprises: “Let me know in advance if something is on the horizon and we`ll solve it together.” Thanks to strong mentors early in her career, she also focuses on the personal development of her team. She is also determined to operate a flat structure: “We don`t have management team meetings, we involve the whole team.
Everyone needs to be involved in decision-making so that we can make the right decisions. We have a very diverse team in terms of origin, race and gender. It is better aligned with our customer base, but also encourages diversity of thought. I encourage responsibility and personal responsibility, I don`t want everything to go through me. Come forward and use me more as a sounding board. In her current role, she leads a legal team of approximately 20 people across five different functions: Legal, Intellectual Property, Insurance, Risk and Ethics, and Compliance. She says most of the legal work stays in-house so her team can handle it: “That`s always been my philosophy. If you spend the same amount of money on an outside supplier as an in-house lawyer, who will get to know the company better? That`s a no-brainer.
“Fifteen years ago, companies wanted very technical consultants to talk to them about the risks. People from the industry would come to the “wise lawyers” in their ivory towers and give advice, and then they would leave. Legal teams shouldn`t do that, they should sit down with their stakeholders and understand what the company is doing. It`s not about sticking band-aids on things that aren`t working, it`s about asking the tough questions and doing it where you identify a problem. My vision of beauty has never changed. Lindsay has extensive legal experience spanning several countries and industries, and has studied local and European law in the UK, France and Germany. Prior to joining Tate & Lyle, she was Group General Counsel of Ladbrokes Coral Group PLC and was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of SuperGroup PLC, Gazprom Energy and Renold PLC. The Black Lives Matter movement, which began in the United States and resonated around the world, has highlighted issues of race, racism, and representation in all sectors of society, including the economy. “Around the death of George Floyd and the BLM protests, we talked as a company and as a team about the impact of these issues on individuals and what else we could do to challenge the biases and systems that hold back BAME (black and ethnic minorities) talent,” Lindsay explained.