Electrical Contracting News (ECN) May 2017 - Page 5

EDITORIAL LADIES’ FIGHT M any years ago, in my pre-journalism days and fresh out of university, I was temping in a local office. A young female temp who started around the same time as me was a school leaver and we were chatting about what we wanted to do when we ‘grew up’. I remember acting surprised when she told me she wanted to train to be an electrician, thinking it was an unusual career choice for a young woman. We haven’t stayed in touch so I’m afraid I can’t tell you whether she pursued her dream. What I do know is that if we had the same conversation now, I would probably react rather differently. Various initiatives aimed at attracting more women into the trade sector are beginning to bear fruit, exemplified by Sam Jones’ story in our March issue. Back in 2013 I attended a reception in the Houses of Parliament where training charity JTL launched its Ambassadors programme, designed to encourage greater understanding among young women of the career opportunities available to them in the building services industry. During the day I quizzed some of the young ladies who had been selected as Ambassadors on what their experience had been like so far. I was pleased to hear that they Russell Drury, Editor MOVERS & SHAKERS… had been met with a lot of positivity, working in industries that no so long ago might have been considered male dominated. In fact, one explained that many of her clients had been women, who had therefore felt more comfortable inviting an unknown woman into their homes, than they might a man. Also carrying out sterling work in this matter is NICEIC with its Jobs for the Girls campaign. NICEIC recently hosted a networking event in partnership with the Women on the Tools charity, where more than 30 women from across the building services sector met to discuss the issue of diversity in the construction industry. The group heard from a female electrician working for a maintenance firm in London, where she is the only female out of 250 staff. Other speakers highlighted the poor teaching of trades within the education sector, while several said the issue was never discussed in schools and that construction was somehow viewed as a secondary career choice. So, despite the progress that has undoubtedly been made, it is obvious there is still plenty of work to be done, and Certsure CEO Emma Clancy will be addressing some of these issues in greater detail in next month’s Key Issue column. In the meantime, if you have any stories in relation to this discussion we would like to hear from you too. Unitrunk has appointed Neil Bullock to the role of business development manager, with responsibility for working with customers and suppliers in the East Midlands region. CP Electronics has appointed Brian Hedley as area sales manager for projects, backed by Neil Baldwin delivering support for its green-i range of controls, and John Peter Haughey, who will deliver technical support and commissioning. Recolight has announced the appointment of Francesca Cameron to develop the Recolight collection network. This new position has been created to promote the free lamp collection and recycling service offered by Recolight. Apollo Fire Detectors has appointmented Georgios Kastias as its new operations director. Georgios’ appointment reflects the commitment made by Apollo to achieving organisational excellence within the company, spearheaded by a dynamic and effective leadership team. SELECT has appointed a new member representative, the fifth dedicated support officer in Scotland, who will cover the geographically and economically diverse territory of the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire. Fiona Smith, who was a ppointed late last year, has already visited more than 100 firms within the area, helping them to identify opportunities for growth and highlighting the availability of bespoke SELECT training courses.