Our workforce is made-up of almost one third (30.77%) women in an industry that is traditionally male-orientated Construction / Build Services sector.

We are proud that a high proportion of women hold Senior positions within the Group such as our Non-Executive Chair – Sangita Shah, Group HR Director – Dawn Kemp, Purdy Financial Controller – Annette Baker, R Dunham Finance Manager – Alison Beach, Spokemead Commercial Director – Nicole Rooney and Spokemead Finance Director – Debbie Rooney.

Our Executive Board has 5 Members, 2 of whom are female, Sangita Shah and Caroline Tolhurst. Sangita Shah also holds our Group’s most senior position, that of Chair.

We asked some of our female Operational staff for their thoughts on what it is to be a woman working in what is still perceived by some to be traditionally a man’s world:

Dawn Kemp – Group HR Director

Hannah Chamberlain – Operational Supervisor, Purdy B.Gas Contract

“Personally I’ve learnt working in a predominantly male environment you need a thick skin, there’s been a couple of instances during my 17-year career as a gas engineer, that I’ve encountered sexism, but I never let that deter me.
Now, working for Purdy as an Operational Supervisor, looking after a large group of men I find the respect I’ve already gained from my Engineers and male colleagues refreshing; it certainly is encouraging and only drives me on to succeed in such a tough, demanding role.”

Shauna Filbee – Domestic Gas Apprentice

“Being a woman in a traditionally male dominated workforce has not phased me at all. All my colleagues have been extremely welcoming and friendly, since starting just over three months ago.

Thankfully, I haven’t received any negativity from anyone. Tenants are sometimes shocked when they see me at their door, but I have received positive and encouraging comments from many of them.

The thought that I will be working in a male dominated environment, has never put me off or discouraged me. I am determined to become a fully qualified Gas Engineer and being a girl won’t stop me.

I haven’t come across any other female gas engineers whilst out and about with my mentor, but I am hoping that in the future it will be a more common thing! I believe it’s irrelevant whether you’re male or female, as long as the engineer is qualified and competent.”

Nikki Hobbs – Electrician

“I have worked for Purdy for just over 10 years now from starting my apprenticeship to becoming a fully qualified Electrician.
There have been many positive and negative times throughout the past 10 years. Some tenants are shocked when we arrive at the door thinking we are there to do a survey or book an appointment. When you explain you are here to do the work they’re pleasantly surprised, and shocked at the same time.

You find a lot of male tenants do not believe you can do the job and will watch over you while you work, whereas some women love it and can’t stop praising you.

I can’t say I have seen any other women Electricians at the Wholesalers I go to, apart from myself and Beth Harris (Purdy Electrician). I have never had a bad experience and have always had a nice welcome from staff, but you always get the odd stare from other Electricians in the wholesalers, sort of a shocked look of disbelief!

One major issue that has been prominent over the years is being able to use the bathroom and having to search where you can stop, especially on long drives.

I have had many highs and lows personally throughout my time here from interactions with tenants and other factors but have always had support from my Supervisors and Managers.”

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a Global day, held annually on 8th March, to celebrate the collective power of women culturally, economically, socially and politically and is also an opportunity to highlight inequalities that women still face. IWD started in 1911, and today belongs to all groups – it is not country or organisation-specific

For more information on IWD see: International Women’s Day 2022 (internationalwomensday.com)

If you would like to speak to our recruitment team about career opportunities available within the Kinovo Group, please look at our Careers Hub webpage Home – Kinovo Plc for more details.

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