Added 4 Jul 2022
Last updated 30 Aug 2022

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In 2022, IPAF President Karin Nars launched the 'Women in Powered Access' initiative, inviting women of all ages and different professional roles to share their stories of inclusivity. The initiative includes a number of key actions, including providing a platform to tell the stories of women in powered access in both the media and at industry events. IPAF will also use its own print, web and social media platforms to share these inspirational case studies, and will also continue to invite prominent women speakers to present at IPAF events. IPAF will share a series of case studies at  www.ipaf.org/casestudy to communicate the opportunities our industry offers women. 

Ele Ioannou
Operations Manager, Mr Plant Hire, UK

What is your role in powered access? Company Operations Manager was previously the Powered Access division manager. My role within this PA division now is to ensure we are working too and maintaining the IPAF Rental Plus certification. I still oversee this and will continue to do so. The PA department has 23 members of staff, my role would be to support the manager and guide him through the regulations and legistlations of powered access.  

How did you come into this industry and what attracted you to it? I started my hire industry career 21 years ago but joined the Powered Access industry in 2014, I always saw the PA world as well out of my reach because it was so specialist but always had an interest. I was given an opportunity to join AFI where I learnt all my powered access and gained experience. I knew from the start I was now working in an industry I wanted to develop. 

What do you find inspiring about your role? Making positive change in the industry. Not only working in London servicing some incrediable sites, including hospitals during the COVID pandemic, but being part of the IPAF rental plus scheme, where I become chair of the committee in 2022. This empowers me to make better change not just for our business, but for the industry as a whole. Standardising Safety and excellence in our industry is the goal, uk and worldwide. And developing my colleagues in their own careers. Nothing is more satisfying in seeing someone grow. 

Where do you see yourself in five years and what do you want to achieve? To see all powered access businesses in the UK working to the same minimum standard in safety and compliance and being the bench mark for the rest of the world. On a personal note, I aspire to develop my career to Company Operations Director. 

What one piece of advice would you give to other women in/thinking of entering the industry? Never let your gender get in the way of your ambitions. The majority of the industry maybe male, but that doesn’t mean it's not possible for a woman. Having the courage to stand up and say “ I can be anything I want to be “ and letting your passion drive your career. When you believe in yourself, others will believe in you. I was told once by a school teacher at the age of 16 – you will never be anything when you grow up… from that day the teacher in question gave me the drive to be everything and more.