International Women's Day: Celebrating women in the industry

As today is International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate by speaking to some of our employees about what this year’s theme, #EmbraceEquity, means to them and the challenges they feel exist for women in our industry.

What does #EmbraceEquity mean to you? 

Diane Watts, Purchasing Manager: Embracing equity means being mindful of inclusion and ensuring equality of opportunity. In my role both as a parent and professionally speaking, I have always encouraged the mindset of ‘don't leave anyone behind’: be a team and build on everyone's strengths. You really don't know what battles people around you are facing.

Victoria Yates, Head of Change and Transformation: Equity means providing fair access to opportunities. Therefore, ‘Embracing Equity’ means being mindful of the diverse nature of human beings and recognising that knowledge and experience comes in all sorts of forms. It is about actively taking steps and being flexible to ensure nobody is excluded from the same result or experience.

Matthew Eastwood, CFO: For me, Embrace Equity means levelling up so all employees are on the same ‘playing field’, and that's right through from recruitment to the workplace and leadership team.

Chris Cave, Communications Manager: It means, in its simplest terms, to adopt inclusion as the norm, regardless of gender, race, religion or belief, with fairness and respect for all. It therefore means that there is no place for divide, or where opportunities are only open to a select few. Once this is acknowledged, we are truly embracing equity.

Michael Hopkins, Regional Sales Manager: To me, ‘Embrace Equity’ means treating everyone how you would like to be treated, no matter their creed, colour, gender, age, ability or disability.

What do you think are some of the main challenges for women working in the industry?

Nikki Smith, Regional Engineering Manager: I think one of the main challenges facing women is that juggling kids, childcare, and maintaining a house and a career at the same time is still weighted towards the mother on most maternity / paternity policies. There also needs to be more understanding surrounding things like the menopause, to help keep more women in the industry who have a lot of experience at this stage of their life.

Amy Henderson, Hire Desk Controller: I feel that career advancement is much trickier for young female professionals, who often need to work harder than their male peers in order to advance within a company. So, this really needs to be addressed to encourage and enable more women to enter the industry.

Ashleigh Eden, Workshop Administrator: I think that our industry is still a very male orientated, which does present its challenges. However, I feel that Mabey Hire has a very good gender balance across the entire company, with the number of female engineers, managers and sales reps all improving gradually.

Johannes Whittam, Engineering Director – Performance and Innovation: There’s a lack of women in leadership positions, which allows issues to trickle down. Positive change needs to start from the very top. The industry has been male-dominated for a long time and is a very change-adverse industry, so unfortunately change can often be seen as risky. This culture affects all facets of the industry.

Sabina Nicholls, Hire Desk Manager: I believe that the industry has definitely moved leaps and bounds over the last few years. I don't feel like I have challenges because I am a woman; I prove my worth, give 100% every day and have nothing but support from my colleagues. With other companies that are more male dominated I can see that it may be slightly daunting, going into what used to be a predominantly male-orientated role. However, this can be the case with anyone, whether they’re male or female.

What would your advice be to women thinking about entering the industry for the first time?

Lisa Bury, Business Development Manager – AMP & Utilities: My advice would be to go for it. It is such a fantastic industry to work in, with so many opportunities for women. I would never have thought my career would have been in this industry, but I am so pleased it is. The last seven years have been the happiest in my career!

Sabina Nicholls, Hire Desk Manager: Do it! As long as you work hard and you have the right mentoring the sky is the limit. Once you start working in the industry, there are many roles that you can move and progress into, depending on what interests you the most.

Catherine Bradley, Regional Operations Director – North: Go for it! Times have and are continuing to change. There are opportunities for us all.

Katie Jones, National Account Manager: The most important advice I would give is that confidence matters. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, you often need to be your own best advocate. People will likely make inaccurate assumptions about you that may have a real effect on your everyday role. However, you can also lead the change by not making those same assumptions about your fellow female colleagues.

For more information about International Women’s Day, visit: or if you’re interested in a career with us please visit:

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