Margaret Talbot, regional marketing manager – Europe, VitrA, talks about gender biases and what women bring to the KBB industry.
It is well documented and evidenced that we live in a world where there is a male gender bias. Men are seen as the human default, and this influences everything from seat belt design through to the provision and design of public toilets.
If we can address this bias in our industry and start to create products that reflect the needs of the other 50% of the population we will be making a significant positive contribution to making the world a better place to live in for everyone.
In the same way that men do, women bring different and valuable perspectives, new ideas and new approaches. Given women are often the key influencer in the choice of any KBB renovation it makes sense to have representation at all levels in the business.
I would say that women are under-represented in certain areas of the KBB industry – particularly at board level – but that’s not isolated to our industry. There are a number of reasons for that. There are plenty of intelligent, capable, and driven women who can head up companies within the industry. However, a lack of opportunities and career interruption due to child rearing or taking care of ageing parents are problems that women face in terms of progression.
From a personal perspective, I’ve worked in other male-dominated industries but, as with my experiences of the bathroom industry, this was never a barrier to joining that industry or career progression – in fact, I viewed it more as an opportunity or challenge. What’s always been more important to me is the values within the company I choose to work for and its focus on the customer.
VitrA recognises, nurtures and rewards the contribution of individuals irrespective of gender and I believe that is what the KBB industry as a whole should be striving for. Rather than it simply being about my gender, what I believe I bring to my role at VitrA is the knowledge and experience you get from a 30-year career working across different industries with a diverse range of people.
Joining VitrA has enabled me to play to my strengths and with the help of my extraordinary marketing team and members of the management team we have helped sustain positive sales growth.
Listen to the International Women’s Day Special on The kbbreview Podcast. on The kbbreview Podcast. Listen now using the player below or search ‘kbbreview’ in a podcast app.