International Women’s Day – celebrating inspiring women
Today (8 March) is International Women’s Day, a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality. The theme of this year’s event is #BalanceforBetter, a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.
Aldwyck Housing Group has an absolute commitment to champion equality and celebrate diversity. Given the nature of our work, the services we provide and the needs we address, equality and diversity is central to what we do and we see it as a mainstream business priority.
Multi Trader Rachel Wadey made history in 2018 when she became our first-ever female multi-skilled operative. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, she tells us what it means to be a female in a male-dominated industry.
Tell us about your career journey so far
I went to college and got my Level 2 and 3 NVQs in cabinet making. After that, I worked for a kitchen fitting company for a year and then became self-employed. I was self-employed for about ten years before I joined a company similar to Aldwyck. I was on their reactive team, going into people’s homes and carrying out repairs.
Tell us more about your role at Aldwyck Housing Group
I currently work on the Voids team carrying out works in our empty properties, making sure they are ready for new customers. I do any works that are required: tiling; decorating; plumbing; fitting fire doors – a bit of everything really.
Have you ever experienced discrimination in the workplace?
I haven’t experienced discrimination at Aldwyck but I have elsewhere. There are men out there who think women shouldn’t be builders and can’t do the job. They believe a woman’s place is in the home. So, you just need to prove them wrong. We can do the work just as well as the men – sometimes better.
It’s important to stand your ground and give as good as you get. Rather than ostracise yourself, which can make the situation worse, be part of the team.
What’s it like working for Aldwyck Housing Group?
This organisation makes you feel like you are a valued member of the team, that your voice is worth something. It makes me feel more secure and comfortable.
The Voids team is great. I ask the guys to help me with certain bits, like lifting fire doors, and they are more than happy to help.
Were you surprised to learn you were Aldwyck Housing Group’s first female multi-skilled operative?
I have only ever heard of one other woman in the country who does this type of role. I know of female tilers, plumbers and electricians, but it’s very rare to find a multi-skilled one.
What would be your message to females who are thinking about a career in construction?
I would say 'Go for it – it's great!' Most of it is common sense but you need to have the courage to get in there and give it a go.
For the latest vacancies at Aldwyck, visit our careers page.