TSG encourages diversity in the workplace

Gender diversity in the energy and fuel sector is vital for driving more innovative and inclusive solutions to prepare for the transition to greener energy across the UK. This sector is widely regarded as one of the least gender-diverse parts of the economy, but TSG has shifted the dial by drawing on all talents, to ensure it has the infrastructure in place to be able to support a more ecologically sound energy supply chain.

With the change in direction to delivering new energies and enhanced technology, now is the time for the fuel industry to capitalise on the opportunities it can provide to potential employees and focus on attracting and retaining female talent.

To demonstrate how successful women in the energy and fuel sector can be, we spoke to two female directors of TSG about their experience of the company and the industry as a whole.

Jacqueline Davies - TSG’s Projects Director

Jacqueline Davies is TSG’s Projects Director and had worked in the fuel and construction industry for over 20 years, before joining TSG UK in March of 2020.

After spending time at University as a mature student, Jacqueline’s career began with a fuel tank manufacturer as an administrator, which, with a young family to nurture, was the perfect start for her in the industry. Supported by her employer, Jacqueline continued her learning through courses and gaining experience inside the company and was soon promoted to the management team, followed by a director role in 2008, within eight years of joining. This in itself was an amazing achievement, as in years gone by, it certainly wasn’t considered the norm for women to excel in such a male-dominated world. Thankfully, attitudes have changed in recent times and changed for the better.

Jacqueline’s level of industry experience, coupled with her candid and transparent way of working, prompted the managing director of TSG UK to invite her to join the senior management team.

We asked Jacqueline:

Q: What does it mean to be part of TSG UK?

A: “TSG is an international company that is respected and recognised as a leader in many aspects of the fuel industry. My role not only offers exciting challenges and opportunities for my own growth but also to lead and encourage the personal development and skills of the teams that work with me.”

Jacqueline believes that staff retention is critical to business success and went on to say; “Building trust through transparency is the key to a people-first culture, creating a positive and secure working environment, where employees feel valued, supported and respected.”

Q: What do you like about working for TSG UK?

A: “I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie within the team, working together across all disciplines towards a common goal. I am able to call on others for support and understanding in new ventures, to help sustain the incredible growth, innovation and development of the company. Since joining TSG UK, I have been supported by the senior management team and empowered by the managing director to make operational decisions for my area of responsibility, and also to contribute towards the bigger picture of the business.”

Q: What do you want to achieve while at TSG UK?

A: “I want to achieve a safe, cohesive operating environment for all who work here, empowering and leading employees to fulfil their own goals, attain job satisfaction, maintain a healthy work-life balance and have pride in the contribution they make.”

Q: What does it mean to you to be a woman in an industry which is traditionally perceived to be male dominated?

A: “In all honesty, I do not think of myself as a woman in a man’s world, I believe that the nature-nurture debate, although still apparent, is less obvious than it was 20 years ago and women in this industry are now being recognized for the valuable contribution they are able to make.”

Despite recognising that there is currently a balance difference in all industries, with typically gender-stereotyped jobs, Jacqueline believes that the opportunities are there for women who want to make a difference, commenting: “I work with some amazing people, both male and female, who all bring unique, non-gender-specific qualities to the company. I think that if people are gender-conscious, whether male or female, then this can inhibit career progress and lead to apathy.”

Jacqueline’s final poignant message for women out there wishing to challenge  gender trends:

“Don’t think of yourself as a woman in a man’s world, have the confidence and self-belief to follow your own path with conviction, being a woman is only relevant if it matters to you…”

Michelle Machesney, EV (Electric Vehicle) Solutions Director at TSG

Our second and final interview is with Michelle Machesney, EV (Electric Vehicle) Solutions Director at TSG and Chair of the PEIMF (Petroleum Equipment Installers and Maintenance Federation).

Michelle began her career in the fuel industry at Fairbanks Environmental in 2004, as an audit manager, responsible for the day-to-day management of a sixteen-strong team of on-site service engineers and nine office staff. Her talents were recognised and rewarded by the Fairbanks leadership team and promotion to operations director soon followed.

After ten years with the Skelmersdale business, Michelle was asked to make the move to Tokheim (a major shareholder in Fairbanks) and take on the role of business development director, with the responsibility for building strong client relationships and growing the Tokheim brand within the UK and Ireland.

In September 2016, a division in the Tokheim empire saw TSG split away from its parent company and change its name from Tokheim Services Group to TSG UK – meaning a change of role for Michelle to TSG UK sales/business development director. In 2019, the exponential growth in interest for new energies prompted Michelle to take on the exciting challenge of establishing and developing EV charging solutions sales and operations across the UK, as TSG UK’s EV solutions director.

In addition, in 2018 Michelle took on the esteemed role of Chair of the PEIMF, which is a non-profit making organisation that represents companies in the downstream petroleum industry, throughout the UK and Ireland.

Here is what Michelle had to say:

Q: How does TSG UK empower you professionally?

A: TSG UK allows an entrepreneurial approach to how each individual director manages the seven separate business lines. I am encouraged to seek out new opportunities that will add value to the EV charging solutions division, as well as contribute to the wider business.

Q: Do you consider TSG UK to be a progressive business?

A: “Absolutely, TSG UK is continually looking for new avenues to expand its business lines and demonstrates a natural vision for future progression. As an example, I felt extremely honoured to be offered the opportunity to introduce and advance a brand new initiative for TSG UK,  in the electric vehicle charge solutions sector. I work alongside some exceptionally talented colleagues, who like me, find it refreshing to work for a business that is so committed to investment, growth and innovation.”

Q: What are your goals for the year ahead?

A:  “My total focus is to see TSG UK’s EV charging solutions business line flourish and to strengthen our foothold in the marketplace. I am very passionate about our solutions and with the dramatic increase in electric vehicles on UK roads, the opportunity for growth in this sector is phenomenal. I will continue to drive the business forward and provide a first-class service to our customers.”

Q: What does it mean to you to be a woman in an industry which is traditionally perceived to be male dominated?

A: “I have worked in the energy and fuel sector for over 17 years now, and when I first joined I realised just how few women had chosen the same career path as me, let alone made it into senior positions.”

Whilst Michelle recognised that she was in the minority group, it didn’t stop her from concentrating on her own career and being the best that she could be. Michelle says: “To be honest, I have never focussed on anything other than my work and progression. It has never been about being a woman in a man’s world, it was simply about having the confidence in my abilities to deliver in the many challenging roles that I have been privileged to occupy.

Things have changed significantly over the years and many more smart and very capable women have joined the industry, offering a different and valued approach to helping businesses progress.”

Michelle leaves us with her final thoughts on the subject by saying: “For all women who are considering a career in an industry that is perceived to be male-orientated, I would say go for it. Don’t focus on the numbers of men v women in a business, focus on the opportunity available to you and how much you can learn in the role. In truth, a person’s gender has no bearing on their capabilities and aptitude to succeed, what matters is the contribution you can make to the company and the satisfaction you will achieve in a job well done”

To summarise, it is very clear that TSG believes in taking a proactive, measurable approach to increase diversity in its workforce and to normalise the presence of women in senior positions throughout the company; a strategy that is undoubtedly gaining traction in the energy and fuel sector.

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