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The Delta Group is proud to be working in partnership with The First Love Foundation in helping thousands of people facing crisis to get their lives back on track.

Their holistic model of support has been cited by the APPG on Hunger and Poverty (2014) as the most effective in tackling poverty anywhere in the UK.

To conclude our International Women’s month series, we’re pleased to share Terene’s inspirational story as told by The First Love Foundation in a one-to-one interview with Terene.

Terene’s world fell apart when she was unable to keep working due to her 9-year-old daughter’s escalating health issues.

The 34-year old scientist is a solo mum who worked as a laboratory chemist. She was commuting for four hours everyday, when her daughter, who has a serious blood disorder called Sickle Cell Anaemia, was also diagnosed with epilepsy.

Her daily seizures meant that Terene had to stop working.

“If my daughter had a seizure, I was two hours away,” she says

“I did the necessary applications and managed to secure a disability benefit for my daughter but I was told that I wasn’t entitled to income support, carers allowance or housing benefit,” she says.

“The security blanket (of work) was completely removed. All of this was new territory to me because I’ve always worked and I didn’t like it. It just felt very uncomfortable.”

By the time she was referred to the First Love Foundation by a partner agency, Terene had been living off her credit cards for 6 months and was facing eviction due to rent arrears.

“I think you need to walk a mile in somebody’s shoes before you start judging them because everyone’s situation is different.”
Terene
Former First Love Foundation Client

Within a week, Through the Advice & Support service, Terene was helped to get all the benefits and support she was entitled to. We were also able to secure a small emergency grant from the local authority to help her get back on track.

“I didn’t know that what I had been told was wrong. If you talk to the wrong person, it can throw you and mess you up. But after speaking to them I felt like I wanted to cry. I felt I was in good hands and I felt reassured,” Terene says. “They are helping people get back on their feet. It’s not just a handout. Unless you are in the situation, you don’t know all the things that are available to you.”

With her rent arrears now cleared, Terene hopes to get a new job in the future but at the moment she is focusing on her daughter’s health.

“I do pride myself on working and getting things for myself. But when you have a child who isn’t 100%, you do have to relook at things and reconsider.”

If you would like to get involved and support this fantastic cause, you can do so by donating to the fund here: Donate money | First Love Foundation

Brief

Kleenex wanted to create an informative campaign, letting consumers know of the  benefits of their Balsam tissues. Poorly noses could rely on the soft balm of  Kleenex Balsam tissues to soothe the skin. Kleenex approached Delta with a need  to create adaptable key visuals that can turn into full promotional kit and artwork  to raise awareness with customers during the Cold and Flu season.

Execution

Using our creative agency’s expertise, we designed key art concepts, emphasizing  the main product features and incorporating the headline “95% of noses said  Balsam protected them from redness”.

We also created various stocker options which display the tissue boxes and smaller  counter-top units for the pocket size packs.

The campaign and final artworks were received very positively by the client  after we collaborated with our Structural Team to create the bespoke items  and make sure they were weight tested before going into stores.

A guide to the Plastic Packaging Tax

Running a business in 2022 isn’t easy. Customers expect a lot. Competition is fierce. And the responsibilities are huge – not least the need to ‘go green’.

Many businesses have already taken steps to reduce their environmental impact. This year, the government is also taking new steps to create a more sustainable business landscape with its new Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT).

This tax is estimated to impact around 20,000 manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging, and will have a significant impact on supply chains. The PPT goes far wider than you’d expect, and there have already been warnings that some businesses could be caught out by the changes.

Our guide to the PPT is here to make sure yours isn’t one of them. Find out what the tax entails, what it means for your business and why embedding more sustainable practises into your organisation is the way forward.

What is the PPT?

If you want less of something, tax it. This tried-and-test principle has been applied to cigarettes, alcohol, and is now being applied to plastics as well.

The PPT is the UK’s newest environmental tax. Set to come into force on 1 April 2022, it applies to any plastic packaging component that has been manufactured in (or imported into) the UK that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.

What products will be affected?

According to the government website, the tax applies to finished plastic packaging components. So, what does that mean exactly? A packaging component is a product designed to be suitable for use in the supply chain or by consumers – either alone or alongside other products.

