Pest Solutions Logo
0141 280 7323
0131 526 3220
01224 392 304
National Pest Awards
0141 280 7323
0131 526 3220
01224 392 304

Celebrating Professional Women In The Pest Control Industry

International Women’s Day 2023 – Pest Solutions

Pest Solutions are proud of the amazing women within our team and the wider professional pest control industry on International Women’s Day 2023.

Today, like most days, we celebrate the outstanding women who are part of the Pest Solutions team. For International Women’s Day 2023, some of our Glasgow team took the time to share what their career path in the pest control industry means to them.

 

The pest control industry is still largely a male-dominated industry with an estimated 4.5% of the workforce represented by females. But times are changing as we work hard to let young professional men and women know about the rewarding career that can be found in the pest control industry. This focus on a rewarding professional career that is accessible to all has seen Pest Solutions change the dynamic of our workforce as our business continues to grow with over 36% of our servicing workforce represented by women.

Drawing from the best available talent via our recruitment strategy has very much been the catalyst for our business growth and our incredible female team members are a more than a significant part of our success. This is what we champion on International Women’s Day 2023.

International Women’s Day 2023 – Award-Winning Women in Pest Management

International Women’s Day 2023. At Pest Solutions our greatest strength is our team. We could not be more proud of all of the men and women in our team who work diligently to look after our customers every day. They are true pest professionals.

International Women's Day 2023 - Award Winning Women in Pest Control - Pest Solutions

International Women’s Day 2023. The women working at the frontline in our service team are not just among the best in our business, but they are among the best in the pest control industry.

This has been demonstrated by the recognition that many of our fantastic women have achieved in our company and national industry awards in the last few years. Service Technician Gabrielle Hogg won the “Young Pest Controller of the Year” in the 2021 UK National Pest Awards.

Gabrielle joined Pest Solutions in November 2019 from a management position in the customer services industry. She excelled in the field as a pest controller, quickly becoming qualified and rising within our business. In January 2021 she was promoted to the role of Service Manager with the unanimous support of our service team. To top all of her achievements became a new mother of her first child in January 2022 and recently returned from maternity leave in November 2o022 making a significant impact since her return.

We were equally proud to see Graduate Service Technician’s Gemma Sutherland and Chloe Smith both be nominated as 2 of the 3 finalists for “Young Pest Controller of the Year” in the 2022 UK National Pest Awards. Gemma Sutherland went on to win the award but both Gemma & Chloe were a great support to each other willing the other on towards the prize.

We are incredibly proud to be able to have within our team the winner of the UK National Pest Awards “Young Pest Controller of the Year” award for the last 2 years, even more, so that the winners were some of our female pest professionals who are helping to break down bias and stereotypes. We look forward to participating in these prestigious industry awards again in 2023.

In the last year as well as winning a number of company awards we have seen some of our women recognised in industry and internal awards:

  • Gemma Sutherland BSc hons – 2022 National Pest Awards “Young Pest Controller of the Year” winner
  • Chloe Smith MSc BSc hons – 2022 National Pest Awards “Young Pest Controller of the Year” finalist
  • Hayley Rafferty – 2021 BPCA Member Awards “Unsung Hero” finalist (Highly Commended)
  • Gemma Sutherland BSc hons – 2022 Pest Solutions “Technician of the Year” winner
  • Chloe Smith MSc BSc hons – 2022 Pest Solutions “Young Technician of the Year” winner
  • Rebekah Simpson – 2022 Pest Solutions “Unsung Hero” winner
  • Clara Guisan MSc BSc hons – 2022 Pest Solutions “Rookie of the Year” winner.

Dee Ward-Thompson, Head of Membership and Technical at the British Pest Control Association, commented:

“While pest management is still a male-dominated profession, I’ve seen many women join our industry in 10 years. Women entering our profession are always regarded with the utmost respect and encouraged to develop their skills, with many becoming leaders within the sector. More and more women are seeing the benefits of joining this wonderful sector and the potential long term career path.”

International Women’s Day 2023. The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) where our Managing Director Chris Cagienard serves as President recently formed a new BPCA EDI Committee chaired by board member Julia Pittman (of Beaver Pest Control).

We are excited to see how this new committee will help to drive forward the work to make the professional pest control industry accessible to all. Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician, Chloe Smith, has a real passion for championing women in the pest control industry and has joined this committee to help push forwards this important work.

