Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Manpower waiting for right time to list on stock exchange

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2017 | 9:39 PMSteven Jackson

Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited said it will consider listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) but is awaiting the right time to do so.

“It is possible. We are just waiting for the right time and Mayberry will tell us when we are ready,” said Audrey Hinchcliffe, chief executive officer of Manpower and Maintenance Services during a Mayberry Investments forum this week.  

Chief executive officer of Mayberry, Gary Peart said it has not formally signed a deal with Manpower to act as its investment advisor.

Manpower and Maintenance Services, which was established in Jamaica in the 1990s, now operates offices in Kingston, Montego Bay, St. James and Mandeville, Manchester. The group operates four companies which include Manpower and Maintenance Special Services Limited,  Manpower and Maintenance  Placement Agency Limited, Institute for Workforce Education and Development Limited and Space Rental.

Manpower is planning to increase its staff by 100 persons next month and that will grow the work complement to 1,900. Hinchcliffe did not disclose whether those workers would fill a new or existing contract. 

Hinchcliffe, along with Michelle Chong, chief executive officer of Honey Bun, and Jackie Stewart Lechler, director of Stewarts Automotive Group, were panelists at the monthly forum titled, 'Entrepreneurship: Successful Women in Business'. Honey Bun is already listed on the junior arm of the JSE, while Stewart indicated that there are no plans to list Stewarts Automotive group or subsidiary companies.

Hinchcliffe argued that women should avoid favours from men and focus on retooling to grow their business.

 “Stop playing the woman card because they will always use it against you,” she warned.

The phrase generally relates to the use of femininity as a means of gaining an advantage. She also encouraged continuous learning and training. Such skills will obviate any need to play the card, she said.

 “You have to assert yourself that you are a business person and do not think that because you are a woman that someone is going to do you any favours. You do not want the favour. You need to run your business along business lines,” Hinchliffe argued.

While acknowledging the existence of a glass ceiling, she argued that entrepreneurship provides a method to "make one’s own ceiling." 

"I don’t buy into this woman thing. I follow business principles and work is work. I get a little controversial when talking about women in business," she said."You have to structure your business. That is the thing and whether you are a man or a woman the same rules apply."

Chong also indicated that hard work rather than gender defined the growth of business.

“In the beginning, one of the driving forces that propelled us to succeed was that we took out a loan to start this business, so we had to make it work because we had a loan to repay. I started as a school teacher and now I’m a CEO. We need to realize that anything is possible once you put your mind to it” added Chong.

Lechler said that at times the men in the business load the women with work which sometimes requires a push-back.   

“Often it is in the small things, like dealing with excess work. As women we are seen as more organized and thorough so I get loads of work and sometimes I stop and decide that it's enough and take a step back to redistribute the workload,” Lechler added.

The forum provided a chance for men and women to ask the panelists about challenges and opportunities.

- steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com