SELECT salutes Member firm RS Merriman in special film to celebrate International Women’s Day 

Female staff from a SELECT Member firm are the stars of a special new film which has been released by the association to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).

Launched on the eve of the global event on 8 March, the video showcases the achievements of Orkney-based RS Merriman, who employ four female professionals in the front line of the electrical industry.

Entitled Inspiring Inclusion, and available to view on SELECT’s YouTube channel, the film shows the quartet discussing why they decided to get into the sector and hears how much being a part of the electrical future means to them

Qualified electrician and former Scottish Apprentice of the Year Melanie Smith reveals why she became involved in a traditionally male-dominated industry, telling viewers: “I grew up on a farm and I wanted to be doing something outdoors and something with my hands. I just love that every day is different, going outside and doing different things.”

Fellow RS Merriman spark Charlotte Jarvis also explains her reasons for taking up the tools, adding: “I also wanted a job that was out and about. I get to see all of Orkney this way, doing trips to the isles and everything, instead of being stuck in an office. I like actually making something instead of just sending emails all day.”

Apprentice Shaynee Moar also appears in the film, revealing: “I’m quite a practical person. I like problem-solving and fiddly things, so I thought that maybe being an electrician would suit me. I really, really enjoy it.”

And Sadie Merriman also discusses her own career journey, which has seen her rise from electrician to Contracts Manager, adding: “I had a bit of an epiphany one day and thought, ‘Why don’t I do an apprenticeship with the family company?’ For quite a number of years I was the only female in the electrical trade in Orkney.”

The video was shot on location in Orkney in early February, with a film crew following Melanie, Charlotte and Shaynee as they worked in several locations, and interviewing Sadie in the company’s head office at Stromness.

Alan Wilson, SELECT Managing Director, said: “We’d like to thank RS Merriman and their staff for taking the time out of their busy schedule to participate in this special video.

“International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and we are pleased to highlight a progressive member company which is putting these aims into practical effect.

“The electrical sector in Scotland is committed to fair work for all and we applaud firms such as RS Merriman who are taking positive steps in the right direction and striving to become a shining light of quality and inclusion.

“However, we all have a part to play and the wider industry would do well to follow its example and aim towards a working environment in which it is unremarkable that women play a full and professional part.”

Produced in partnership with the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) and Unite the Union, the video also coincided with Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which ends on Friday March 8.

Fiona Harper, Director of Employment and Skills at SELECT and The Secretary of the SJIB, said: “As well as celebrating the role of women, this video also emphasise the importance of training and how the industry is getting our apprentices ready to take on the challenges of renewable installation and the transition to net zero.

“Apprentices like Shaynee are the future of the industry and, during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we hope to encourage many more of them to consider an electrical apprenticeship as a rewarding career option.”