As International Women’s Day arrives Vicky Lopez of De-Ice believes the sector is firmly on the map, and that more women should become involved in winter risk management!
This winter, especially the past few weeks have been record breaking for the winter risk management company, De-ice. Director Vicky Lopez, who set up the company in 1998 with her husband, has worked tirelessly over the past few years to build a successful and reliable business which has helped keep her clients’ sites operational and safe during extreme weather conditions.
Vicky comments on the fact that she works in a male-dominated industry, but she is urging more women to get into winter services: “The UK’s winter maintenance industry has historically always had a low representation of women. Very few women apply for jobs at the ‘coal face’, and there are also challenges in retaining women who have chosen to work in it.”
As an owner of a gritting and snow clearance business, Vicky is aware – first-hand – of how few women there are across all levels of the industry. In the world of gritting, not only are women hugely underrepresented at the operational ‘gritter’ level but also in leadership and managerial roles.
Vicky believes that organisations that actively develop and implement strategies to recruit and retain women will ultimately reap the business benefits of gender diversity and equality. She adds: “A diverse workforce creates greater harmony and naturally leads to better decision making as female employees bring varying experiences and perspectives to a company. It is therefore, important to have diversity at all levels of an organisation.”
Vicky goes on to say that “Women should pursue a career in any industry, regardless of whether it is considered as being male dominated or not. This winter has been one of our most exciting and demanding yet, but the tough conditions have really helped to put the important work that we do – keeping Britain’s businesses safe and operational – on the map for many organisations.”
“No two winters are ever the same, and we have demonstrated that through hard work and professionalism, the opportunities are endless – for men and women alike. I love what I do, am proud of the company we’ve created and enjoy the diverse and unpredictable nature of the business. I firmly believe that now is the time to address increasing the representation of women in this industry. As a business, we actively encourage women to join – at all levels, and have representation in management and also at operational level. We are also proud of our employee retention figures. I’d urge women looking for positions in a different area to consider a job in the winter services industry.”