It would be fair to say I work in a very male environment.
I manage a team of men and I’m only 1 of 2 female enforcement delivery managers out of a total of 10 across the UK.
Have I found this difficult?
Not in any way!
I manage a team of 6 managers who are responsible for 65 vehicle and traffic enforcement examiners covering the London area.
Their work includes roadside checks of lorries, buses and coaches, and managing the MOT scheme.
Let me share with you my experience.
I’ve found all DVSA colleagues – whether they’re directors or frontline staff – respectful and being a woman has never been an issue.
When I was promoted to my current role I gained it on merit, which was a fantastic feeling.
Likewise, I’ve never faced any discrimination working closely with partner organisations such as the Met. Police and Transport for London.
I sometimes get surprised looks when I tell people about my job outside of work, but it’s good not live up to stereotypes!
I’ve always worked in roles where women colleagues are less common.
I started out as a Senior Traffic Officer and then joined VOSA (which later became DVSA) as a Traffic Examiner in 2009.
My grandmother always said never sit on a pedestal as it’s a high place to fall from, so I still keep a hand in frontline work!
I love the banter of working with roadside colleagues as well as the buzz knowing you’ve done your bit to make the roads safer.
Interestingly, I find being a woman in these situations an advantage as commercial drivers, who are mainly male, are often more respectful of women.
We’ve come a long way since the right to vote for women and I’m sure women working in vehicle enforcement in the past faced many challenges.
Thankfully attitudes have changed.
One of the best things about working for the DVSA is its drive for an inclusive and diverse workforce.
But I think vehicle-related professions could do more to attract women to the job and I hope this post will encourage others to follow in my footsteps.
Don’t be held back
Many women may be put off by the stereotype that working with vehicles is a ‘man’s job’.
Some may also fear they won’t ‘fit in’ as a woman. As I’ve said, this has not been my experience. I've always felt like an equal at the DVSA.
I want to end this post by urging women who have thought about applying for jobs more associated with men to put their fears aside and take the plunge.
Don’t be held back by myths and stereotypes!
We’re recruiting 10 new vehicle examiners across England and Scotland.
You’ll need to be a qualified mechanic or technician with experience in the repair, maintenance or inspection of HGVs, LGVs, PSVs or cars.