At last year’s FAAM conference, Colette Willoughby delivered a raw and personal presentation about the personal safety of female analysts. It was eye-opening and shaming, and it focused the minds of all who heard it on the urgent need for change.
Colette herself set out what needs to change in our industry, and with the support of many colleagues I’m encouraged to see things moving in the right direction. Asbestech – one of the UK’s leading asbestos management companies – has announced that it is retro-fitting locks to all of its decontamination units (DCUs).
Asbestech contract manager Alessia Gilbey commented that “it’s a simple method to provide an additional reassurance to myself and other women that may be required to use a DCU”. And it is simple – a quick, inexpensive change to make existing DCUs safer workplaces.
I’m also encouraged to see that DCU manufacturers themselves are paying attention. I’ve recently been invited to meet with SMH to discuss potential design changes that would improve personal safety in the DCU, and I’m hopeful they’re able to put something effective in place.
It’s heartening to see that the bravery of Colette, and the other female analysts who spoke to her, is resulting in real change. It’s up to everyone now to keep the pressure on, and continue making the improvements to equipment, training and behaviour that our female colleagues demand and deserve.
Read more here about Colette’s talk, Female analysts and four-stage clearance testing
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