Mpowered. By Women for Women: Sue Weenink

Mpowered. By Women for Women: Sue Weenink

Meet Sue Weenink – A living legend and an incredible powerhouse of a woman.

Sue Weenink is a legend…or more aptly put, a living legend! Farsons is a household name in Malta and Sue has been a part of this giant company since 1982. Starting from the bottom, she is now one of three women in the Farsons managerial team, as Head of Sales and Marketing. Sue is also a mum of a family of young and successful individuals, following their mother’s example. Scroll down to listen to the full podcast. 

‘I joined Farsons 38 years ago and, I have to admit, I was very ambitious. I knew that my starting point was not going to be my ending point. I left Malta when I was 19 years old and lived in London for 6-7 months working in a computing agency. I had to hurry home before my tourist Visa expired. I had my accounting A Level certification and saw a vacancy in Accounts at Farsons. I spent 10 years in Finance and continued studying accounting. I qualified first in finance exams, but I still decided to make the move from Finance to Marketing.’

Sue claims that she was always fascinated by systems, the people at Farsons, and the manufacturing plants. ‘For me it was never a 9 to 5 job. I used to hang around and be a busy body. I used to ask questions and they used to tell me that I will be good in marketing. When the vacancy opened, it seemed like it was tailored for me. Although it was in the Marketing department, there was still an element of forecasting and research which appealed to me greatly. At heart, I’m a numbers person and I never thought of myself as a creative. However, the discipline that accounts gave me was combined with the interest and flair that I had for brand and marketing in this role.’


Sue explains that up until her role as a female managerial appointee, most women occupied clerical roles. ‘Up until me, it was definitely a very male centric management, although this was not unique to Farsons, as this was the case in other companies as well. However, I never felt excluded, but I definitely put myself out there. Nowadays, it is still not equally balanced but there is a higher representation of female managerial than 20 years ago.’

Sue remarks that getting to the top was not an easy feat. ‘I didn’t get any hand-outs along the way. I had to work harder to be noticed since I was on my own, when it comes to gender, for many years. I never felt any resistance because of my gender but I think it has to come from the individual to push harder for their dreams to materialise.’

This discussion of gender is constantly being held, even though the situation seems to be changing for the better. ‘When a woman is strong, she is seen as pushy and a bully. But when a man is strong, he’s assertive. I had to be assertive to get to where I am today. A lot of it came from me. At a time, when it might have been apt to relax and move on, an opportunity came about, and I took it. The key is to believe in yourself.’

Sue gives us some background on her family and where she gets her grit from. ‘I come from a large family. I have six siblings. My dad is a family doctor and, until two years ago, he was still practicing as a doctor. He never slowed down. My mum brought up seven children since my dad was out working from morning to evening. We all had our afterschool activities from sailing to horse riding, ballet and tennis. Sailing was a very big part of our lives. In fact, I love to apply a strategy from sailing to my everyday marketing decisions nowadays. In sailing, if you are not ahead, there is no way that you will catch up to the person in front of you if you follow their steps. You will need to go against the grain to try and get some sort of advantage. I like to think that way when I am taking marketing decisions. We cannot think like our competitors because we will never get an advantage.’

While juggling motherhood and a career, Sue worked on reduced hours at Farsons but she never lost contact and always made an effort to be present. ‘I used to question whether I was doing the right thing for my children even though I made an effort to be at home after lunchtime. It was definitely a balancing act. However, the fact that I balanced my career and my children made me a better version of myself. I love my work, but I would never compromise my children.’

Looking back, Sue is very proud of how far she’s come. ‘I started my journey as a 21-year-old clerk in the Accounts department with just my A Levels. But my curiosity to always want to learn more, helped me get here.’

Sue’s parting advice is to find something that you can be passionate about. ‘The hard work becomes secondary when you have passion. You have to believe in yourself. If you know what you’re talking about, very few people can push you around.’

Thank you, Sue for finding the time to speak to us and be on our podcast. Your passion is inspirational and truly infectious. Listen to the full podcast below.