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In 2022, IPAF President Karin Nars launched the 'Women in Powered Access' initiative, inviting women of all ages and different professional roles to share their stories of inclusivity. The initiative includes a number of key actions, including providing a platform to tell the stories of women in powered access in both the media and at industry events. IPAF will also use its own print, web and social media platforms to share these inspirational case studies and will also continue to invite prominent women speakers to present at IPAF events. IPAF will share a series of case studies  to communicate the opportunities our industry offers women. 

 

SAMM REID
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, KINGFISHER ACCESS, UK

What is your role in powered access? I am the Operations Director within Kingfisher Access. Being part of a family-run business, my role is wide and varied; from meeting and speaking with our customers to ensuring their business needs are met, liaising with instructors, and working with our training department to manage and develop our courses to ensure they meet with industry standards. 

How did you come into this industry and what attracted you to it?  I initially joined the business in 2003 while on maternity leave and once my son was born, having realised my previous career as an NVQ assessor would be difficult to continue with the travelling and unsociable hours. I started in the office registering the courses, but quickly learnt different aspects of the business and took on more responsibilities. Unfortunately, in 2010 the founder of the company, my dad suddenly passed away and we had to decide whether to continue the business. It was a difficult transition as we had no technical knowledge of the industry, however we had an amazing team so decided to carry on, learn as we went along and build the business to what it is today. 

What do you find inspiring about your role? This industry is amazing, and it really is an integral part of businesses globally, whether it be a music studio, bank, train station, distribution centre or the Houses of Parliament they all start with a building and therefore need the construction industry. I love interacting with different customers from different sectors and discovering how our training will enable them to achieve qualification and continue to work competently and safety.

Where do you see yourself in five years and what do you want to achieve? Since taking over the business we had to restructure how the business had been run. It has been tough and there have been some very dark days, however working alongside my mum has been amazing, and although a steep learning curve I now feel I have the knowledge to not only take the lead within the business but also drive it forwards and upwards. We have an amazing strong and driven team, and I am excited about the new projects we have been working on over the last year that are now ready to be launched and see where it takes us all. 


What one piece of advice would you give to other women in/thinking of entering the industry? Stand tall! The cogs in this industry turn slowly, however I truly believe women choosing a career in this industry are a force to be reckoned with! Having a thick skin and a professional can-do attitude is how I succeeded. The opportunities within the industry are far and wide and your gender shouldn’t be a reason to shy away from the industry! This industry gives you the equipment with some of the largest MEWPS, making reaching for the stars more achievable than ever before.

WOMEN IN POWERED ACCESS - SAMM REID

WOMEN IN POWERED ACCESS - SAMM REID

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