Gillian Rutter elected first female chair of tower industry bodyFor the first time in its 43-year history, (PASMA) Prefabricated access suppliers and manufacturers assoication, the international not-for-profit body representing the mobile access tower industry, has a woman as its chair of Council. Gillian took over from Carl Evans at the association’s recent Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) in Warwickshire.
Gillian, 46, is a keen advocate of encouraging more women into the access industry and is thought to be the first woman ever to be elected to a similar post at any of the major UK work at height associations and federations.
A member of PASMA's governing body since 1988 and the association’s specialist Hire & Assembly committee since 2013, Gillian has been a life-long member of the association and was one of the first women to successfully complete PASMA’s industry standard ‘Towers for Users’ training course, aged just 17.
Gillian joined scaffolding company Stephens and Carter straight from school in 1988 and was quickly promoted to the job of hire controller. Two years later she moved to an east London-based tower specialist where she spent the next 25 years helping to grow the business, latterly as managing director.
PASMA's chair now owns and runs Skyward Access Training, an accredited PASMA Training Centre which is based in Harold Wood, Romford, Essex. Gillian is also a director of Hire Access Limited, a Hirer/Dealer and Hire & Assembly member of the association that operates across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Commented Gillian: “As a fully qualified PASMA training instructor myself, I know and understand towers and speak the language. All my career has been devoted to height safety in general and tower safety in particular, and I hope to put this knowledge and experience to good use during my term of office.”
“Everyone thinks of PASMA as a training provider, but it’s much more than that. Through Council and its various committees, it contributes to the development of national and international standards, publishes guidance, promotes good practice and offers advice and information with the aim of keeping people safe.”
“We want everyone to be safe, especially while working at height. If everyone goes home after a day’s work, then it’s a good day - that’s the message that I aim to advocate.”
“I also plan to encourage more women into the work at height industry. Building towers is not about muscle, it’s about experience, knowledge and training. Anything that gets more women trained and into the industry has to be a good thing.”
PASMA's managing director, Peter Bennett, is delighted to welcome Gillian Rutter as the association’s new chair of Council: “Her lifelong involvement and understanding of the industry will be a tremendous asset to PASMA, as will her passion for serving the membership and advancing height safety.”