Celebrating Women Within the Industry

Earlier this year, Katrina O’Connor was honoured when she was asked to speak at the London’s Women in Engineering Group about her personal story and journey that has led her to where she is today as a co-founder & Company Director of SQS with her husband Maurice O’Connor. 

Katrina touched on all the experiences and people, both inside and outside of work that made her the person she is at work today. From working in Barclay’s Bank at the time of a bank robbery where she learned that a true leader steps up in times of danger to demonstrate you have nothing to fear and lead the way, to working at John Lewis where she learned the importance of providing clarity of brand and mission as well as feeling a sense of belonging through uniform and employee recognition.

These were just a couple of the inspiring stories shared by Katrina on the day, whereby she was led by wonderful females who left a lasting impression on her and drove her passion for customer & quality. A mission to raise the standards in the Reinstatement Industry when she set up the business with her husband Maurice from their kitchen table in 1996.

We are proud of our great people with a focus in our home-grown training and development scheme. We have a diverse team of skilled experts in their field. This incudes:

  • 40% women at executive board level
  • 25% of women in functional leader roles
  • 46% of our go to people under current development to step up are women
  • 4 of 6 current trainees carrying out ILM Level 3 management course are females, working towards becoming contract managers
  • Further education across all support functions is also in place, including QS degree, AAT Finance, CIPD, ISO Auditing. 
  • Of 23 people who have been through these courses in the last 10 years 57% are female. In a predominantly male industry, this was not the reality when the business started 27 years ago!

Katrina said “In SQS focusing on People & Customer I found my niche and purpose in life and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey, never taking for granted the people that helped fill my kit bag through real life lessons & experiences. These people helped shape the SQS way, and happen to be great women leaders I will continue to demonstrate my gratitude to them by supporting women where ever I can.

Thank you to my Nanny Peggy, my mum Margaret, Gill Sidwell & Larry Smith, Helen Kelly and Sarah Parry & a big thank you to Jayde, my daughter who is with me today and represents all our customers”

We would like to give a big thank you to the event host London’s Women in Engineering Group HI (LoWEG)which is specifically for women working in highways, engineering, utilities and transport for London. Another big thank you to our valued partners Morrisons and Cadent who sponsored the event. We had a fantastic day meeting amazing women, who we look forward to seeing again at the next event!