As part of our celebration of International Women’s Day 2023, we asked a number of our female team members and leading women in the pest control industry a number of questions about how we can do more to champion the role of women in the professional pest control industry.

Here is what they said:

How Can The Pest Industry Attract More Women?

International Women’s Day 2023 QuestionThe current level of female employment in the pest control industry is reported to be around 4.5% which is incredibly low. What could the sector do to attract more women to consider a career in the professional pest control industry?

Dee Ward-Thompson (BPCA Head of Membership and Technical) said:
“I believe it’s not just women, our industry is still relatively unknown, we need to do more to promote that can get a career in pest management. I think we should run a campaign aimed at women going back to work after children have left home and girls leaving school or university”

Professional Women of Pest Management - IWD 2023 - Pest Solutions

Gemma Sutherland BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician)
“ For me it’s all about exposure. There are already women excelling in the pest control industry. We need to share their experiences and set the tone that women can build successful careers as pest professionals. Reaching out to schools & universities to increase awareness of careers in the pest control industry. As a Zoology graduate it is frightening that pest control was never mentioned to me throughout my university career.”

Julia Pittman (BPCA EDI Committee Chair & Director of Beaver Pest Control) said:
“I believe it is important to emphasise the role of a professional pest controller in protecting public health and the environment, many women are drawn to roles which allow them to make a positive contribution to their community. I think it is also vital given the stereotype of the industry being male-dominated to create a supportive work culture and foster a culture of respect and inclusivity and support women like myself in leadership roles.”

Clara Guisan MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
“Women can fear starting a job in a male-dominated where stereotypes may make us feel invalidated for the fact that we are women. It is important that the industry celebrates female pest professionals to encourage more women to consider joining us. “Your work is going to be valued here” should be the message sent to women considering a career in the industry.”

Siobhan Quinn (Pest Solutions Account Manager) said:
“Promoting testimonies and case studies of ladies already in the industry speaking about their passion for the job would help break the stereotypes”

Natalie Bungay (BPCA Technical & Compliance Manager) said:
“Letting perspective female pest professionals know that it’s not all gore and grime. We are not just “Killers”, especially not “Lady Killers”. We are animal lovers, and conservationists focused on protecting and preserving the integrity of public health. It’s a valuable public health service that protects the integrity and safety of our food and environments by delivering excellent advice, skill and service. Communicating how rewarding the industry can be is vital. We get to help people daily as we resolve issues that caused them significant distress.”

Gabrielle Hogg (Pest Solutions Service Manager) said:
“If the industry focused recruitment for field-based roles on science-related qualifications it might reach a different demographic compared to focusing on trade-related skills. Since starting our graduate scheme at Pest Solutions the number of female applicants has increased significantly”

Natasha Mackay BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“The job would be more attractive if there was more awareness of what Pest Controller is and what we actually do. The image of a pest controller is of an older evil man that wants to “kill” everything which obviously isn’t the case. We all love animals and people and would like to do what’s right for our customers but also the pest we are dealing with and a great deal goes into training to be able to do it the most ethical way possible. I think using the industry to raise awareness of what the job is actually like and made up with would be helpful to attract more women.”

Chloe Smith MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“More women like myself working as professional pest controllers shows people, especially other women, that the pest control industry is not just for men. Many women I meet are curious about the role when I turn up, turning the conversation to what the job involves and what my day-to-day work looks like. I think this in itself could attract more women into the industry as very little is known about what we do and how important it is as an industry!”

Rebekah Simpson (Pest Solutions Service Technician) said:
“I think raising awareness about what the role of a professional pest controller actually involves would help attract more women to the industry. A lot of people assume we just deal with rats and mice but it’s much more than that. Problem-solving and investigations into why a pest problem may have arisen in the first place, considering environmental impacts and understanding biology and behaviours of pests make every day exciting and interesting”

Gemma Singer BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
“As a Trainee Graduate Service Technician who is brand new to the industry, I think it is valuable to raise awareness of the opportunities for career progression for a female within the pest control industry. One of the aspects which attracted me to join the industry with Pest Solutions was reading about the success of Gabrielle, Chloe and Gemma (Sutherland) in the National Pest Awards “Young Pest Controller of the Year” award over the last few years.”

