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Introducing Team Carlton: Holly Bailey

In this new series of blogs, we will introduce Team Cartlon, giving you insights into them, what they do and why they chose to work in this industry.

First up is Holly. Holly is Carlton’s first female engineer and has been with the team for 6 months.

We caught up with Holly to see what she says about working in this industry and, most importantly, at Carlton Services.


How have you found it [working at Carlton]?

Amazing, I feel like I’ve been here for years.  Everyone is kind, considerate and helpful.

How long have you been an engineer?

12 years

What drew you to becoming an engineer?

I always wondered how things worked, and I still do. Electricity and mechanics were major factors in my decision. I started in college doing level 2 electrical installation but didn’t find it challenging enough. I decided to apply for an apprenticeship. I took several tests, and they pointed me to 2 potential options.

Heating and ventilation or air conditioning and refrigeration.

In my head, heating and ventilation just screamed metal ductwork; it didn’t interest me.

I decided to give air conditioning and refrigeration a try, and I have loved it ever since. It’s a mixture of electrics, mechanicals and much more. It was a perfect combination.

What’s your favourite thing about being an engineer?

The challenge and satisfaction of fixing something.

What do you think male-oriented organisations can do to enhance their recruiting efforts to attract more women?

To be honest, there’s not much. Most women in this industry have the mindset to be engineers. It may not appeal to all women because it requires heavy lifting, and it can be dirty. Maybe it’s not the organisation that needs to attract women. Maybe it’s schools/colleges that should be introducing tasters into different careers in engineering.

Have you seen things change for women working in male-dominated industries over the past ten years?

I have, I know of a few women who are in engineering roles… when I first started my career, I thought I was the only one.

I was the only one in my college who was female; I’m not sure if I was the first. Now I see female electricians, plumbers, civil engineers and many more.

What did your career progression look like to reach this point in your career?

For the first 3 months, I swept the workshop; it was for discipline and good housekeeping. After that, I was out with engineers. First year from my starting day, I was qualified, and they put me immediately on the road. At the first job, I was nervous, forgot to pay for a parking ticket and ended up with a parking fine. After that, I learned not to forget to pay for a parking ticket.

I started getting more experienced. The more experience, the more I was worth, and the more the customers were satisfied.  Now, there’s nothing I wouldn’t have a go at fixing.

Do you think your initial learning method differed from your male counterparts?

No, I was treated like everyone else. I was thankful not to have the divide.

What are the benefits of working in this industry as a female?

I wouldn’t say there are any benefits.

Except there are still people out there that hold the door whilst you are carrying a nitrogen bottle on your shoulder.

What has been your experience like to date working in a male-dominated industry?

It’s had its ups and downs.

From sexist employers to customers praising you and your work.

Not so much the downs now as times have changed.

What advice would you give your younger self getting into this career?

Be confident in yourself. Don’t take things to heart when they go wrong.

You will still be learning until the day you die; nobody knows everything.

How do customers react to a female engineer?

8/10 they always comment, ‘it’s nice to see a lady engineer’.

Some also say, ‘when is HE coming?’ when I call them with an ETA, and I must correct them… they almost never seem to apologise. I don’t know if it’s shock or embarrassment.

Do you know any other females in a similar role?

I know of some women with engineering roles that aren’t in my industry and really enjoy their jobs.

I think it’s great that women are slowly starting to appear in different male-orientated job roles.

Join Holly and start your dream job!

Are you looking for a career change or want to learn more about Carlton? Visit our recruitment page or give us a call

We are always on the lookout for Engineers:

  • Commercial Catering Engineers
  • Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers