Name: Janet Kirlew
Position: Founder & Editor in Chief
Company: Women in Trade Magazine
Country: United Kingdom
What does International Women’s Day mean to you, and why is it important?
International women’s day is important because it gives us the opportunity to push forward our views and opinions and firmly gives us a platform to show how we have value and skills in a challenging world and it’s important to make other women aware that they are not alone in this as we all have a place to fit in with other likeminded women.
The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge; how will you help forge a gender equal world?
A gender equal world is possible to forge if you are always aware of this yourself that anything is possible if you are female or male as we are all capable of doing anything without the need to notice gender as history shows women’s achievements are just as many and varied as men’s. The more you are noticed as a woman the bias starts dissipating and becomes invisible and less noticeable and therefore equality will be accepted and achieved.
When it comes to your current role in the broader construction sector, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities?
The biggest challenge is not to be disheartened by other people’s opinions or views and just go with what you believe in.
How can we encourage more women to pursue a career in the broader construction sector?
I believe a lot of this starts from school age as I feel that if I was encouraged at school, I probably would have been an engineer. If we got into schools to bring about the awareness of how girls can do construction and how important it is to have a trade, it would eventually solve a huge problem. As for women looking for a career choice, I am hoping that my magazine Women in Trade is encouraging this.
What advice would you give to any young women thinking about starting their career in the broader construction sector?
I would say go for it! It’s not all about hard hats and concrete, there are many other trades to consider which some are office based in the construction industry and always remember that a trade really is for life!
What will success look like for you at the end of the year? What will make you think that 2021 has been a successful year for you career-wise?
Success at the end of the year to me will be to look back on what I have achieved and what I’ve changed personally to succeed in my own business and private life. It is great during these challenging times how well the magazine is doing and expanding in new areas after 8 years of being published. We recently launched our new podcast show, Women in Trade: the hats are off! Which is becoming very popular. But the most important success for me is my health and wellbeing and I am loving my new spiritual journey as without health we are nothing and can do nothing!