Beatrice's Story: what my journey and experiences mean to me

Beatrice Mburu, a Waste Management Officer at ForHousing has had an interesting journey into the role she is in today. Having set up multiple businesses, co-founded the Women with Wings programme as well as become a mother, Beatrice has a lot of experience of being a woman within very male-dominated industries. This International Women’s Day, Beatrice spoke about her journey and her experiences and what they mean to her.

Q: Can you tell us about your journey to ForHousing and how you started out?

My journey began really when I was young. Having been brought up in a very entrepreneurial family, that kind of life was always on the cards. I put myself through business school and took that knowledge into the real world. I’d always had the mindset to start from the bottom and work my way up so that’s why I had opened a new kitchen and café just a year into being hired as a chef assistant at my local university.

I had a lot of jobs like that but always wanted to get back into the corporate world. It was daunting though, and I had lost a lot of confidence. That’s where Women with Wings started. Myself and Jasmin Bakhre set up the project to be ‘accountability sisters’ and to motivate each other back into business. It was all about taking those baby steps. It really helped my confidence and I had found my voice again. I felt like I could tackle anything. So that’s what I did.

After having my two wonderful children, I was ready to set up a new cleaning business. It had taught me a lot, but really it opened many more doors for me. It led me to being in contact with the Enterprise Team at ForHousing and through there I had access to mentoring, and now I am part of the team.

Q: Do you have any advice that you would give your younger self when it comes to both everyday life and working in your industry?

The confidence these various roles has given me has taught me a lot about myself. Knowing what I do now, if I was to give my younger self advice it would be that it’s ok to fail and to make mistakes. I have always been my own harshest critic but I would tell myself to have the confidence to overcome

Working in this industry can be a very interesting experience and I do believe finding the right balance is key. Throughout the industry, I have a lot of male peers and sometimes you find that you’ve got to work harder or smarter to fit in. But I also believe that no matter who you are, you always receive a great level of respect. I’ve always worked with colleagues who are all supportive of each other and have a genuine friendship. I believe if more women in different industries felt this this, it would help them grow further.

Q: Can you tell us about who the role models in your life who inspire you?

Throughout my time working in different industries, from the café to the cleaning company and now to the ForHousing team, I’ve always been inspired by lots of strong women. They’ve taught me to always strive to do well and to stand up for what I believe in. My biggest inspiration, however, will always be my Mum.

My Mum taught me there is nothing under the sun that I can’t achieve if I put my mind to it. I’ve taken her advice and used it throughout my whole life, in my career and in my personal life. I’m teaching my children the same. They are both young but make me want to do more every day. My daughter gives the best hugs and after a tough day, it melts everything away.