International Women’s Day – Q&A With Duoserve Director Ali Robinson

International Women’s Day 2022, is all about empowering and celebrating women within the workplace. In an industry that can be heavily male-dominated. It’s about breaking the bias and understanding if discrimination still exists within the industry. We spoke with Ali Robinson, Director at Duoserve, to understand what it is like to be a woman in the trade.

 

duoserve-director-ali-robinson

 

Who are you? And what do you do?

 

“My name is Ali Robinson and I have been in the energy industry since I was 17 years old where my first full-time job was at EDF Energy. All I really know is the Energy Industry as I’ve never left.

Throughout my time, my job roles have varied from front-line customer service to surveyor, to lead generation to installing, which is where I’m currently at now. Since 2017, I teamed up with my very good friend Dan Murphy and we formed our business, Duoserve! 

Going self-employed was very scary but to say we were both business owners felt amazing! Duoserve deal with government heating and insulation grants, of which we install via the ECO scheme. 

We started out at the bottom and worked our way up and now have our own cavity van which may not seem a lot to some but it was a huge step in our business. Yes, I cried my eyes out when we picked up the van all signed up. However, It was a very proud and emotional moment for me and Dan (Although Dan will say anything makes me cry! Lol).”

 

What do you Enjoy Most About Your Job?

 

“The thing I love most about my job is that it is very versatile. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not one to sit behind a computer all day every day. I love being out and about, meeting new people, and also getting my hands dirty on-site! 

I love the flexibility of being able to be behind my laptop but then also going out on surveys and then helping out during installs, when needed. I get involved in a bit of everything! I’ve loved meeting a lot of amazing people in our industry so far.”

 

What Barriers do Women Face in the Trade?

 

Dan will love this question! I’m kidding, it will really wind him up! One of Dans’ pet hates is that many people will go to him rather than me even though we’re business partners. It happened a lot over the years where for example I will post something on LinkedIn and someone will comment on my status saying “Ask Dan to call me”, although it’s me asking the question! 

Dan has often passed my number on to people and on more than one occasion and they say at the end of the phone call, “do you want to speak with your boss first?” No thank you, I’m my own boss! 

There are many emails we’ve received addressed as “Dear Sirs”…. Hello! Us women work in the industry you know! I’ve replied a few times advising it’s MISS and SIR, however, the same bog-standard email comes through now and again which is pretty annoying.”

What Could be done to Help these Barriers for Women in the Trade?

 

“I think if we address any situation that any of us come across and make people aware of the issues, hopefully, this will stop this from happening again in the future. 

Also being a bit blunt and straight to the point has also helped me in these situations. It may seem or come across a little cheeky, but as we say up north “Shy bairns get nowt”, so speaking up and addressing these problems shouldn’t be pushed aside.” 

 

If you could give advice to upcoming tradeswomen, what would it be?

 

“Don’t let anyone stop you from building your career and chasing your dreams. 

If anyone tries to stop you, tell them to move aside as this is 2022, and us women can do whatever the hell we want, and ain’t nobody getting in our way!” 

 

Many thanks to Ali Robinson, for sharing what it is like being a woman in the trade. Duoserve offers cavity wall insulation, underfloor insulation, boilers, and heating controls. If you want to learn more about the amazing work of Duoserve, check them out on Facebook or click through to their website below.

 

Facebook –  Duoserve | Facebook 

Website –  DuoserveHome – energy efficiency installations

 

If you want to learn more about International Women’s Day, click HERE.