Added 18 Oct 2022
Last updated 15 Nov 2022

Resource also available in:

As part of IPAF’s Women in Powered Access initiative, we are sharing the stories of women in a range of different professional roles across the industry worldwide.

Debbie Lewis
IPAF Independent Instructor, UK

What is your role in powered access? I am an IPAF Independent Instructor/Examiner.

How did you come into this industry, and what attracted you to it? I began my career in a large distribution centre for a well-known supermarket chain. I gained experience and knowledge on different types of materials handling equipment and further developed my knowledge and skills to become a training instructor in 2000. Through this I realised that one of my key strengths was to be able teach other people to operate different types of machinery. Debbie Lewis - WiPA image

What do you find inspiring about your role? I try my best each day to give my training delegates confidence through gaining a qualification that helps them in their workplace. I also enjoy helping them overcome their fear of heights and try to make the day as enjoyable as possible for them – it’s very rewarding seeing people achieve something that they thought they couldn’t do.

Where do you see yourself in five years, and what do you want to achieve? I have worked hard to gain qualifications and experience on many different types of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and my aim is to continue to improve my knowledge and skills in this industry

What one piece of advice would you give to other women in/thinking of entering the industry? This is a very rewarding job and there are lots of opportunities to gain new skills and pass this knowledge on to your training delegates. Every day is different – no two days are the same!

If you have good communication skills and enjoy meeting lots of different types of people, then this is an excellent career choice. Don’t think this is not a role for you, it is suitable and rewarding for either a man or woman. If you can work on your initiative and communicate well with people, then give it a go! I love my job and look forward to every day – yes, some days can be challenging, but the support is out there if you need it.

Calling women in powered access
As part of IPAF's Women in Powered Access Initiative, we invite those from all stratas and sectors of the industry to share their stories to inspire and help shape the careers of others. If you or someone you know would like to share their insights, please let us know by clicking below.