CDS backs Women in Fire Safety’s mission to address the industry gender gap

News | March 2022

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CDS is to sponsor a national award aimed at celebrating the achievements of women working in the fire safety industry.

The training provider of the year award is just one of several categories to be celebrated at this autumn’s Women in Fire Safety Awards event.

Other prizes will include celebrating the most inspirational woman in the industry and recognising the best contractors and recruiters.

Women in Fire Safety, which aims to encourage more women to choose a career in the industry, was set up by two women who met when they worked together at a fire alarm manufacturer.

The organisation also focuses on recognising women’s achievements in the industry, educating younger people about career opportunities and helping the sector become more progressive.

CDS national sales manager Sophie Kelly, who moved from a career in outdoor services to one in fire safety last year, said she has found discovering a group of like-minded professionals incredibly supportive.

And she hopes her own experience is echoed not only by women currently working in the industry, but also by those who haven’t yet chosen to make it their career.

Sophie said: “The organisation’s co-founders Kate Blake and Chloe Vickery are inspirational. They had a vision to bring highly skilled and successful women together and they made it happen. The WIFS has allowed me to find a community, somewhere where I can develop my knowledge and grow my contacts within the fire industry.

“They immediately provided the support I was looking for. Kate totally knocked my socks off when she invited me to attend the group’s annual awards event last year as a guest. It was a lovely evening celebrating women in the fire industry and allowed me, someone who was totally new to the industry, to mix with some very important people and to gain knowledge, information and contacts.”

Women in Fire Safety, which has created an educational video about roles available in the industry, aims to see fire safety careers discussed in educational settings and would like girls and boys to have equal opportunities to experience the industry from a young age.

CDS managing director Simon Abley added: “We are delighted to support the Women in Fire Safety Awards and the organisation as whole. A recent Gender Gap Index report stated that it would take 108 years for society to close the global gender gap. As with construction and other traditionally male-dominated industries, we must do what we can to encourage and welcome women and show both the old guard and our young people that the outdated idea of ‘pink jobs’ and ‘blue jobs’ belongs in the past.”

A number of entries have already been received for the 2022 awards, which will take place in November.