Rising Star

Rising Star Finalist

Name: Soph Maguire

Please provide at least one example of a problem that you have encountered on-the-job and how you worked with your employer to overcome it:

I think one of the main problems I’ve encountered since starting my apprenticeship is really overcoming the gender stereotypes and misogyny associated with being a woman working in a trade position. I’m often underestimated by clients when I show up to a job and there’s been times that I’ve felt uncomfortable at work due to a man’s behaviour around me while I’ve been trying to work. One example of this is I had a job where I was replacing basins in a fire station and a guy came in to use it and even though he knew I was working in there he refused to leave. He continued to use the urinal and just told me not to look. I was honestly really shaken up and put in such an uncomfortable position, I told my boss straight away. Certain people on the site told me not to be so sensitive and that I have to get used to which I think really highlights the kind of perspectives I have to deal with day to day. Despite this, the incident was reported and the man got a warning – I thankfully never had to work there again.

Please provide at least one example of how you have gone the extra mile and/or shown outstanding commitment during your apprenticeship. Please note: working additional hours to get a job done will not qualify:

I have tried to get involved in as many events that help promote apprenticeships and also women in construction. I also got to promote and participate in a Q&A for a 6-week course giving women an insight into a trade and what job opportunities there is. I also try my best on social media to show the reality of my job and create a supportive community for females and new apprentices to see. I like to use my social media to highlight my work as well so I have a record of my progress.

And finally, what do you think are three important qualities of a good heating installer and how have you demonstrated these qualities during the initial stages of your career?

Planning – I don’t know how long I have spent drawing out my work and searching up how components I install have to go in properly. I think it’s really important to do research outside of work so I can have that theoretical knowledge as well as the practical experience I’m gaining day to day.

Good Communication – I have found going to site being positive, despite certain challenges and chatty means I build great relationships with people I work with making the job run a lot smoother. It’s also important to have a good relationship with my team in case I need help with anything, I know they’ll be open to offering advice and help.

Resilience – I found it really hard to start off with when I couldn’t do something or did it wrong. After speaking to lots of people I realised that everyone has things they can’t do, but you just have to find another way. There’s always another option/ way, you just have to find it.