What Does Being A Pest Professional Mean?

International Women’s Day 2023 Question – What does being a woman in the professional pest control industry mean to you?

Natasha Mackay BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“It brings on a sense of pride and achievement. There is so much to learn and is a continuous learning environment. There’s always something you don’t know and you’re always grasping for new knowledge to show your customers to help solve their problems more effectively. I believe the pride comes from being able to help, no matter who it is, with their pest control problem.”

Pest Solutions Gains Status Accredited Living Wage Employer

Rebekah Simpson (Pest Solutions Service Technician) said:
“Working in the pest control industry as a woman means a lot to me as there is a small percentage of us in the industry but watching this number grow and the number of opportunities that are arising for this to happen is great to watch.”

Julia Pittman (BPCA EDI Committee Chair & Director of Beaver Pest Control) said:
“I’m passionate about protecting public health in a sustainable way which protects the environment for future generations. I also think that I can use my senior position in my business and on the BPCA Executive Board to break down barriers for women to come. Women can have different perspectives and ideas and it is well established from numerous studies that diverse companies and teams can bring superior results.”

Clara Guisan MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
“To me, being a woman in the professional pest control industry means breaking stereotypes. It means that I work in something that I enjoy and motivates me rather than working in something that I don’t like but is expected of me.”

Chloe Smith MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“Being a woman in the pest control industry is important to me because it contributes to changing the public views on gender-specific job roles.”

Dee Ward-Thompson (BPCA Head of Membership and Technical) said:
“The world, I have been welcomed with open arms and have always felt respected as a woman in a very male-dominated industry.”

Siobhan Quinn (Pest Solutions Account Manager) said:
“It means a lot to me especially because the industry is so male-dominated. I see that as a positive for us females. We can make more of an impact and be remembered (really stand out).”

Gemma Singer BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
I am privileged to become one of a small percentage of women to work in the Pest Control Industry. With a degree in Science, I look forward to using my problem-solving skills to resolve some of the challenges within the industry and encourage more women in science to join the industry.

Gabrielle Hogg (Pest Solutions Service Manager) said:
“It has allowed me to become skilled in a practical job that has helped me exceed the boundaries I thought I had as a woman, realising I am fully capable to carry out a role that initially was dominated by men. It makes me proud and passionate to develop other women and help them gain the same skills.”

Natalie Bungay (BPCA Technical & Compliance Manager) said:
“Because of the wide range of environments and people that require the services of pest professionals, being a woman pest professional can offer a more comfortable option for some sectors. What I mean is, for example, some customers feel more comfortable in the presence of a woman when they are contracting a pest management service – this may be at highly sensitive sites such as a women’s refuge centre or a girls-only secondary school where the customer would feel more comfortable with having a female technician at their site. Domestic premises can also benefit from this where customers are female residents living on their own. When a company can offer this option, it can benefit its service delivery. It has been communicated to me many times that female technicians tend to exhibit more compassion with customers who are suffering from a pest problem which in turn creates a wonderful sense of trust and confidence.”

Gemma Sutherland BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“It’s an opportunity to support and empower other women within the industry as well as encourage other young people and women through demonstrating professionalism that this is an exciting industry to be part of.”

What Opportunities Exist For Professional Women In The Pest Industry?

International Women’s Day 2023 Question – With 40% of the industry due to retire in the next ten years, what opportunities do you think there are for young professional women considering a career in the pest control industry?

Chloe Smith MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“There is an opportunity to join companies throughout the UK and begin a career in pest control straight from University. I started as a master’s graduate in Environmental Health Science and am now level 3 qualified all within my first 2 years in the industry. The industry provides a career where you can learn daily and take various paths and qualifications to improve your skill set.”

Pest Solutions International Women's Day 2023 - Embrace Equiry - IWD 2023

Rebekah Simpson (Pest Solutions Service Technician) said:
“I think there is the potential of an increase of young women joining the industry and those already in the industry reaching their full potential.”

Julia Pittman (BPCA EDI Committee Chair & Director of Beaver Pest Control) said:
“For companies with a succession plan in place, there will be numerous opportunities as the current senior leadership teams step down either fully or partially. Young people ( not just women) can use their skills to bring new ideas and innovation into companies and the industry. As companies are bought when their leadership retires, there will be increased opportunities for new businesses.”

