We’ve got a metaphor for you. Imagine the lighting industry is a room containing all the people that work within it. There are professionals from all stages of their careers talking about today’s top technologies and considerations for installation. It’s loud and exciting.
But, unfortunately, due to the male-dominated nature of the lighting industry, most of the individuals you see and hear are men. Female lighting professionals are definitely there (albeit in smaller numbers) and have important things to say, they’re just being drowned out by the lads.
Hopefully, you see where we’re going with this…
To ensure women in lighting are heard and make the ‘room’ a more inclusive space, we need to amplify the voices of female lighting professionals — which is exactly what we’re doing at our company.
We’ve spoken to the women in our teams, who have told us all about what they do at DFL. So, sit back, relax and have a read. It’s your time to shine, ladies!
Offering up expertise
At DFL, we’re fortunate to have lots of highly experienced female lighting professionals with the depth and breadth of knowledge to set us apart from the rest, like Sylvia Wright.
Having started out as a secretary, Sylvia’s lighting career began when her previous employer encouraged her to study AutoCAD (a commercial computer-aided design application used to create drawings, models and diagrams). She quickly became a pro in this hugely valuable software and now uses her expertise to ‘make a beautiful clear drawing that will hopefully make our clients smile’ at DFL.
And our female lighting professionals aren’t just skilled on paper, either.
All the top women at DFL have developed a unique understanding of the lighting industry over the years, bringing a certain je ne sais quoi to our services. For example, Kelly Smith, one of our senior lighting designers, says, ‘There’s so much more to lighting than just thinking “Where do I stick a light so that the computer says yes?”’. In her opinion, ‘Lighting is not just about seeing, it involves the environment, human responses and ecology — especially with the current push to reduce light pollution’. We couldn’t agree more!
Some of the women at DFL like to get involved in the wider industry, too. Amanda Reece, another senior lighting designer, sits on committees within the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) and recently gave a talk about women in lighting at the company’s Professional Lighting Summit. She says, ‘I’m keen to remain close to the recently launched Women Lighting Professionals group and any cause that helps promote equality and equity’.
These impressive credentials have helped make us a better lighting consultancy and make sure we’re offering the best possible services. But we can’t talk about DFL without mentioning the women who oversee projects behind the scenes…
Keeping everything in check
Before we can even get started on a lighting installation (or deem it complete), there’s a lot of admin to be done. And so, you guessed it, we’ve got an excellent pair of female lighting professionals that handle it all.
For instance, Fran Goodyear, our accounts and office administrator, plays a big part in the smooth running of our operations. Summing up her role in the company, Fran explains, ‘I ensure that new projects (where requested) are set up on our accounts package, complete the pre-qualification questionnaires and submit information about DFL to our soon-to-be clients. At the end of the project, I raise and submit invoices’. Basically, we’d be lost without her!
We’ve also broadened our horizons this year, establishing the Learning and Mentoring Programme (LAMP Academy), and Francesca Ridley, our project administrator, is helping roll it out.
‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on LAMP Academy, from the initial sift through over 90 CVs to creating the training plans and now seeing our young technicians start their learning journey. It’s such a ground-breaking scheme that will introduce a whole new talent pipeline into the lighting industry. I can’t wait to see them all do well in their new chosen career’, she says. We’re as excited as you are, Frankie!
And we’re confident that everyone who joins us will be in safe hands, with great women who only recently joined the industry themselves eager to offer words of wisdom.
Getting stuck in
DFL had the pleasure of welcoming two newbies in 2021 — Fiona Elsey, one of our lighting technicians, and Hollie Thurlow, a lighting designer — and they’ve both made a wonderful addition to our lighting consultancy.
Both Fiona and Hollie joined us by chance with no experience in lighting, having seen our posts online and bravely taking the plunge to dip their toes in a field they might not have originally planned to enter. Sounds like fate if you ask us…
Given their experience, we asked Fiona and Hollie if they had any tips for women and girls interested in joining the lighting industry. Unsurprisingly, they say the same thing: just do it! According to Fiona, ‘Whether you go down the creative, engineering or environmental pathway, the lighting industry is dynamic and ever-changing. There’s always something to learn and no two projects are the same. Be bold, be unapologetically ambitious and speak up.’ We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
And if you’re not sure where to go, Fiona and Hollie also said the people at DFL are the best thing about their jobs (thanks, guys!). So, whatever role takes your fancy, joining us means working alongside smart, friendly professionals who will welcome you with open arms. Sounds good, right?
Learn more about our team and get a feel for our company today; it could be the start of something great…