Celebrating women and challenging for change

Gina Rudkin2 BW -choose to challenge

For International Women’s Day, we introduce Gina Rudkin, Head of Waste Compliance & Training Services. One of an elite number of women to become a Fellow of the CIWM shares her thoughts on how male-dominated industries can celebrate and promote women's achievements.

For she's a jolly good fellow

Meet Gina Rudkin, one of an elite number of women to become a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). Gina, shares her experiences of working in a male-dominated profession, and what she enjoys about her career in waste management and sustainability. 

a bit about me

I’m Head of Waste Compliance & Training Services. I manage the Waste Training Academy which delivered over 2200 person hours of training to the ISS UK business in 2019. It helps our contract teams feel more confident in leading conversations with our clients, managing risk and also in achieving their goals. I also regularly audit all kinds of waste facilities from incinerators to hazardous waste recyclers.

My career in waste management and sustainability developed through a natural leaning toward environmental topics. I completed Environmental Science and Business Studies and then moved on to Rural Environment Management. My career started in the hazardous waste sector in 1998 and things progressed onward and upward from there. I have spent a large part of my early career working in industrial settings - from coal fired power stations, manufacturing sites and nuclear facilities. This has provided such diverse learning experiences and opportunities.

the challenges faced by women in traditionally male, industrial environments

There can be challenges for women in largely male dominated industrial environments, but this is definitely changing and it’s wonderful to see more women progressing into STEM roles across many sectors.  

Women I have networked with often don’t feel comfortable saying “look what I achieved, look at the success I’ve had” and bringing attention to themselves, despite their significant achievements and this is something that a supportive peer group of any gender can help to change.

Mentoring can be really useful - not only in the early stages of a career but also for an established professional. I had a wonderful mentor recently via CIWM Mentoring service who reminded me that all the work I do to train others (content development, digesting and interpreting legislative changes etc) is also continual development of my own knowledge and expertise. 

a bright future

It’s an exciting time in Waste and Sustainability

We see the coalition of previously separate narratives on environmental impacts, circular economy, carbon and net zero, social value, climate change, biodiversity loss. There’s growing recognition that so many environmental challenges are inextricably interlinked. 

The next five years promise significant developments in policy, data use, technology and metrics. This means that waste and sustainability sectors will make great strides in their own carbon impacts, whilst having huge potential to positively support and influence product and service lifecycle impact at all stages in the value chain.

As a trainer, it’s really satisfying to play a part in embedding knowledge, skills and competences in our teams to empower our people to deliver compliant, innovative and sustainable waste management services. This ultimately helps to improve our impact on the planet. 


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