Clara Guisan MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
“Young professional women will have opportunities to be promoted to new roles. New career opportunities where their experience and skills will improve the industry.”

Natalie Bungay (BPCA Technical & Compliance Manager) said:
“Job satisfaction is a huge part of the role in pest management and think focusing on this point is key. For me personally, I draw much pleasure from helping people when they are in ‘crises’ and pest infestations can often make people feel desperate. To be able to help a business or individual in this way is a huge draw for me. Also, the variety of roles and opportunities in the industry should be a huge draw. The specialism can be pursued where a person develops a specific desire i.e. biologist, bird management specialist, Bed Bug specialist, etc”

Natasha Mackay BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“There is always room for growth. The pest control industry is an ever-evolving career and there are so many different areas and career paths that suit everyone’s needs. Through Technician based roles, management, sales, technical roles, researching the creation of new products etc. It’s a professional industry that is always looking for new areas to grow and providing the opportunities for professional young women will continue it to move in an upward direction.”

Dee Ward-Thompson (BPCA Head of Membership and Technical) said:
“Learn from the best. I have worked with some of the best of the best especially those who specialise in wildlife management and falconry spending as much time as possible learning from the specialists in our industry. This will help you choose the right path for you.”

Gemma Singer BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
“It is important for women to be aware of the array of roles within the pest control industry. Whether it is being out in the field as a Pest Control Technician or a Field Biologist, to IT, administration and managerial roles, there are countless career paths within the industry. It is a career which provides endless opportunities for learning as animals evolve and new techniques are vital in the management of pests.”

Gabrielle Hogg (Pest Solutions Service Manager) said:
“I believe there are plenty of opportunities for young professionals to access mentorship from very knowledgeable and experienced professionals that will help build them up for a future of professional progression and create space for promotion opportunities.”

Gemma Sutherland BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“There is potential for women to help lead the way in the industry and to get involved in making important decisions that surround pest control. For example, the industry is put under pressure when it comes to our toolbox and there will be demand for individuals that are forward-thinking as the landscape of pest management is altered. Losing 40% of the industry may allow for more adaptability in hiring a diverse workforce, removing the traditional view that pest control is a man’s job and understanding the value of women in a male-dominated industry.”

Siobhan Quinn (Pest Solutions Account Manager) said:
“Because 40% of the industry are due to retire in the next 10 years, I would say that’s a positive for all young professionals looking for a long and successful career. We will always need pest control so it would be a good time to join a sector where every day is different and you are genuinely helping people making the job very rewarding.”

How Can We Celebrate Women In The Pest Control Industry?

International Women’s Day 2023 Question – What, in your opinion, is the biggest thing to celebrate about professional women in the pest control industry?

Gemma Sutherland BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“I feel fortunate to be part of a company that sees the value of women in the industry and to be part of a team that has several women holding different positions. We are always supporting and encouraging one another to do the best job we can and to be successful, that is really worth celebrating.”

International Women's Day 2023 - IWD - Pest Solutions - Women In Pest Control - Embrace Equity

Natalie Bungay (BPCA Technical & Compliance Manager) said:
“The ability to deliver compassion and trust in environments where the customer is particularly vulnerable and needing reassurance.”

Natasha Mackay BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“In my opinion, it’s an honour to be able to thrive in a male-dominated industry! I think women can bring new perspectives on things and help at putting people at ease. We deal with a lot of people who have fears and being able to see a young woman dealing with these helps with calming people down.”

Dee Ward-Thompson (BPCA Head of Membership and Technical) said:
“This is a very hard question, I think the main celebration is how well women integrate within the pest management industry, many women that join go on to have flourishing careers a testament to the women that join.”

Gemma Singer BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
“It is uplifting to see women in the industry being so knowledgeable and passionate about what they do. The depth of knowledge and enthusiasm is evident to customers, which provides reassurance for the customers and ensures customers are receiving excellent quality service.”

Gabrielle Hogg (Pest Solutions Service Manager) said:
“That women are very capable and have shown at Pest Solutions it is entirely possible to achieve service excellence and excel at their role.”

