International Women's Day: Janet Fairhurst

“HR was never really a career that I had thought about but considering that I have now worked in this capacity for 40 years, I think it’s safe to say that this is now my chosen vocation! During this time, the role has changed beyond recognition and there is so much more legislation nowadays, which everyone will tell you has both its positives and negatives.

“There is also much more focus from all companies towards employee wellbeing in recent years, which is long overdue and absolutely fantastic. At the start of my career, mental health awareness was just something that was not on the agenda but from my background working with Remploy for five years, this is something that I have always been passionate about and I am thankful that everyone is so much more understanding now of the role that our work plays in this.

Jan square“When I initially joined CET in July 2018 it was on a Fixed-Term Contract with a remit to put in place the required templates and policies in order to keep the business compliant, and I have been kept busy ever since! That is definitely the way I like it and, although it has been a lot of hard work, I am proud that from an HR perspective the company is now more compliant that it has ever been.

“Throughout my career I have never felt that there was a barrier to my progression because of my gender and I am now at exactly the level that I want to be at. I see myself very much as a ‘do-er’ and I feel like I have been fully supported by CET in my quest to reach the level of seniority that I wanted to reach. I wanted to develop great relationships amongst my colleagues and be appreciated for the job that I do, which I feel that I am. I have never had any aspirations to become a director but I am pleased to see other senior females within CET flourish, whether they have been with our business for a number of years or whether they are new recruits, such as Sid Khanim who has recently joined as Head of Complaints (Customer Relations) and Governance.

“Although we have implemented a lot of positive changes during my time with the business, we continue to look for new ways in which we help to establish CET as an employer of choice. We have introduced benefits for all CET employees such as Perkbox and the BUPA Wellbeing Cash Plan, whist we offer enhanced maternity and paternity leave and we do not discriminate against age, as all of our staff of the same level are paid the same. However, there is much more that I would like to do to make CET the best employer we can possibly be, for example, at previous organisations that I have worked at the Investors in People (IiP) accreditation has been something that has been a source of immense pride. I would love for CET to be recognised in this way and this is something that we are actively working towards.”