In our third post for International Women’s Day we hear from our Director, Richard Howey Nunn. We ask him how we can #choosetochallenge the traditionally male-dominated world of events structures to be more diverse.
Tell us about your role at Steeldeck
I am the Director of Steeldeck Rentals but at the moment I’m also pitching in with the day-to-day management of projects due to COVID, down to helping load the trucks. The focus is on keeping everything ticking over until we are all back again.
What do you enjoy most about it?
In short, the creativity and the collaboration. The creativity in the sense of helping clients create the best possible experiences for their community. The collaboration with both the client and the team at Steeldeck and the different people who work for us. When I was young a wise woman said to me that I should enjoy what I do more and that I was too serious and I’ve never forgotten that.
Are there particular kinds of projects that you enjoy working on more than others?
It’s not so much particular projects as recces that I enjoy doing. Looking at a space, discussing a project and working out the best way to stage it and/or view it.
Ours is a traditionally-male dominated corner of the events industry, have you seen much change in this regard over your career?
I have definitely seen some change in production/project management with more women in those roles than when I first started. The more technical aspects though still seem to be fairly male dominated though perhaps some small signs of change are taking place.
If there was one thing you would like to see changed in the industry generally what would it be?
I think the Industry really needs to come to terms with its environmental impact. Before Covid it was something we were really beginning to try and look at but the last year has been about survival. I expect that when everything is back up and running again that we can start to get back to focusing on that side of things.
Are there any practices that could be challenged or initiatives to encourage more women to join and stay in the industry?
I don’t know if it’s possible but I’d legislate for diversity in the boardroom, or at the very least a drive towards it. Perhaps one cannot prove a link between diversity and return but surely it’s obvious that any company that draws on a variety of talent and experience is going to be more successful than one that doesn’t. Who would have a board made up of only accountants?
Have any colleagues or role models been influential in your career and why?
A very long time ago when I was a stage manager in my 20s my boss was a great woman called Caroline Hollway and I basically learned from her how to production manage and then a wardrobe supervisor called Dina Hall showed me how to be a good one.
What’s one bit of advice you would give someone looking to start in a similar role within the industry?
Strive to do your best but never forget to have fun.
Tell us about one of your favourite arts or cultural experiences?
The Royal Court, never seen a bad show there and seen most of my truly memorable ones.