I cannot wait to interview Nicky because she’s one of those people who leave you recharged and relaxed and happier. She’s a storm, but a sunny one.
Nicky Thompson is a business development manager for Tucker Consultancy Ltd, a company specialised in building services engineering design.
“But I never planned to enter the construction industry” she explains. Nicky worked for Internet Service Providers at the very beginning of the internet era.
I have always been attracted to things that are more traditionally seen as a men’s thing
She loves cars and old aircrafts. “I can identifying older aircraft – Spitfires, Mustangs, WW2 Bombers. It’s one of those passions I’ve had forever”.
She thinks that maybe those different interests helped her blend in more easily in male oriented work environments.
Maybe my interests made it easier for men to see me as one of them
And it might be one of the reasons why she rarely experienced sexism in her career.
But there are some situations, she says, where she chose to simply steer away. “When men are in groups, it is harder to break the ice and say hello”. I know exactly what she is talking about.
So you feel the discomfort sometimes, I pry. How do you feel about it?
Sometimes I feel there is too much hype around the women’s issues and probably all the noise is not always helping the cause.
For Nicky, we shouldn’t only think of equality for women in construction. She adds “It’s not only about women and their rights. Truth is that teams are stronger when they are made of mixed diverse people”.
I totally agree on affirmative policies, not only for women but for all underrepresented groups
What should we do to make that happen, I ask. “You know, sometimes I think I would love to just meet a group of women who would like to join this industry, but are a bit afraid because it is male orientated.”
I would take them by the hand and say, we can do it! Come with me, I will show you. It’s good, it’ll be fun, trust me!
It’s time to run to our next appointments. We hug, we kiss, we laugh. And walking away, as usual I replay our conversation in my mind. Could Nicky be right? is there too much hype around women’s issues?
I start thinking about how I felt when I was very young, being a woman who wanted to do men’s things. I dreamt of being a footballer and a lawyer, not a female footballer, not a female lawyer. And somehow Nicky reminds me of my younger self. She doesn’t want to think of herself as a woman-something. She thinks of herself as a person who loves what she does and is very good at it. No other label. Which is what really feminism is about. Being able to think like Nicky, all of us.