For an insight into the workings of Purdey, we’re asking the people at the heart of the enterprise. Here, in celebration of International Women’s Day, we meet Pauline Richards, our Accounts Receivable Supervisor, who is enjoying her 23rd year at Purdey. She shares her highlights, the special feeling of stepping into the Long Room for the first time, and how she came to be given her nickname of ‘The Duchess’.
Tell us about your time at Purdey?
When I joined Purdey in 2000 it was the perfect timing for me – my second daughter was turning two years old, and I was ready to return to work. The years have flown by! I started in Accounts Payables, before moving to my current role in 2020. My predecessor was here for 47 years; it’s definitely a company where women in finance stay for a while.
My first desk was in Audley House and I worked with almost every department. I was always the person who was happy to help new starters and talk them through the Purdey ‘A to Z’. Now, I spend most time working with the best finance team, the shop and the Shooting School.
When I started, Purdey was very family-oriented. And as it’s evolved, more women are shooting and more women are involved in the company, from marketing to buying to finance. I think Purdey strikes a good balance between holding on to its heritage and moving towards the next generation at the same time.
Do you shoot?
Over the years I’ve attended various events at the Shooting School – and I love it. I don’t get to go much, but I love it when I do. As long as I’ve got a good amount of shoulder padding!
What's been the highlight of working at Purdey?
Getting to know the people. It’s a close-knit company and I’ve always got along well with everyone – in fact, some of the team gave me a nickname, ‘The Duchess’, or sometimes ‘Your Grace’. I was lucky enough to work with Richard Purdey during his time as Chairman. Whenever Richard was in the office, you’d hear him coming down the hallway, whistling and smiling.
Where do you see yourself going next?
At my young age, I’m looking towards retirement now! I’m 61 this year, so just a few years to go. I’d like to travel; I’m a very spiritual person. Otherwise, I’ll be relaxing. And, I’ve got two beautiful daughters – so hopefully becoming a grandparent.
Finally, what’s your favourite thing about Purdey?
The Long Room. I’ll never forget when I first started, I’d never seen anything like it. I still love to look at all of the pictures, learning about the Purdey family history through the ages. Every time I go into the Long Room it has a special aura, that special Purdey feel.