Today, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day – an ‘awareness day’ that celebrates the achievements and successes of women around the globe in a bid to help forge a gender equal world.
So before we zipped home from the office on Friday (on our brand new electric scooters we might add!), we sat down with our Interior Design Consultant, Kate Strong, with a cup of tea to hear all about how her career began, and what her top tips would be for young ladies looking to work in this industry…
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE AT RUN PROJECTS?
I work with our clients to ensure that they get the absolute best out of their building project. I review their individual needs and then work to provide functional and creative solutions for them. I tailor my service to each of our client’s requirements, which means I can be working on a whole house or just helping with a specific element, such as the paint scheme. Every project is different which means my role is very varied, which I love.
HOW DID YOUR CAREER BEGIN?
I have always been passionate about home interiors and interior design. My career began in the retail sector as a buyer for homeware. Once I had a family, I was keen to travel less and be more available to my young children. Working in home interiors was a natural progression for me.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL WORKING DAY?
A typical working day may involve meetings in our London office, working from home or site meetings at one of our projects. I tend to complete creative work at home and more of my administrative tasks in the office. I really enjoy being on site, overseeing everything coming together, and working alongside the various specialists and tradesman. I am very fortunate to have flexible working hours which allows me to balance my work with the needs of my family.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING AT RUN PROJECTS?
We are a small supportive and collaborative team. The environment is professional but great fun too. I am supported in my development and progression and feel valued as a team member. I love problem solving and the greatest reward is when the project is complete and we have happy clients.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I am really a skier trapped inside the body of an Interior Design Consultant! I love being in the mountains, whatever the season, but especially in the winter.
WHO IS / ARE YOUR BIGGEST FEMALE ROLE MODEL(S) AND WHY?
My Mother is my biggest and greatest female role model. She worked full time in a profession she adored and didn’t retire until she was well into her 70’s. She encouraged me to pursue a career doing something I enjoyed and was passionate about. She raised us as a single parent, demonstrating that she could do anything she put her mind to, and she still inspires me every day!
HAVE YOU FACED ANY CHALLENGES AS A CAREER WOMAN, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
There is no denying that I work in a male dominated environment and usually find that I am the only female on a building site. At first, I found this intimidating, but as my knowledge and experience has grown, I am more confident and less intimidated.
Initially, I felt disadvantaged returning to work after having taken a career break to raise my young family. Now, I feel fortunate that I was given the opportunity to alter the direction of my career and feel a much greater sense of job satisfaction.
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE YOUNG WOMEN CONSIDERING A CAREER IN INTERIOR DESIGN?
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a career in interior design to young women who are passionate about interiors. The British Institute of Interior Design or BIID is the UK’s professional body and is a great source of information and inspiration.
If you’d like to discuss your building or renovation project please do not hesitate to contact Run Projects: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 384 1160