What were your career ambitions growing up?
My career ambitions were probably like most other children growing up. I was certainly not set on a particular career path, I thought I had plenty of time and the world was my oyster. My weekends were filled with activities including climbing, caving or walking. So, as a young child, I imagined myself either as a designer, a pilot or working outdoors.
On completing my A Levels in Business and Accounts my focus changed again. I longed for variety and to learn something different. I went back to college to complete a two year uniformed services course, where I spent a lot of time attaining new skills for a career in the services, pushing myself to the highest fitness levels and completing a half marathon “Yomp” with the marines.
Tell us about your role at Hodgson Sayers
Fast forward and today I am office manager for Hodgson Sayers, a title which some may find strange having had so many different dreams growing up. Hodgson Sayers has been a big part of my life and has assisted in my personal development for the past fifteen years.
My role involves supporting all business functions, working alongside our managing director and management team.
What services does the company provide?
Hodgson Sayers is a construction company with its history steeped in roofing and this year we are celebrating 40 years in business, which I think is a testament to the business ethos and commitment of our executive chairman, Billy Hodgson, managing director, John Sayers, the management team and our stakeholders. Looking to the future, we are firmly set on expanding our client base, along with our continuing development within the utility security sector.
What’s your proudest business achievement?
One of my proudest business achievements is being part of the team that helped secure the British Chamber of Commerce National Winner “Business of the Year” in 2015.
What challenges have you encountered?
Being a woman in construction, you are sometimes overlooked or not given the respect you deserve. I have been very lucky to work for a business that has seen my skill set and not my gender. However, I have encountered issues throughout my time working within the industry, with people having preconceived perceptions about my role or my intelligence based upon my gender. We are glimpsing small changes in attitudes but it will take time to overcome old fashioned viewpoints that “construction is a man’s world.”
How has the industry changed since you arrived at the company?
Changes is constant, with continual business development required to be sustainable and meet industry demands. Changes along the way have included enhanced compliance levels, increased procurement requirements, communication improvements, technological advances, client demands and corporate governance.
Who are your heroes in and out of business?
Where governments and others have failed, Sir David Attenborough has managed to provide a voice for the environment, changing perceptions and attitudes, highlighting environmental issues and tackling plastic pollution, so for that he will forever be a hero.
Is there a mantra you always aspire to do business by?
I am not really a one for mantras, but as a business our guiding principles are honesty, decency and integrity. We believe operations should be conducted in an open, honest, respectful and collaborative manner. We target to continually exceed expectations by building positive relationships, going that extra mile and giving back to the communities in which we operate.
Which fictional character do you most relate to?
I am not sure who I most relate to but if you were to ask the people around me they would probably say either a “Tazmanian Devil” or “Road Runner” as I am a little crazy when annoyed and constantly on the go both at home and at work.
How do you like to unwind?
There is nothing better than being outdoors in the countryside or at the coast to relax, getting back to nature puts everything into perspective.
After a long day in the office I always find that coming through my front door and being mobbed by my excitable Cocker Spaniel helps to snap me back to reality and take my mind away from the office.
Other than that I enjoy spending quality time relaxing with my family and friends. I also love pottering in the garden and will never say no to a night out my friends dancing into the early hours, it’s all about work life balance.