That means it should do one of the following:

  • Contain goods
  • Protect goods
  • Handle goods
  • Present goods
  • Deliver goods

Examples of packaging components include food trays, drinks bottles, coat hangers and reusable and refillable items such as plastic crates. Some items of plastic packaging will be exempt from the tax, for example:

  • Those primarily designed for long-term storage by consumers, such as glasses cases, DVD cases, toolboxes and first aid kits
  • Those designed to be an integral part of the goods sold, such as printer cartridges, tea bags and inhalers
  • Those designed to be reused in the presentation of goods, such as reusable sales display shelves

Find out more about what products will be affected by the Plastic Packaging Tax – and what products will not.

How much is the tax and who has to pay?

The rate of tax will be £200 per tonne payable on all plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic content. Businesses that are affected will also have to pay additional costs including registration with HMRC, staff training, filing tax returns and storing records.

Where chargeable plastic packaging is manufactured in the UK, the tax will be paid by the manufacturer. Where it is imported into the UK, it will be paid by the person on whose behalf it is imported.

What is the aim of the tax?

The aim of the tax is to encourage businesses to think about their impact on the environment. From being mindful of the materials they use and recycling habits, to the ratio of recycled material used when producing plastic packaging, sustainability is more than just good intentions.

It is estimated that the tax could see a 40% increase in the use of recycled plastic in packaging. That is equivalent to a carbon saving of nearly 200,000 tonnes between 1 April 2022 and 1 April 2023.

Time will tell whether this tax will encourage more recycling or become a burden on businesses who’d rather just pay up.

However, one thing is clear: businesses offering sustainable packaging options will be seen as a more appealing choice for today’s increasingly environmentally-conscious consumers.

How can Delta help?

No one likes paying taxes. But when the aim of a tax aligns with your business’ sustainability strategy, the results could save money and the environment.

Delta Collaborate (part of the Delta Net Zero initiative) is focused on innovation and partnerships for sustainability and economic growth. Thanks to this strategy, we are able to support our clients’ goals and objectives and deliver real change.

Here at the Delta Group, we have an array of sustainable alternatives to the traditional single-use plastic packaging materials. We offer innovative solutions to all of our customers, to help address their environmental needs.

Through our integrated, newly implemented Carbon Calculator, we are able to track, monitor and report a detailed Product lifecycle Assessment of the emissions used for your print, including the total carbon footprint of your packaging. Additionally, our talented purchasing team can advise all clients of the most sustainable solutions available on the market, helping to reduce the use of single-use plastics.

Are you ready to adopt more sustainable ways of doing business? Get in touch with the team today: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk.

Alison Mackey, our Head of Studio over at Delta Ireland is no stranger to the stereotypes that men and women are often reduced to and the importance of challenging them in order the break the bias.

 

What does it International Women’s Day mean to you?

I suppose for me, and particularly in an Irish context, it’s basically to shine a light on how far we have come in a very short period. It wasn’t until 1922, exactly 100 years ago, when Irish women were given an equal vote to men.

So I suppose this question would be particularly interesting for you growing up in that kind of environment, what do you remember about your career aspirations growing up?

While I was in an Irish household, I actually grew up in Germany. Ireland was going through a really bad economic time in the early 1980s and my parents decided to try for a better living abroad. My outlook growing up in Germany was a lot more equal than it may have been growing up in Ireland.

I definitely wanted something with variety and creativity. I never really had a set idea, because I was brought up to believe that I could do or be anything I wanted if I worked hard enough at it. So work ethic was instilled in me more than a particular career direction. It meant I was never afraid to try anything, even if it didn’t work out.

You said that your parents had a lot to do with your aspirations. Were they your influence?

Like I said, they decided to uproot the family. It was the two of them with two small children and they moved to Germany. I think they’re amazing that way – having the courage to start from scratch in a new culture to provide us with better opportunities.

My dad travelled a lot for work, so my mum had to handle a lot of things on her own. She had to bring us to Kindergarten and make friends as well as get to know the ways of the country. She didn’t have a word of German, she picked it up by talking to people with her hands, reading cookbooks and shopping.

