Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day! Within Handsfree Group we have so many incredible, talented women who we would like to say a massive thank you too today!

We managed to catch up with a few of our women and here is what they had to say –

Meet Dee Keenan , Dee has been with Handsfree Group for 5 years in her role as Technical Support.

Q. What made you choose a career in Tech?

A. Quite by accident. I never like saying “I don’t know”, so I went and found out the answer to customer questions. Before too long I knew as much as the companies existing Tech Team and the role became mine. The rest (as they say) is history.

Q. Which woman either currently or in history inspires you the most and why?

A. MARGARET THATCHER – She just didn’t let being a woman stop her doing what the men did.

Q. If you could go back, what advice would you give to you as a 16-year-old girl?

A. Learn how to do Plumbing or Electrics

Q. As a key member of the Handsfree Group TECh team, tell us what drives you within your career?

A. I just love logic puzzles, and that is mostly what Tech Work is.

Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

A. POMPEII – I would love to see the preserved era for myself

Q. Would you rather –

Snuggle up reading your favourite book

Go out for a lovely meal with nice company

Dance the night away at a music festival or gig

Settle in to watch your favourite box set or movie

A. Snuggle up reading my favourite book

Thank you Dee

Meet Jenny Melling, Regional Sales Executive Jenny has been with Handsfree Group for 2 years.

Q. Which woman either currently or in history inspires you the most and why?

A. Two people immediately come to mind when I think of inspiring women.  One is Katie Piper, to have experienced such horrific ordeal and come out the other side, such a brave and beautiful woman. And Michelle Roberts, Marketing Director at BMW.  I went to school with Michelle, we sat together in some classes and it was always evident she was would go on to great things, to see someone I grew up with become such a fantastic role model and be involved in ground-breaking projects is heart-warming, to see this from real people that were close to me

Q. Who would play Jenny Melling in a movie about your life and why?

A. Julia Roberts – I’m a cross between Erin Brockovich and Vivian Ward … so she could play me too….. or maybe Lindsey Lohan

Q. If you could go back, what advice would you give to yourself as a 16-year-old girl?

A. Believe in yourself more, you really do have the ability to be the best at what you do, just because you were not the most popular at school now, or the prettiest, or the most intelligent that does not forecast for the rest of your life.  You can be whoever you want to be.  That and if you think at 16 you were lost because you didn’t know what you wanted to do…. Good luck girl because you won’t at 36 either, but that’s ok.

Q. As a key member of the Handsfree Group Sales team, tell us what drives you in your career?

A. Happiness and not knowing what is around the corner.  The great thing with my job is I get to meet a lot of different people from various walks of life, so I get to be social, I love that people come back to me because they know they can rely on me, there is a certain amount of satisfaction to that.  From a young age I have worked in male dominated industries, I kinda like proving people wrong and not being what people expect, I thrive on being the best at what I do, and I will keep learning, because I have a long until I reach that goal in this team.  But I will keep going

Q. You can keep two, which would you choose?

Netflix, the gym, Peterborough United, sweeties/chocolates, holidays, your car, doggies or alcohol

A. No question at all.  The Mighty Posh – Peterborough United – We’re going up up up and my little sausage dog – Elrow.

Thank you Jenny

Meet Claire Andrew, a new member to the Handsfree Group team, Claire joined in October 2020 as HR Manager.

Q. Which woman either currently or in history inspires you the most and why?

A. There are many inspirational women around the world, I get my energy from those around me, so to answer the question which woman either currently or in history inspires you the most I would have to say my grandma – she was bombed out of her home in Birmingham during WW2, became a single parent early in her marriage.  She was not afraid to speak out, didn’t suffer for fools or gossip, had massively high standards in all areas of her life and lived independently to the ripe old age of 100 maintaining her lightening quick wit right to the end. What she lacked in empathy she made up for with both her resilience, honesty,  humour and her ability to challenge.  A women definitely born in the wrong time. 

Q. What do you enjoy the most about your job role within Handsfree Group?

A. I love the spirit of continuous improvement at Handsfree which translates so effectively into HR as ‘how to make things better’ whether we’re talking about, recruiting talent, developing talent, looking at new HR tech tools or making HR processes more efficient.   Handsfree is always looking at raising the bar and taking people and processes to the next level, and that what I enjoy about my role at here.

Q. What drives you in your career? 

A. Connecting with others – aside from the friendships I’ve formed, I find that I am constantly inspired by colleagues and people around me.

Q. If you could go back and give a 16 year old you some advice what would that be? 

A. Run to what scares you, don’t let your fears limit your effectiveness

Q. A movie all about your life is being produced, who would play you and why?

A.  Don’t know but I can tell you what I wanted to be when I was a child ????  I’d have loved to have had the role of Anika Rice in Treasure Hunt.  The combination of, at the time, breaking technology i.e. helicopters and radios, combined with studio contestants, maps, and clue solving, all against the clock seemed like the ideal career for me!

Q. You’re stranded on an Island, what 2 items would you take and why? 

A. A super yacht and fizz

Thank you Claire

Meet Katie Thurlbeck, Katie our Sales and Marketing Coordinator has been with Handsfree Group for 4 years.

Q. Which woman either currently or in history inspires you the most and why?

A. Ruth Madeley, Actress. I went to school with Ruth who was born with Spina Bifida. Throughout school Ruth was one of the happiest girls I knew and always super positive. From being a child she has represented the Charity Whizz Kids and has carried on this voluntary work into her adult life. She is now a successful actress who has gone onto receive BAFTA nominations and been listed as one of BAFTA’s 18 Breakthrough Brits. A Woman who has been through so much at such a young age but NEVER GIVES UP and is building an amazing career!!

Q. What do you most enjoy about your role with Handsfree Group?

A. Being involved in organising the events we both attend and host. It’s great to see the final results of all the hard work put in prior to the show to ensure Handsfree Group have a successful event.

Q. If you could give a 16 year old you some advice what would that be?

A. Follow your dreams, have confidence and faith in your ability, you are better than you give yourself credit for!

Q. Your stranded on a desert Island what 2 items would you take and why?

A. A sleeping bag to snuggle up in at night and my kindle filled with books and an everlasting battery.

Q. Who would play you in a movie about your life and why?

A. Emily Blunt, I think she’s a great actress but without all the fuss and thrills. 

Thank you Katie

We have so many more wonderful women who we would have loved to interview, each and everyone of you within the organisation do a fantastic job, keep up the hard work!

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