Siobhan Quinn (Pest Solutions Account Manager) said:
“When I am on the phone to customers arranging the technician’s details, some customers just assume it’s a male. They can sometimes be quite shocked when they find out it’s a female technician. They then tell me how impressed they are that a female will be dealing with the pest issue. “

Chloe Smith MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Advanced Service Technician) said:
“I think the biggest thing to celebrate about being a woman in the pest control industry is again, that it contributes to changing the stereotypical view that it’s only middle-aged men who do pest control. Although for now, this may be somewhat true, the majority of pest control companies I have had experience of are supportive of women entering the industry and we can continue to prove we can carry out the job just as well as men that have been doing it for years!”

Rebekah Simpson (Pest Solutions Service Technician) said:
“That we are starting to be more respected and it’s less of a surprise to customers when a woman shows up to the job.”

Julia Pittman (BPCA EDI Committee Chair & Director of Beaver Pest Control) said:
“I think this is an exciting time for professional women in the industry. We are breaking down stereotypes and proving that women can excel in a male-dominated industry. This will pave the way for future generations to come. I’m really looking forward to seeing the work coming out of the EDI committee which will showcase the diversity and women excelling in the industry. They are the cheerleaders of the future.”

Clara Guisan MSc BSc hons (Pest Solutions Graduate Service Technician) said:
“I think that, again, the fact that we are breaking stereotypes it’s one of the most important challenges for women in pest control. I don’t think there is a single woman in pest control that hasn’t dealt with the situation where a customer is surprised that a woman shows up for a job. Comments like “women usually are scared of rats” or “a lady like you doing this job?” are constant at work. I think it’s really brave that women in pest control do something that they are not expected to do. They are constantly judged but they keep doing it and proudly enjoying what they do. That’s the biggest thing to celebrate in my opinion.”

Have You Considered A Career As A Pest Professional

Here at Pest Solutions we are committed to building the right culture within our business and that starts with our team. As we celebrate the incredible women within our business and the wider industry on International Women’s Day 2023 we are proud of what we have achieved. However, we are even more excited about what we will see happen in the future of our business and the pest control industry.

The industry average female employment is currently reported at 4.5%. At Pest Solutions are seeing the balance much closer to equality at 36%… But could this be higher?

I am sure it could. When we undertake new recruitment, the number of applicants is heavily male-dominated. Yet our hiring looks more balanced. This is because we select the best candidates regardless of gender. If you have the right attitude and a passion to be the best, we want you in our team.

I would like to see more women consider the pest control industry as the exciting career it can be. We work hard to promote the industry as a career choice for all. Are you a recent science graduate? Are you looking for a fulfilling workplace?

If so, we would love to speak to you.

Due to our growth, we are regularly looking for new recruits in Scotland and the North of England.

Apply today by sending your CV to chris(at)pestsolutions.co.uk . If we do not have any positions available or if you are outside of the area we cover I would be happy to forward your CV to another like-minded professional BPCA Member company that may be able to speak to you.

The Pest Control Industry Needs You…

#EmbraceEquiry   #IWD2023   #InternationalWomensDay2023   #ProfessionalWomenInPestManagment   #PestSolutions   #BPCA

 

Co-written by Gabrielle Hogg & Chris Cagienard.

Thanks to contributions from many of the professional women of Pest Solutions, Dee Ward-Thompson (of BPCA), Natalie Bungay (of BPCA) & Julia Pitman (of Beaver Pest Control).

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Book a free survey
Name
Phone
Email
Postcode
Message
SEND
Pest Solutions litter picking
Pest Solutions Launch ‘Enough is Enough’ Litter Campaign
Brown Rats
(Rattus norvegicus)
Family – Muridae
AKA – Brown Rat, Common Rat, Norway Rat
Brown-Rats-Rattus-norvegicus-Pest-Solutions-Pest-Control
Seasons Active
     
WINTER
     
SPRING
     
SUMMER
     
AUTUMN
Infestation Risk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Public Health Risk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Property Damage List
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Escalation Risk (if left untreated)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Book a free survey
Name
Phone
Email
Postcode
Message
SEND
Get in touch

0800 027 2555

We are open 24 hours 7 days a week to help with all pest related enquiries.

info@pestsolutions.co.uk

We are open 24 hours 7 days a week to help with all pest related enquiries.

Live chat

We are open 24/hours 7 days a week to help with all pest related enqurirs.