My mum stayed at home while we were young, but when we returned to Ireland she started work again. She was always able to find jobs she loved and prove herself in them.

Their influence helped me to see that you can break the mould, go against what society expects sometimes and you can try and go for anything. You might not always succeed, but if you have the right kind of work ethic and the right passion, people are going to see that in you. You may not have the experience or the formal education, but life experience itself is a valuable education.

What was coming back at 9 years old like?

Germany was so advanced in many ways – socially, economically and the infrastructure,  compared to Ireland. When I came back it was it was quite a culture shock.

I had been in a mixed, non-denominational school. Most of my friends and cousins were boys. So I had a construct of how to be female amongst males in a normal social way, I didn’t really see much inequality there. Then I came back to Ireland and I was sent to an all-girls convent school with a uniform. It just blew my mind. I was like, how is this normal? How are people supposed to learn how to interact and socialise and understand how to be equal when everything is structured to make us separate?

And that structure in that school, how would you describe it?

I mean, I went to the guidance counsellor, and they didn’t know what to do with me. They couldn’t offer me suggestions other than go and do an Arts degree. There were no ideas about any kind of industry or internship or apprenticeship or doing anything that would be outside the “norm” for women. There was home economics but there was no woodwork, no metal work, technical drawing. No subjects available to girls that were typified as ‘masculine’.

I basically refused to go back to that school after 4th year. I just said I can’t go here. I have no prospects. I would have been limited in the points I could receive in my Leaving Certificate because they would not allow me substitute another subject for German, which I was fluent in.

The new school I went to had all of those options open to boys and girls. I took up photography and was able to start thinking about more creative careers that could be an option for my future.

Bringing it back to present day, when did you join Delta and what’s your experience been like?

I went traveling around the world – something some people thought I was crazy to do “as a woman on your own!” When I came back at the end of 2015 it was hard to find a job so I studied and got a BSc in Technology & Design.

I started in Delta in June 2016 as a contract Graphic Designer. By December I was promoted to Head of Studio. Over the last number of years, the clients have built up, we’ve moved to a bigger location with more machinery and everything has grown exponentially. In that time many of the new hires have been female, which has been great to see.

As a whole the company has improved hugely and become a lot more aware. They are doing a lot now in terms of encompassing people, lifestyles, social issues and things like the Mental Health First Aid and Assistance Programs.

What has been your proudest moment whilst you’ve been here?

Going from being a junior graphic designer to running the team and continuing to develop that role. I’ve implemented many different processes to make it more efficient, to improve workflow, to make sure that the team are happy and healthy and able to deal with their work.

What would you say to the next generation of women starting their careers – perhaps in the industry or in general?

The chosen industry itself shouldn’t matter for women getting into business. It’s more about whether they’re passionate about the field of work, whether it’s design, marketing, HR, logistics and to pursue it, give it everything you have. All experiences, good and bad, will make you better at your job and hopefully lead to more senior roles if that’s what they are looking for in their careers.

My advice – ask for mentoring, get some guidance, don’t think that you can do it all on your own. No one is perfect. If you are really, really good at something – OWN IT! If you know you are an expert in something, let people know, don’t be afraid to speak up. Take stock of where you are and how you got there and be proud of your achievements.

Delta is delighted to have won PrintWeek 2022’s Environmental Company of the Year (large enterprise) for our Delta Net Zero strategy.

We are deeply committed to the ongoing ethical and sustainable treatment of the environment and communities in which we are operating.

We aim to make a positive contribution to society and the environment by advising our clients how to embed sustainable practices into their communications as well as improving our own business practices, and are proud to support Delta Net Zero.

Here’s what PrintWeek’s comments were on DNZ

The company, which employs just shy of 600 people, decided to put in place an ambitious environmental strategy after realising the UK is currently not on track to meet its future emissions reduction targets, In the space of 12 months, it implemented a series of measures including the launch of what it describes as a “sector-first” net-zero dashboard to provide company-wide environmental data. It also partnered with 52% of its clients to execute sustainability audits and action plans and provided carbon calculators to measure campaign emissions. As a result of these measures Delta has reduced its own carbon footprint by the equivalent of 517 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Unsurprisingly the judges were impressed by Delta achieving the “amazing results in such a short time frame. Proof positive of what’s possible when you set a strategy and sell it to the staff.

If you’d like to find out more about how Delta can help you achieve your sustainability goals, and you’d like to arrange a meeting with our sustainability Director Starzeus Hassan-Mcghee, just get in touch at hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk.

As proud winners of the PrintWeek 2022 Environmental Company of the Year, we are progressing further on our sustainability journey, to become net zero by 2030. The Delta Group is proud to announce that we have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

We will be implementing further robust emissions reduction targets at a pace and scale required by climate science. We have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign – the world’s largest and fastest-growing industry leaders that are aligning with 1.5°C by helping to halve global emissions by 2030.

As the world transitions to a zero-carbon economy, Delta Group is now one of only 1326 pioneering companies globally to have made this commitment.

It is critical to more than halve global emissions by 2030 – business as usual is no longer an option. We need to see the numbers of companies with net-zero, 1.5°C-aligned targets swell from hundreds to thousands, and fast.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. This global campaign looks to rally leadership from all non-state actors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery

The initiative provides companies with clearly defines pathways and goals in order to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and help towards the prevention of dangerous climate change and the world’s journey to a zero-carbon economy.

As Europe’s leading visual communication specialist, Delta Group delivers exceptional marketing services to major Brand clients across markets. Delta Group is in a unique position to help clients reduce their own Scope 3 emissions through their value chain.

Starzeus Hassan-Mcghee, Delta Group’s Sustainability Director, explains “We implemented the Delta Net Zero strategy in 2021, firstly to respond to our clients growing demand for support for their own sustainability agenda, and in reaction that we want to be the most responsible business that we can be. We work with an array of clients, producing bespoke visuals for them. It is our duty to ensure that the products we produce are made in a way that does not harm the environment. As a business, we recognise the urgency to reduce our own climate impact and the SBTi helps us to strengthen this pursuit”

This is one of Delta Group’s many efforts towards building a greener future. 2021 has been a very proactive year in terms of making progress towards our Sustainability targets.


Head of Sustainability –
Starzeus Hassan-Mcghee

 

Business Unit Director, Jennie Betts is one of the most senior leaders at Delta working closely with the board. Jennie is passionate about people and believes that issues of inequality should be at the top of any organisation’s agenda – it’s certainly at the top of Delta’s.  Here is her take, in her own words

Why do you think it’s important to celebrate IWD? 

For me, it’s for two reasons: 1) to raise awareness about women’s equality. If we don’t properly understand what obstacles impact women’s progression in the workplace, how can we effect change? And 2) to acknowledge progress that has been made.

Is there anyone who influenced or inspired your career path? How? 

Yes, my mum!  Whilst she had a number of paid roles, her greatest achievement has been in voluntary work – specifically, providing Alzheimer’s carer support. Along with another lady, they founded and ran a number of carer support groups. They raised money, but mainly awareness. My mum continued this work with other volunteers, leading her to be awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in 2011 for the services she delivered. She also spent several years providing care and bereavement counselling for people suffering with grief. Neither of these roles were easy – they highlighted the importance of making time to listen and offer support – you don’t always know what someone is going through. I’m so proud of the positive impact that she has had on people’s lives.

What’s your experience been like since joining Delta back in 2019?

Incredibly varied! I’m a highly organised person but I never know what that day might throw at me, and so it’s taught me to be agile and open to change.

What has been your proudest moment? 

I’d love to say [my proudest moment] was winning an award, securing a new win or contract retention – all of which are hugely satisfying. I’m proud to be a role model to other women in print, who want to progress their career but are unsure how to navigate a challenging environment or obstacles that may face them. I hope, through leadership and mentoring, they have felt inspired to develop their own path, which has led to an elevated position (and/or profile) within their workplace, should they want it.

How can we encourage more women to pursue senior leadership roles in print? 

Research has shown that companies with diversity (and specifically women) in leadership positions, see higher profits, so finding ways to promote the advancement of female leaders should be high on the agenda for businesses that want to succeed.

