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Meet some of the Women at HF celebrating IWD 2022

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For International Women’s Day 2022, we sat down with some of the women who work at HF to ask them a series of questions related to the day in question.

 

Dione Gibson – Apprentice Electrician, HF Electrical Ltd

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Woman’s Day is a very important day as being a woman in a male dominated industry means I have to prove myself a lot more than most. I am proud to be a woman within a male industry and I hope that many more woman take an interest in trades and within the construction industry.

What barriers have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

Stereotypes are something which I come across a lot in this industry. Being a young female I am often expected by a lot of people to pursue an “office” job. However times are changing and it’s become more common for a tradeswoman to be carrying out jobs. I would say ignore any stereotypes and continue to do your job and make an excellent example for the girls!

Why did you choose a career in Electrical?

I chose a career in the electrical industry because I have always took an interest in my Dads work, he too is an electrician. I know it’s a job for life with so many opportunities and the industry will always continue to adapt and grow.

Why is it important for more women to take up a career as Electricians in the future?

Yes! It is very important and a shared ratio of male to woman should begin to even out. For a lot of woman pursuing a career in the electrical industry or any trade can be daunting but it’s something that shouldn’t be. There are a lot of opportunities for woman in construction and lots of room to work your way up and further your career.

Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired you in your career?

I have always looked up to Queen Elizabeth.  The things she has done through her life has been incredibly impressive. And of course my Dad.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of starting a career as an electrician?

Don’t let anyone put you off, for a lot of people choosing this career path is very unusual and out of the norm but it’s nothing to shy from. Show you have good work ethic, good attitude and a strong interest in the industry.


Kiera Simpson – Project Co-Ordinator, HF Comms Ltd

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day to me is a celebration of women and everything women have achieved in the face of adversity.  It is also a reminder of how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

Why did you choose a career in Telecommunications?

What got me onto this career path was the fast paced nature of the industry. I love the constant advances of technology. It presents new opportunities and challenges in equal measure.

Why is it important for more women to take up career in Telecommunication in the future?

As telecoms becomes more and more essential to our way of life, the industry is continually growing and changing, so there is no shortage of available opportunities for a flourishing career

Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired you in your career?

I don’t have a specific role model per say but have a lot of respect for any woman who has been able to break the glass ceiling in their industry.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of starting a career in Telecommunications?

If you want a fast paced and challenging role within a constantly developing industry, then this is the right job for you.


Kirstene Wilson, Operations Manager (Aberdeen Branch), HF Electrical Ltd

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is a celebration of the achievements, aspirations and equality of women regardless of culture, background, religion and sexuality.

What barriers have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

Redundancy, bullying, being overlooked for promotion, chauvinist attitudes and behaviours. The disappointment, upset and frustration was turned in to energy and determination to take every given opportunity to succeed.

Why did you choose this career path?

This particular opportunity found me. Transferring a skill set to work within a different business.

Why is it important for more women to take up a career in Mechanical, Electrical & Fire & Security in the future?

These trade disciplines have always been available to women but maybe not as accessible as they are now. Attitudes have changed where it is as acceptable to have female engineers showing a strong skill and knowledge set.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of starting a career as a Plumber, Electrician or Fire & Security Contractor?

Whether working as an individual or as part of a bigger team, there are plenty of people to guide and support you and opportunities in the discipline you choose. HF have a great apprentice programme and are always looking for Women who want to start out in the industry.


Jill Nicolson, Financial Director, HF Group

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me – a lot.  Working for a company with such a long history, today allows me to look back and celebrate how far women have come in business but also what we still need to improve.

Electrical, Mechanical and Fire & Security have always been industries with a gender imbalance and lot of stereotypical views associated to it but I am proud we are improving on this every year as we take on more female apprentices in what are historically male led sectors.

What barriers have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

I am lucky that I live in the UK and am under 40.  As a women working in Finance, I started my career at a time when equality was improving quickly; not perfect but vastly improved upon.  I have of course come across individuals from time to time with outdated views but as a professional, I always let my work do the talking.

Why did you choose a career in Finance?

I have always been good with numbers so that helped narrow down my options. Finance is a dynamic industry and when I was first considering my career path, it was one that appealed to me as it gave lots of options for working abroad, growth within the finance sector and the potential to work in a diverse range of sectors.

Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired you in your career?

There are so many inspirational woman. I am a keen tennis player so Billie Jean King who championed women’s equality in sport, Amelia Earhart, I could go on but as cliché as it is, my real model was my mum. Throughout my childhood she worked hard and had her own career which subconsciously taught me a lot.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of starting a career in finance?

Whatever stage of your career or industry you are in, you need passion and commitment to the job. Work hard, perform to the best of your ability and believe in yourself. Self-confidence isn’t always easy but be confident knowing you have performed to the best of your ability.

 

International Women's Day 2022
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