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Danielle Devlin joined Cubis Systems, manufacturer, designer and suppliers of network access chambers, cable ducting systems and utilities access for infrastructure networks, in a sales role after finishing her International Business Management degree at University of Ulster.

To celebrate International Women's Day, we sat down with Danielle to talk about this year’s theme of #EmbraceEquity, leadership and the importance of allyship.

Tell us about your career journey and any standout moments

I'm part of the business development team in the commercial department. I work across all sectors – energywaterrailtelecomsgeneral infrastructure and electrical vehicles.

As part of my role, I attend project visits to either oversee an installation or to provide a product demonstration. I work with asset owners, designers, and consultants to provide CPD accredited presentations and specification support. My role is to work alongside my colleagues to help provide an integrated solutions strategy, to maximise the benefits of collaboration that will better connect our people, our capabilities and our customers across the businesses and markets we serve.

Something we’ve all become more aware of recently is unconscious gender bias. Have you experienced this in situations with other people and/or indeed yourself?

This is a predominantly male dominated industry. Even though I have received remarks, when it happens I choose to use it as an opportunity to challenge these assumptions, and bring awareness to the biases or stereotypes that can be used to categorise people. Often I do this with a good sense of humour.

How can we encourage more women to pursue new opportunities or leadership roles?

When I had my son Caelan, who has just turned seven years old, and after returning to work from maternity leave, I was offered the position of external sales representative. I was a mother and knew there was travel involved but because I get great support from Cubis Systems and my family, I was able to go for it!.

Our Managing Director, Lenora Moore, was Commercial Manager when I first joined the organisation and to see how she has grown her career at Cubis Systems and within the wider CRH group, that's very empowering. It’s encouraged me to grow not only professionally, but personally too.

How important is it for both men and women to act as allies for other women?

Both men and women absolutely need to advocate for other women. There is research to show that having allies in the workplace increases job satisfaction, can lower generalised anxiety, and creates stronger commitment and loyalty to the employer because allyship creates a work environment of shared empathy and understanding.

Allies can help advocate for all voices to be heard, demonstrate commitment to equity and make sure inclusion is taken seriously.

How could we make Cubis Systems and the wider CRH group more inclusive?

Over the last few years, I've seen so much development. We’re taking progressive steps on our inclusivity journey following the direction of our Inclusion & Diversity Council, who develop inclusion targets as part of our overall business strategy.

From the internal communications we receive and initiatives happening at different sites, I can see this is a real priority across Cubis Systems and CRH. In the future, I’d love to see colleagues offered a specific ‘women in construction’ mentorship programme that could provide an insight into the industry, on the job training and give advice and support on a regular basis.

It’s important to continue emphasising and recognising the need to be inclusive and put it into practice, creating work environments where all employees can speak, be heard and feel welcome.

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