Spotlight on Lisa Harber, Proposals and Marketing Coordinator

When Lisa started temping as an administrator for Scitech, she was looking for a stress-free part-time job that gave her the work / life balance she craved. Yet less than two years later, she is fulfilling her career ambitions once again in an exciting role thanks to the flexible working arrangements and supportive family friendly Scitech culture. Here’s her story.

“As a working mum, I had the conundrum that many face of whether to continue in a stressful job, juggling motherhood, home life and my career,” Lisa explains. “The right decision for me, and my family, was to leave my position as a Senior PA at a London-based construction firm and find a part time role. This gave me precious time with my son but kept my hand in working within the engineering and construction sector.”

Flexible working

Lisa joined Scitech as an administrator in a temporary role, supporting Scitech’s receptionist and the wider administration team at the head office in Godalming. “I was able to work part-time around my son’s school hours, which was perfect. The team at Scitech were lovely, and although we still had busy periods where everyone had to pull together on projects, it was a great fit for me at that time. Even though I was just a temp, I was made to feel a part of the team and was always included in the social events and Christmas party.”

Before long, it became obvious that Lisa was a great asset to Scitech and was offered a permanent role. “Dave, the Managing Director, used to joke to me that I would be a permanent fixture in the Scitech team before long. I always laughed this off and said that I just wanted a part-time job to fit around the other priorities in my life. He was right in the end.”

An opportunity arose for Lisa to take on a role supporting Scitech’s business development and sales team as a Proposals and Marketing Coordinator. Lisa gradually increased her hours and is now happy to be working full time once again. This was made possible due to Scitech understanding of the demands on working parents. By offering Lisa flexibility in her role, she has been able to get the balance right for her and her family; it’s a win/win for everyone.

Women at Scitech

Some of the flexible working benefits offered at Scitech have been introduced as a result of suggestions made during its ‘Women at Scitech’ group – a support network launched to make sure it meets the unique needs of its female colleagues and guarantee that their voices are heard.

“The Women at Scitech group is fantastic. It has grown in size and scope during the time I have worked for Scitech. We discuss all sorts of things during the sessions from women’s health and menopause to attracting women to engineering and construction careers and improving working life for women. As a result of discussions, we’ve had training about unconscious bias in the workplace and gender bias in recruitment. We’ve also made suggestions which have been implemented, such as enhanced maternity and paternity pay and paid time off for family emergencies.”

Lisa is happy now to be back in full time employment and continuing to pursue her career aspirations. She explains: “Scitech is very good at identifying people’s strengths and placing them in roles to suit this. The team became aware that I had experience coordinating bid proposals and so I was asked if I wanted to take on a proposals and marketing role. I had always enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with working with different teams to pull together proposals. I love the feeling of satisfaction when you learn that a bid has been successful.”

Professional development

She is now undertaking training to develop her marketing skills, working closely with Scitech’s Sales Manager. “This is a new area for me, but I am already enjoying supporting the team with event attendance and other business development activities. I’m really looking forward to gaining professional qualifications in this area and have already signed up to a Chartered Institute of Marketing course.”

Reflecting on her career, Lisa says: “I was worried about taking a step back at work, but it has been beneficial for me and my career. I am very happy in my new role and am lucky to have found a company with great work-life balance and family values.”

● Find out more about careers at Scitech.
● Read other articles from our Spotlight series:
○ Jack O’Toole: Mechanical Equipment Engineer
○ Biva Mathias: Senior Mechanical Building Services Engineer
○ Jens Dekeyser: Project Manager

Scitech wellbeing campaign to promote Mental Health Awareness Week

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, our team of Wellbeing Champions planned a week-long campaign aimed at offering practical tips and advice to promote good mental health among our staff members.

Throughout this week, colleagues across Scitech have received a daily email, each focusing on how anxiety can affect people’s mental health in different ways and providing practical advice. There was also a special “Lunch and Listen” event where two of our colleagues bravely shared their personal stories about their mental health challenges. This session aimed to create a safe and supportive environment for open conversations about mental health struggles and to encourage empathy and understanding among our colleagues.

Employee wellbeing

The week’s activities build on our robust wellbeing programme, which ensures we offer timely support for the various factors that can affect mental health. We understand the crucial role that managers play in supporting their teams through challenges such as bereavement, cancer, sickness absence, and mental health issues. To facilitate this, we provide training for our managers, equipping them with the necessary skills to approach these topics sensitively and in a fair and consistent manner.

Moreover, we understand that some employees may not feel comfortable confiding in their managers. To address this concern, we established a team of Wellbeing Champions who are Mental Health First Aid trained who can signpost support to those in need.

To further enhance the support available to our employees, we offer an Employee Assistance Programme that provides counselling and advice on a range of issues. This includes parenting, work matters, and debt management. The comprehensive programme ensures that our employees have access to professional assistance when they require it most.

Prioritising mental health

By launching this campaign and implementing a range of support initiatives, we aim to actively foster a culture that prioritises mental health and well-being. Emma Dawas, HR Manager, said: “At Scitech, we believe that our employees’ well-being is of utmost importance. We understand that mental health is a critical aspect of overall wellness, and we are committed to providing our colleagues with the necessary support and resources. Through initiatives like our “Lunch and Listen” session and our comprehensive wellbeing programme, we aim to create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels supported. We want our employees to know that their mental health matters, and we are here to help them navigate any challenges they may face. Together, we can foster a culture of empathy, understanding, and wellbeing within our organisation.”