International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on the 8th of March.
The theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter – calling for organisations to celebrate women’s achievements whilst calling for a more gender-balanced world, stating that collectively we all have a part to play.
Engineering has been traditionally seen as a male industry, although the gap is closing due to an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in schools as well as more gender diversity in business.
In 2017, 15% of managers in STEM industries were women, with women making up nearly a quarter of all people employed in STEM industries (SOURCE: WISE CAMPAIGN).
At Pickerings Lifts we are proud that we have many women in the company that play a key role in determining our strategy and growing our business.
Join us as we meet some of them…
Julie – Customer Support Manager, London North
Julie is Customer Support Manager for our London North region, looking after our customers in East Anglia and North London.
Julie’s responsibilities as Customer Support Manager include programming lift maintenance and repair work, liaising with and reporting to customers and well as managing the office staff and engineers in the region.
Julie joined the London North office in 2018, originally as Repairs Manager before being promoted to Customer Support Manager in 2019.
Julie came to Pickerings Lifts with nine years’ experience in the lift industry as a Workshop Manager, as well as experience as a Financial Controller – skills which have helped her in her new role.
Julie said: “I’ve worked in engineering for nearly ten years and it’s been exciting to see the changes, with women coming into roles that were seen as male for several years.
The advice I would give is to have confidence in your own abilities, I think a lot of women are afraid to have confidence or see it as a negative thing to have, but if you can’t believe in your own abilities, then other people won’t be able to either.”
Carol – Customer Support Manager, Mobility
Carol is Customer Support Manager for our mobility business stream. Carol is responsible for the day-to-day management of our mobility business, liaising with customers, generating quotes for installation work and managing administrative staff and engineers.
Prior to joining Pickerings Lifts in 2003, Carol worked in retail management, finding that a lot of the skills she had learned could be applied to her role at Pickerings Lifts. Initially joining as a Senior Administrator, Carol worked her way through the business, becoming Customer Support Manager in 2017.
Carol said: “It was a challenge to come into a traditionally male-dominated industry, but my managers saw potential in me and worked with me in order to get me to where I am today.
Now I’m in a managerial role, I build up my staff in the same way, growing their skills and confidence so they can move forward in their own roles.
I enjoy my job and it’s great to see that more and more women are coming into the industry.
The advice I’d give to any woman considering a role in engineering, either in a technical or managerial role, is to work hard and keep going, even if you get a knockback. Ultimately we are all here to support one another.”
Norma – Human Resources and Training Manager
Norma is our Human Resources and Training Manager, overseeing recruitment & selection, training and employee relations. Norma has been working at Pickerings Lifts for the past nine years, with over 30 years’ experience in the HR industry.
Norma said: “When I joined Pickerings Lifts, there were already many women in management and senior management roles here, as well as a female Director.
Nine years later, we now have a female Engineer and two female Customer Support Managers. As well as this, the women who are not in managerial positions are very influential in the smooth day-to-day running of Pickerings Lifts.
I’d say that Pickerings Lifts has always encouraged women from all walks of life to become what they wanted to become, and has invested and provided support with training courses, as well as external support where needed.”
Kate – Engineer
Looking for a career where she could cultivate her love of maths, as well as knowing that she didn’t want a desk job, Kate took on an apprenticeship in the lift industry.
After graduating from Apprentice to fully-fledged Engineer, Kate joined Pickerings Lifts in 2018 where she is responsible for a local route, maintaining and servicing lifts, as well as attending lift callouts and breakdowns.
Kate said “I really enjoy being an Engineer as I get to visit different sites every day and know that the work that I do helps make a difference to people, especially when they are reliant on lifts to move around.
My advice to any young women who want to get into engineering would be to just go for it. Even if you don’t have the experience you will learn what you need to as you go along.”