The key is – companies need to understand the value (and perspective) of your female leaders.

If a company is serious about wanting more women in leadership roles, they need to create an environment in which they can thrive. There are things that both companies and its management team can do to encourage the development of female leaders:

  1. Build a talent pipeline and offer development / training plans to facilitate growth into leadership roles.
  2. Consider the organisational culture; if masculine culture exist, companies should create initiatives and opportunities that will elevate a woman’s role (and credibility) within the business.
  3. Develop a path for their growth and support those women in acquiring skills along the way – instead of only when they think they 100% meet the requirements of a leadership role. I recognise that not all women will want this but it’s important to ensure that the access is there.

Studies also show that female leaders have a greater impact on employee engagement and satisfaction. Compared to men in similar positions, female leaders are more likely to promote employee wellbeing – checking in on their team, helping them to manage workloads and providing support to those navigating work-life challenges.

What would you say to the next generation of women planning their career?

Everyone’s career path (and pace) is different. My advice is: take every opportunity to gain qualifications and skills. Work hard and aim high!  Believe in yourself and don’t allow others to deter you from progressing. There will be difficult days, when some challenges feel overwhelming. When that happens, dig deep and remember what you have already achieved – you’re stronger than you know!  You will figure out how to overcome those obstacles in your way and your hard work will not go unnoticed. So keep on striving! 

Our Health and Beauty Director Andrea Porter-Keel talks to us about her respect for those who have fought for our rights, balancing motherhood and leadership and her message to those who are just starting out.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? 

For me, IWD is a time to reflect and look back and remember the courageous women who came before us, so we could be seen, heard and have equal rights.

It’s a big deal and it’s an honour we carry as women, and it’s our responsibility to carry it forward

To you this day is about honouring that legacy?

Absolutely, how amazing is it that you, or I, can pursue any career path we want too, in whatever sector that maybe, I think that’s pretty amazing compared to where we were just over 100 years ago.  

Equal pay allowed me to look after my family and give me my own independence. I honestly think that women are pretty amazing beings and they bring a different perspective to business.

How hard was it for you to be a woman and be in business?

I sat on the Board of Directors at a previous workplace at age 37. With little experience at that time of being on a board, and no real examples of woman in the same position, so it was quite overwhelming at times but also inspiring too.

Is there anyone who influenced or inspired your career path? How? 

Absolutely, I had a great mentor, who I have known all my life and who still inspires me today. He taught me to do many things (too many to mention) but in the main, to always do everything with integrity and if you say you’ll do something, make sure you do, never let anyone down.

What was it like for you as a young girl starting out? What were your career aspirations? 

Initially, when I left college, I wanted to go into nursing. I spent this summer in London and decided to get a summer job, and I loved it, so decided to change direction.

I went on to work in radio sales, and then moved into print sales just over 20 years ago. I loved the variety and creativity.

So how did you go from starting in sales to senior management? 

Lots of hard work and late nights …..she laughs….(that wasn’t all of it) the company had a really strong vision to grow, that we all bought into, combined with an amazing team of people from the CEO to the shop floor, and of course a few lucky breaks.

Sounds simple I know, when you say it out loud, but I had the best mentor and teacher, I was willing to learn, be wrong, re-learn and of course work hard.

You have a son?  Did you feel you had to pick motherhood or work in those days that you’re talking about?

Not at all, I grew up with both my parents working full time and never really thought I would be any different, my mum was amazing and I had a lot of support and work was super flexible which made it easy for me.

How can we encourage more women to pursue senior leadership roles in print? 

We need diversity within companies, it gives new and different perspectives. We are evolving all the time in business and women can add real value to situations and as more women are promoted into leadership roles, the culture evolves, we should all strive for positive change.

What made you join Delta? 

Culture and vision are the key drives for me in any business, when I met Delta, they were so passionate about their vision.  The business is exciting, agile and they are open to change.

So, what would you say your experience has been like in the last year at Delta?

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but an exciting one. You need to be agile and a self-starter, but it’s been great.

Why would you encourage more women to come into the industry?

