I was very fortunate to literally be born into our incredibly unique and rewarding industry. My earliest memories are of my mother caring for a plethora of injured animals of all shapes and sizes, which would frequently reside throughout our family home and gardens. It ignited a passion in me to first want to rescue everything that breathed, which then later evolved into a lifelong devotion to want to conserve species and to try and make a positive difference.
I have spent the past 20 years managing our collection with men, namely my father and brothers, who are also from a building background. This has not always been easy, and I have often felt the need to prove my worth when it comes to the more manual side of tasks. For example, I will never be an accomplished brick layer, but I made damn sure they knew I could carry those bricks! I don’t feel this has hindered my progression, or that I have felt any less important because of my gender. I think this is more a realisation that I have a certain skillset which is different to theirs, and we simply exploit these to the best of our ability for the good of the collection, but neither gender, or what can be brought with it, is of any less value.
I am great believer in never knowing everything, adapting to the ever-changing environment and encouraging others to grow around and with you. I feel I may not have appreciated this when I was younger, and in fact I probably thought having to prove my worth was also about never revealing my weaknesses. Now I know better, and I take great pride in having met some of the most incredible woman (and men) in our industry, and really listening with open ears to what words of wisdom they can offer, and their lifelong lessons which could perhaps be my next success.
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