At Sovini Trade Supplies, we’re proud to be celebrating Women in Construction week. We sat down with our Administrative Assistant Angela Hurrell, or ‘Nange’ to those who know her, to discuss her career to date and her experience of being a woman working in male dominated industries.
“I was born in the 1950s – a very different era! At school, the girls went off to learn how to type and sew and cook and iron (domestic science) as this was considered ‘what girls did’, whilst the boys did woodwork and metal work. A woman’s place was in the home and the boys were to grow up and be the providers.
Even with the introduction of mixed sex schools in the early 70s this continued and when leaving school it was just accepted that both girls and boys went into stereotypical jobs ‘suited’ to their gender.
When I started work at 16 in a male dominated company, women made the tea for the men and the men were engineers and draughtsmen. We had women cleaners and women served in the canteens. We even had to retire at 60, we couldn’t work for longer if we wanted to!
How this has all changed!
Schools now provide girls with opportunities to undertake work experience in construction and other male dominated industries, giving them an insight of what to expect in the world of work, as well as valuable tools to carry forward into their professional careers.
Since starting work at Sovini Trade Supplies, I have noticed that there is a great deal more women working in construction and how encouraged they are to follow that path. There is a mixture of both men and women in areas of the business that may have been associated with just one gender previously, such as administration or manual labour. Women are encouraged to follow a career path in construction and no longer have to prove themselves to show that they can achieve the same results as men. I think that’s a great ethos to have in the workplace.
Here at Sovini Trade Supplies, regardless of gender, age or experience, we all bring our skills and competencies to work together to make an excellent team who support one another, with the want to succeed. There is such a great rapport between the team and all of our customers, which I think makes it a fantastic place to work.
My lovely colleague Emma Houghton and myself are Health and Wellbeing Ambassadors and feel so proud that both men and women will feel comfortable enough to come to us with ideas or problems. With me being quite old fashioned and with the way I have been brought up, I must admit I like being the mother figure to everyone; it warms my heart. I am also proud of the women who have achieved a great success in their roles here. I will give a special mention to our Managing Director Anita Harrison-Carroll, who I find very inspirational.
The proudest moment in my career so far is receiving an award and standing ovation in the Town Hall in Liverpool for my work in public relations when I worked at Liverpool City Council – in accepting the award I was called an ‘angel of the city’! Another proud moment was when I worked for Rolls-Royce and was invited to go to Rio de Janiero after the company relocated, to meet the people who work there.
Now that I am reaching the latter part of my working career, I look back and see how much the ‘world of work’ has changed, giving not just women but everyone an opportunity to have a career in which they can succeed and be happy and comfortable in.”