Print is not just ink on paper, print is about creation, it’s about vision, and it’s about bringing something that can be 2D or 3D… it’s bringing something to life, adding shape and form, its team work, detail, organisation, passion and enthusiasm.

I’d like to see more women structural engineers and artworkers. When we create marketing comms for female consumers, it’s great to have female designers and engineers to understand the intricacies

And what about the next generation of women planning their career?What would your message be to those young women? 

I think that anybody that’s deciding on their career, I would say take time, consider what you are passionate about, anything is possible and work will always be challenging at times but if you are passionate about what you do, it will give you a sense of purpose and enjoyment as you grow.. never give up. 

Brief

Our creative team were invited to work with Lindt Chocolate to promote their tasty new luxury Double Chocolate flavour. This involved a takeover of the in-store seasonal space and creating unique POS pieces to create excitement about the new Double Chocolate and also promote their other flavours.

Execution

Lindt shared an existing visual to work from, which we used to generate updated concepts, artwork files and cutters for the bespoke items. These included 3D cubes to showcase chocolate boxes, as well as a giant 3D Double Choc freestanding box with flickering LEDs to draw attention to the space!

We used the colours of their packaging for the 3D cubes to hold actual products which created temptation to the customer to pick up a box!

 

A recent Delta recruit, Charlotte works as part of our Structural team as a scheduler. She’s no stranger to the difficulties of being the only woman in a team, and the longer lengths one might need to go to, to earn equitable respect in some offices. Her story is one that resonates with many.

*The 8th of March is International Women’s Day, it’s almost like Mother’s Day in Europe where people celebrate women and their lives, but particularly celebrate mothers. They’ll be extra thankful to mothers and grandmothers. Some people even take offence if you don’t buy them flowers on the day. Just something to acknowledge them. In the UK its doesn’t seem to be such a big thing. 

I think it’s great that we’ve got this now, I think women have more choices than they ever did. 

I think that’s because marriage is not really a thing like it used to be, that was our only option, to get married and have kids.  We didn’t have a chance to go to work because our work was in the home. Which I’m not saying isn’t still important, because it is to build a family, but it should be 50/50 responsibility.  It shouldn’t just be all on one or all on the other. We’ve got the rights to work now, so men should step up their game and help with their home life, because that’s still a job within itself, but it’s just not the option that women have.  I think it is a great reason to celebrate International Women’s Day, because we’ve finally got options. People should be out there living those options. 

Taking it back to childhood, when you were growing up and thinking about your future and your career what were your aspirations? What did you want to be?

My auntie was a head Air Hostess for British Airways back in the ‘60s, so she had a very high-powered job for the time. She had her own team, and she flew all across the world on long haul flights so she would stay away often.  She’s seen the world so ever since I was young, I aspired to do something like she did. 

I have travelled a lot. I never went down that route of being an Air Hostess, but seeing her, the life that she had made for herself, that made me want to be like that. So, I wanted to travel and know that I didn’t have to have a man with me while I did it, I could do it all.  Even back then in the ‘60s my auntie was representing for the women out there.

My Mum she is so strong too, I grew up in an Irish family, she worked, took care of the home, and looked after three children. She did it all, she worked nights and then would come home, take us to school, clean the house, sleep until about 3 o’clock, then pick us up, do dinner, do everything else and then got back to work. She was a soldier; I’ve always had strong women around me, and I think they’ve made me what I am today. 

So, would you say they’ve influenced your career choices?

Yes, they have, they’ve shown me that whatever you choose, if you put hard work into it, you’ll get reward. No matter what career it is that I’ve chosen, and in every job, I’ve done that, and it’s led me to Delta today. 

You’ve been with Delta for only 3 months so far. What’s your experience been like? 

Brilliant, it’s been really great. It really has. Working in a male environment, I thought I might have to prove myself like I did in my previous job where I worked in the plumbing industry. It took me a long time to prove myself there. But here, I was just accepted straight away. I’ve made really good relationships with the people that I work with and being in a team of men, they respect me and that is something you don’t get very often.  I got it instantly with these guys, in my previous job I didn’t. I had to work twice as hard to get to the respect. 

