Celebrating International Women's Day

Sally Lickley helps IACS celebrate International Women's Day (IWD) by sharing her journey and detailing why women should be considering and embracing opportunities within our exciting, innovative industry.

Exciting, Innovative Industry

Sally Lickley from Cardiff has worked within the Pipeline Industry for almost 17 years. She started her career as a Coatings Inspector.

Today Sally specialises in pipeline inspection. She has been consulting for the last 15 years through IACS, who are also supporting Sally to become a multi-skilled inspector - helping her to reach her ambition of becoming one of the UK’s first Female Senior Pipeline Inspectors.

Sally recalls her first job, back in 2007:

“My first role was as a Coatings Inspector; I was on a large project in South Wales and really enjoyed it.

“I was attracted to the role by the simple fact that it was different from anything I’d done before. I was also working on a large national gas infrastructure; it was a significant project in both size and importance – this made it really exciting, and it was a project that felt good to be a part of.

“During my career I have met just a handful of female inspectors, but usually on larger projects. Traditionally they hold Agricultural and Environmental Inspector roles, but occasionally I come across a Coatings Inspector too.”

“There are very few females operating in this environment. Traditional narratives about the kind of jobs that are available to women would have ruled out this role as an option, things are changing. Our industry is upping its game and attitudes are altering as we focus on skills and aptitude for work rather than the assumption about roles.

Supporting International Women's Day

“It is one of the reasons why I am proud to be supporting International Women’s Day.

“It’s my hope that my experience can support the notion that anyone can consider this role and in doing so have a fulfilling career.”

“Diversity and inclusion are good for business and industries. They provide you with a workforce that has a greater breadth and depth of skills and life experiences. 

“I've never believed that your gender should be a barrier to following your aspirations. I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to work in this industry and I'm looking forward to working alongside all the IACS apprentices, as they develop through their pipeline inspector apprenticeship and having more female colleagues to network with, in the future.”

Inspiring a whole new generation

IACS’ goal is to develop the next generation of pipeline inspectors, helping to fill the critical skills gap that is being experienced as we transition to green energy. The company’s vision is to offer a diverse team of inspectors in support of an inclusive industry.

Sally comments on the role, and why this can inspire a whole new generation:

“A Pipeline Inspector is a varied role. You get to work on different types of projects. I've travelled all over the UK and Ireland with my work. I love working outdoors and getting to see beautiful parts of the country. 

“For those interested in a career in this industry, I would say that it’s certainly an exciting and innovative environment to work in. You do need to be prepared to work away from home on a regular basis. It can involve long hours, and working outdoors often means you are in challenging conditions. There's also a high level of responsibility attached to the role but it can be very rewarding for the right people.”