Rhian Parry - Workplace Worksafe
In a nutshell: Rhian is the Managing Director of Workplace Worksafe, a North Wales based company which specialises in branded workwear as well as health and safety equipment and PPE used in the workplace. She also invents and designs cost effective products for wind farms.
Region: Ruthin, Denbighshire
- Chwarae Teg Womenspire awards– Rural Wales 2018 winner
- F: entrepreneur, top 100 inspirational women entrepreneurs in the UK 2021.
- BSIF Safety Awards - highly commended
Despite setting up my business over 15 years ago, I had never really considered entering myself or my company for any awards until recently as I had always felt a bit odd and uneasy putting myself forward. It feels wrong putting your name down for an award especially as I did not want anyone to think that I was big headed. I had this looming thought over me that I was an imposter in the business world, that my success was just luck, and that I was not good enough to be nominated.
I felt more comfortable with the idea of being nominated by someone else but over the years, I came to realise that not many people working for small to medium businesses have the time to nominate others. At the same time, a lot of award forms require some pretty in-depth information about the individual being nominated, which colleagues may not know, preventing them applying on your behalf. It was at this point, I knew that I would have to put myself forward because I was so proud of my team and the amazing work we do together and wanted to highlight this.
Initially, I was put off by the process by the time and effort involved in putting together an entry. Running an SME is hard work and filling out award applications doesn’t tend to come up high on the priority list when you are so busy, especially when the application forms require a lot of detail. I think a lot of other people in SMEs can relate and choose not to bother. If you look at a typical awards event, it is full of larger companies - SMEs are not really applying and that is purely because of the lack of time and the sheer amount of work you do when you run a smaller company.
I actually filled in my first awards application form when I was away on holiday as it was the only spare time I had to fill it in.
So far, I have applied for several awards, including the rural Wales category in the women aspire awards, which I won. I also applied to be one of the UK’s Most Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs, and was selected.
It is such an amazing feeling when you are shortlisted, let alone when you actually win! I must admit that when my company was shortlisted for the BSIF award, that really got me, as it was an incredibly proud moment to see one of the products that I had invented being officially recognised and commended by my peers in the safety industry!
Winning awards has been fantastic and has been great for my confidence and self-belief. I have started to realise that I am not so bad at my job after all! I think it is hard being the boss of an SME as you try your best to create a good business and environment for your team, but you don’t always know if you’re making the right choices. When you are acknowledged by an award it isn’t just the company that is recognised, but each individual too. It’s great for the team to see their hard work rewarded, while building the company’s reputation amongst clients. I have had my customers write lovely letters to congratulate me and my team, it’s a great morale booster.
Entering awards has also opened doors to business opportunities, enabling me to have conversations with people and potential clients that I may not have otherwise had the chance to speak to before.
While I do still feel embarrassed when I apply, and the application process does take time, the benefits that come from entering awards have been more than worth it, helping to boost my self-confidence in business and motivate my team, as well as opening up opportunities that have allowed me to develop personally and professionally, as well as enhancing the company.
My advice to any other women who are wondering whether to nominate themselves for an award would be to just do it! Get rid of the voice inside your head that’s telling you not to apply and have confidence in yourself. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t win? When I applied for an award, I never thought I would win, but I did, and doing so has given me so much more than just a trophy!