Having to prove yourself previously and getting that respect – do you think that’s related to you as a person, or do you think that has any relation to you in your gender, or both?

Both. I think women in the workplace they have to prove themselves and their worth, even today you still have to. You know, even the clothes that you wear to work for example, I don’t dress smart, but my work shows I that I’m more than capable of doing the job so we should just be accepted. People should give us marks off the back of the work we do, not what we look like or what gender we are. If our work is 10 out of 10 then we should be getting the respect. 

So, I know you’ve only been here for quite short amount of time, but what would you say that your proudest moment has been here? 

When I passed my probation and my manager said that I’ve come on further than they expected, so it really boosted me. I felt like my hard work really paid off and it has been noticed. They’ve given me great feedback. That’s exactly what you want. You want your manager to tell you’ve done well. So, I’ve passed my probation, they’re very proud with what I’ve done, and that makes me really proud. 

If anything, it makes me want to work harder – I think it’s my proudest moment so far. 

It sounds like in the past you’ve maybe faced some barriers, do you feel like they are related to your gender?

100%. So even where I’ve travelled. I met people and they would say “who did you come with?” I’m sorry I went by myself? “You went to America by yourself and got a job?” Yes!

I’m more than capable of doing it myself, the previous job I had I was in the plumbing industry for, five years, literally 99.9% men.  I had to learn quickly. Every day I had to be better than the best male workers in that environment and it was hard work.  But I was more than capable. I was there for five years, and I was promoted two or three times. 

Why did you feel like you had to be better?

Because in that kind of industry, and especially having blonde hair, people just thought I was a bit of an “air head” and where my personality is quite happy and bubbly, they didn’t see behind that. They just saw that she’s happy, bubbly, got blonde hair, so I had to show them that I could actually do the work, and still be this person – who I am. I had to work extra hard just because of what I looked like. 

On the positive, though, it doesn’t sound like you feel that way at Delta? It sounds like you feel like an equal level with everyone else?

No, not at all. Not at all. I do feel equal because the team that I work with now, have just accepted me for who I am, and they’ve helped me along the way. And it feels great to be part of a close-knit team. It doesn’t matter it’s all men they’ve accepted me for who I am, for what I look like. They know that I’m more than capable of doing the job.

Do you think that takes away a certain pressure with having to always outperform everyone?

Yes, I do, but I think that’s just ingrained in my personality. I come from an Irish background where there was not much work, so my parents moved here, hard work was instilled in me. I understand what you’re saying from the gender point of view, but that’s just how I’ve been brought up, so I want to work hard for me, not for anyone else. 

When did your parents move to the UK?

When they were teenagers. My Mum and Dad lost their accents on purpose. They purposely lost their accents so they could fit in. 

Knowing how much that impacted you as a kid in terms of the way that you operate through the world and the way that you’ve learnt to cope with some of those inequalities from quite a young age what would you say to the generation of females who have started to think about work? What would you say to them to encourage them? 

Be yourself, work hard, that’s all you need to do.  You don’t need to be anyone else, be exactly who you are. Do not change for anyone and work hard. In whatever you do, if that’s making your dinner, make yourself a great dinner. If it’s going to the gym, work out really hard. If you’re going to work, work the best you can. Just do the best you can and be yourself and it will always turn out alright in the end and it will always be enough. You don’t have to change. 

How do you think we can encourage more women to pursue senior leadership roles?  Not just going in for a job just working hard, but making them believe that their ambitions of being up high in a company can come true?

By hiring more women. 

There are opportunities out there for women. There really is, it can be intimidating going into a mostly male workforce. So, if there are more women around then it shows that there are opportunities for them. If there are women in management positions already, that gives off a vibe that you can come and work for a company and you can aspire to anything, and it can be done.  I think it just comes down to hiring more women. 

Really, on CVs if you didn’t have anyone’s name or gender on it and just compared skills, I’m sure there would be a lot more women hired, just like now you can’t put your age on there, maybe you shouldn’t put your gender or your name on CVs, it should just be based on what your skills are. I bet there would be a lot more women hired. Who knows that might happen in a few years – you just don’t know do you?