Overcoming gender stereotypes – Amy Lister’s journey from industry novice to award winning professional

Overcoming gender stereotypes – Amy Lister’s journey from industry novice to award winning professional

As the electrical industry continues its attempts at redressing the gender imbalance, PE talks to Amy Lister of Goodridge Electrical Contractors to learn more about her path from industry novice to award winning professional.

Q. What made you decide to pursue a career in the electrical sector?

At 36, having worked my way up to a management position with a well-known convenience store retailer since I was 18 years old, I decided it was time for a change. As I looked ahead I realised I didn’t want to be in food retail all of my working life, so if I was going to change that situation it had to be now. I believe my career path choice is influenced by the fact my Dad has always been in a trade and helping him with jobs at home when I was growing up. Two of my older brothers are also experienced trade professionals, so I think it came natural to me that this was the way to go. It’s a secure industry to be a part of as consumers and businesses will always need electricity.

Q. How did you get started on your electrical industry career path and what progress have you made with your current employer?

I started an evening course for two nights a week while still working in my previous job, to see if it really was something that I wanted to do and, after completing a year, I knew that this is where I wanted to be. I decided to write a letter to some prospective employers explaining a bit about myself – that I had no experience and no idea about apprenticeships but that I wanted to take this path if someone was open to giving me an opportunity.

Having sent the letter to 75 local electricians, I received a handful of responses that all said ‘no’, apart from one from Steve Goodridge of Goodridge Electrical Contractors, based in Herefordshire. At the time, it was only Steve working in the business and he didn’t have an office to speak of, so I met Steve and his wife Laura, who are both Directors of the company, in a supermarket coffee shop. They went away and did some research into adult apprenticeships and soon found some support from JTL. They were then able offer me a position with a decent living wage for an adult with a mortgage, so I snapped up the opportunity.

During my apprenticeship, the company was able to grow and we took on more experienced electricians as well as other apprentices. I’ve since been promoted to Electrical Supervisor, so I play a part in the running of the business and the supervision of the other electricians and apprentices. I’ve gained other qualifications, such as C&G 2391 and C&G 2919, which the business has funded, and I’ve also achieved NICEIC Qualified Supervisor status and Competent Person status at the hospital we work at.

Q. What aspects of your work do you enjoy most?

I love doing installation work as you can see the end result and can take satisfaction from that. Interestingly I enjoy domestic work (which I know a lot of electricians would say the opposite), and it’s a great feeling to know that you’ve helped improve a customer’s home or their quality of life. Being in management for almost all of my adult life, naturally I enjoy the leadership side of my role and getting stuck in with the lads on a job so we achieve a good day’s work.

Q. Tell us more about your recent JTL award win. What was involved with the application and how did you feel when it was announced you had won?

I had a phone call from my JTL assessor asking if it was ok to nominate me for a regional electrical award for the western region, and I was more than happy to agree. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t really think about it too much after that. Then, one day I was driving home from work when an email came through to say that I’d won. After Steve jokingly called to ask what I was going to buy him with my prize money, I rang my parents and they were very proud, as were Steve and Laura.

Q. In what is traditionally a male-dominated sector, have you come across gender stereotyping and, if so, how have you overcome this?

I’ve not had a single negative experience. When I go into people’s homes they’re often surprised to see a female electrician, but everyone is always really supportive. It’s really helped us as a company as we do a lot of work in hospitals and having a female worker like myself seems to put people at ease, especially when working on the maternity and women’s health wards where the patients are females.

  • Amy Labeling up sockets
  • Amy Wiring a Motor Starter at a Poultry Site

Q. What are your career aspirations for the future?

I’d like to continue my development by undertaking as much training as possible and aim to increase my knowledge around site supervisory roles and leadership by eventually completing the C&G 2396. I see myself continuing in my supervisor role for a few years and, if the company continues to grow, perhaps into a further management role.

Q. Do you plan to put your experience to use with helping other females to feel confident entering the sector?

What advice would you give to those who may be considering it as a career option? Yes, I’m extremely keen to encourage other females to get into the industry and would advise any interested parties to go for it and not be afraid to do so. It is a very rewarding experience to be part of something that is different to the norm. Steve and I are currently arranging for me to visit some schools and colleges to speak to the students and encourage them to break through the stereotypes of the traditional career paths that are recommended to them. Choosing to become an electrician is the best decision I’ve ever made, and it’s never too late to make that choice.

  • Amy Installing a Earth Rod
  • Amy Working Outside



Since she joined the business Amy has consistently risen to every challenge she has faced and has always given her best effort. She has displayed a positive attitude, never once expressing doubt or an inability to complete any task assigned to her. Her impressive performance has not gone unnoticed.

During our last NICEIC assessment, she caught the attention of the assessors, and they were impressed with her work and knowledge, resulting in her being recently appointed as one of our Qualified Supervisors (QS) which is a testament to her hard work and dedication. We also carry out significant levels of work for our local hospital where she has obtained CP status (Competent Persons) under the Electrical HTM (Health Technical Memoranda). Amy passed an assessment with the site Electrical (AP) Appointed Person and the off-site AE (Authorised Engineer).

It’s crucial to overcome gender stereotypes and encourage more females to enter the electrical trade for several reasons. Firstly, it will help to address the reported shortage of electrical professionals in the coming years. By tapping into the underrepresented talent pool of women, the industry can increase the number of qualified professionals and meet the growing demand for electrical services.

Secondly, gender diversity in the electrical trade can bring a range of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table. Studies have shown that diverse teams outperform homogeneous teams, leading to better problem-solving, innovation, and decision-making.

By limiting your hiring pool to one gender, you may miss out on talented and skilled individuals who can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your business. Moreover, promoting diversity and gender equality is not just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Studies have shown that companies with more diverse workforces tend to have higher levels of innovation and profitability.

Steve Goodridge,
Goodridge Electrical Contractors

For more information about Goodridge Electrical Contractors, click here

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