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International Women’s Day – 5 Minutes With Courtney Williams

Author: Lucy Nixon

The pest industry has been characterised as being a male industry in the past however, times are changing for the better, and more and more women are choosing a career in pest control. Whether it be for the flexibility and benefits, because of their passion for helping people and problem-solving, or wanting to care for the environment and protect public health.

As part of Internation Women’s Day, we interviewed one of our female Technicians Courtney Williams to get her take on the industry.

When did you start your career in the pest industry?

I’m relatively new to the industry, I joined the Terminix UK family in Oct 2021 as a Pest Control Technician.

What did you do before you joined Terminix UK?

Before I started my career at Terminix UK, I worked at Tesco in Northampton for 6 years, I was a Customer Services Assistant for 3 years and worked my way up to management as a Shift Leader for the last 3 years.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?

Without a doubt Glenn fuller (Area Support Technician), he’s brilliant! He also has a drive to do things as humanely as possible and he’s always thinking of the environment.

What are your career goals at Terminix?

Eventually, I would like to become an Area Support Technician; I think it’s nice to help people and it’s something I would enjoy alongside the Technician role.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I’m passionate about doing the right thing, and I’m driven to do things as humanely as possible. Situations aren’t always straightforward, and I like to think outside the box. When something needs to be done, I want to do it in the best way for the environment. You should always think about deterring or proofing an area rather than just treating the immediate issue.

What made you decide to choose a career in pest control?

It was my love of keeping poultry! When I started driving, I cried because I thought that I had accidentally run over and killed a rat! It got me thinking, and I realised how much of a risk rats pose to poultry (they can cause injuries and bodily damage). So, I started home trapping to protect my 9 chickens and 5 ducks, and from there I thought it would be a nice career to get into, so I made the move, and I haven’t looked back!

I’m a huge animal lover and as well as my chickens and ducks, I have 13 guinea pigs and 2 rabbits but they live in my house, the rabbits have ownership of my living room, and the ‘guinea pig palace’ is situated in our dining room!

How can we encourage more women to pursue a career in pest control?

By trying to think of environmental factors and the good you can do, try not to be squeamish and deal with challenges head-on or you won’t ever overcome your fears. For example, I used to be scared of spiders but now I don’t mind them and I have overcome that fear, it does become easier. Next, I will be tackling my fear of wasps when wasp season starts in the summer!

As a woman I find the independence of the role so refreshing, as long as the work gets done you manage your own diary it’s pure independence.

What message would you give to women thinking about a career in pest control?

Just go for it!

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

I feel like we need to change the perception many people have about pest control jobs being a man’s job, as a job shouldn’t be gender-specific and just because I am a woman it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do a great job!

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

Always think about the bigger picture and think outside the box try and resolve issues rather than just treating them

Who is the most inspirational woman in your life and why?

My mum! She worked in the care industry for years, but recently changed careers also to a male-dominated industry, working for the council organising building regulations. She is doing brilliantly, and I am very proud of her.

We both changed careers around the same time, so it was great to be able to support each other through the transition!

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