Equality of opportunity for everyone is essential for businesses to thrive. For 2019 International Woman’s Day, Marina Merlin shares what #balanceforbetter means to her.
Introduce yourself for us
My name is Marina Merlin and I am a Project Surveyor for Wates Construction North West, currently working on Cumbrian projects.
How long have you been in your current role?
I have been at Wates for just over 3 years.
What brought you to Wates?
I had been at my previous company for over 14 years and things were getting a bit jaded. It was a big change for me so I was looking for a stable, strong yet challenging environment to further my career and Wates was the perfect candidate.
What advice would you give to women entering the industry?
I would say well done! You have just joined a wonderfully exciting and equally rewarding industry. Work hard, learn your trade, be fair but firm and be ready to learn something new on a daily basis! I would also say that parts of the industry are in need of improvements – be part of it, your chance to shine!
Who are your role models?
My very first boss in the industry was a lovely lady called Laura Hewitt and she definitely makes it on the list – when I started working for her, I remember thinking if I can ever be as strong, confident, knowledgeable and genuinely likeable as she is, I will have made it! She has been the firm foundation for my career and ethics and her influence still resonates some 14 years later!
My auntie Annie is also one – growing up in France, I was in awe of her. She was the perfect wife, mum and had a great career she enjoyed. She is now retired and suffering from a degenerative disease and it is so sad to see how much of her seems to have been lost every time I visit. She is still my hero though, and certainly reminds me to enjoy life every single day and take nothing for granted.
This year the theme of International Women’s Day is Balance for Better. What does this mean for you personally?
To me, balance for better means creating environments whereby diversity and equality, whether in terms of race, gender or sexuality, actually improves our lives, economy and society by providing fully considered outcomes. A bit like a full fat cake rather than a “light” one, all ingredients are considered, the more the merrier!