Rising through the ranks in a male-dominated industry
Tori Packman attributes her swift career progression at Knauf UK to the personal development support she has received from the Company. Knauf supported Tori through a Level 3 Diploma and HNC in Construction, and on her upward trajectory to her current role of Project Technical Manager for the South East.
Tori joined Knauf five years ago as a Technical Support Trainee. The role appealed as it included one day a week at college to study for the HNC qualification.
She says, “I’ve never been very academic so I was anxious I might fail, however I enjoyed the course and did really well. I liked the variety of being in the office and going to college.
“My role at Knauf was to support customers and answer their queries by phone and email. I was new to the construction sector and my college course gave me a good depth of knowledge which helped me to understand the customers’ terminology and put their queries into context.”
In a male-dominated industry, Tori was surprised to discover there was an equal split of men and women on her course. She has found this equality to be reflected in the Company also, noting that many senior roles are held by women at Knauf.
After achieving her qualification, Tori was promoted to Specification Executive producing K10 specifications, and providing advice on systems and products. Then, in September last year, she was offered the role of Project Technical Manager for the South East. Tori has even featured in one of the Build for the world we live in videos that show how Knauf products and systems create the homes we live in, the hospitals where we care for our sick, the schools in which we educate our children and the offices in which business operates (as pictured).
Tori is now responsible for ensuring that Knauf systems are installed correctly on site. She makes site visits, answers technical questions and offers solutions for any issues on site installing Knauf systems. She also writes site reports for main contractors and subcontractors throughout the project.
Her previous roles at the Company have provided Tori with a broad knowledge of Knauf systems and the industry itself. Visiting construction sites presents a chance to further develop this knowledge and experience.
The role of Project Technical Manager requires learning on the job. Tori accompanied a Technical Support Instructor for her first site visits to help gain experience on what to look for in terms of installation and compliance which she found really useful. She has been going on site once a week to keep an eye on projects and recently undertook her first unaccompanied site visit.
“I was a bit nervous about my first solo site visit as every other time I’ve been accompanied on site by a male colleague. In the back of my mind I wondered whether I’d be taken seriously because I’m young and female. However, it was fine and everyone was very respectful.
“Maybe the fact that people aren’t surprised when I arrive on site is a sign of positive change, that females getting into the industry is becoming normal,” says Tori.
Tori has really appreciated the level of support at Knauf, from being put through college, to regular training on industry issues, and mentoring from her colleagues and managers.
“Knauf has been very supportive towards my personal development and it’s given me a real confidence boost to know that management think I’m capable of moving up through the ranks. Since joining the Company, I’ve been encouraged to progress my career which is why, I think, my rise up to my current role has been so fast,” comments Tori.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Knauf and see what opportunities are available, visit: https://www.knauf.co.uk/about-us/careers