Continuing with our recent interviews with women from Bagnalls on their careers so far, meet Becky!
Becky is our Head of Safety, Health, Environment and Quality at Bagnalls, and has been responsible for much of our continued updates to health and safety policies to ensure the safety of our staff and customers during the past 15 months as the pandemic has forced us to adapt quickly to the constantly-changing situation.
Read on for the full interview.
Please could you each provide a quick introduction to who you are and what your role with Bagnalls is?
I’m Becky Slater, Head of SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) at Bagnalls. I joined Bagnalls in January 2020, coming from a background in quarry management and the manufacturing sector, and currently oversee Bagnalls’ standards of quality, safety and environmental responsibility.
What attracted you to the painting and decorating industry?
Becky: My Dad worked in the quarry sector, and growing up I always found it interesting, so it was a logical progression for me to start my career there. As I spent more time in the quarrying industry, I began to step away from operation activities and moved into the environmental and safety management side of the business. When I moved to Bagnalls, it seemed an organic evolution of the steps I had been taking in my career to embark on a role that included Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality Management.
How was entering the industry for you? How did your friends and family react?
Becky: My Dad has backed me throughout; with his experience in quarrying, he was a mentor figure for me and advised me on the qualifications and skillsets I would need to take my career in the direction I wanted.
Can you give us an overview of some of your career highlights so far?
Becky: The past year has been particularly challenging, but also rewarding in its own way. I formed part of the team at Bagnalls responsible for reacting to the changing coronavirus situation, which carried a lot of pressure but was also rewarding to implement successfully. The impact of my work was that our staff and customers remained safe throughout and Bagnalls carried on its legacy of responsible work despite the challenges the past year has brought.
What is something you excel in or gives you fulfilment in your role?
Becky: Coaching and helping others to develop is always the most rewarding part of my job. As the head of safety, I do a lot of mentoring to help Bagnalls employees to develop their safety skills. This work not only helps people within the company to gain new certifications and progress with their career but also means that I’m helping our sites to remain as safe and secure as possible.
I also love the variety of my role – when people hear “Health and Safety”, they think paperwork and trawling through regulations. Whilst that’s one side of it, my role involves a lot more, from site visits to getting creative with the ways we can reduce our environmental impact.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt or challenge you have overcome during your career?
Becky: The biggest challenge during my time here was joining Bagnalls at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The result of the virus outbreak was that our standard project schedules and methods of work were turned completely upside down. I have learned a lot about taking things one day at a time and ensuring that all the decisions we made continued to place the safety of our staff and customers as a priority.
Who do you look at in the industry as a source of inspiration?
Becky: My peers and wider team are always a source of inspiration for me. I’m constantly being inspired by them in my work, from the way they react to unforeseen circumstances to their determination to continually improve.
Who has been your biggest supporter during your career?
Becky: My parents have always been there to offer direction and advice throughout and I’ve been incredibly thankful for their backing.
What advice would you give to women currently looking to join the painting and decorating industry?
Becky: Be confident, believe in yourself and never be afraid to ask questions.
What’s your next career step from here?
Becky: I want to remain within the health and safety side of the company as I love my work. My main ambitions are to develop the department and ensure it continually evolves over the years and take the opportunities that present themselves.
Think a career at Bagnalls might be for you? Check out the careers section of our website for updates on the latest opportunities available with us!