Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen many great women at Regis make significant contributions to the health and safety measures in our Homes. One such employee is Helen Finlay, our National Manager Infection Control. To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) this week, we highlight Helen’s experiences in breaking down stereotypes as she also shares the key influence in her personal and professional life. When speaking of the significance of IWD, Helen says that “it’s a day to celebrate the achievements of all women around the world who not only strive and achieve great things but are also mothers and carers to the most vulnerable in our communities”.
Outside of the workplace, Helen challenges bias by participating in cub scouts where she is a leader in a “traditionally all-boys organisation”. Helen says that although the “Scout Association has been open to girls and young women for many years, it is still perceived as a boy’s activity. Every year the membership of girls grows, and I am proud to be a role model to young women in scouting who see that you can become anything you wish”. Helen’s attitude carries over into the workplace, where she is a role model for women across the organisation.
When speaking of those who inspired her, Helen says that her mother had the most influence. “She was a pharmacist and was one of only two women in her class of sixty students at university in the 1950s. She worked in a very male-dominated healthcare environment for years as the sole female in the pharmacy and was overlooked for promotion on many occasions in favour of her male colleagues. She always worked harder to overcome sexist obstacles until she was finally promoted to a senior role in a large healthcare organisation just before her retirement. She was never bitter about this, telling me that the same obstacles would not be placed in my way when my time came. She was right!”.
Surrounded by a great team and a managerial role model, Regis has supported Helen throughout her journey with us. When asked, Helen says that Regis “respected me as a woman and a leader. I have had many learning opportunities that have enabled me to succeed in the role I am now in”.
In addressing women within the sector and beyond, Helen says to “be proud to be a woman in healthcare. Look out for your fellow women and help and develop them both professionally and personally, just as someone helped you along the way”. With Helen at the forefront, we can be assured of continuing the remarkable lineage of inspiring women that we have at Regis.
As proud supporters of IWD, we continue to highlight the amazing women that make up the Regis community.