Ele Ioannou, 38, company operations manager, Mr Plant Hire (MPH), North London, UK, needed a job, so she applied at a national hire (equipment rental) company 20 years ago. She got the job and never expected it to be the start of a great career.
“I used to want to own my own restaurant, but soon realized that site work and working in the hire industry was what I really enjoyed. I knew from a young age that senior leadership was my passion, so I stuck with the hire industry, growing my career,” Ioannou says.
“Starting at the bottom and working my way to a senior role is my key accomplishment so far as well as making changes in the business that other parts of the business recognize and now wish to work by. Seeing potential in people and helping them grow in their career is what also leads a team to success,” she says.
Ioannou says she has been fortunate to have confidence and passion for the work so that any challenges of being a woman in the construction or hire industry have not been as difficult for her as one might think as she worked for different national companies including HSS Hire and Ashtead Plant Hire Co. (A-Plant) before coming to Mr Plant Hire a little over five years ago.
“My results do the talking. I think seeing a woman in this industry being successful shows other women they can do it, too,” she says.
Mr Plant Hire currently has 74 employees and is designed as a one-stop shop for construction hire, offering everything from site boxes up to 28m boom lifts with diggers, dumpers, telehandlers, towers, cutting stations and more.
“We recently introduced confined space equipment, too. Our target customers are those on major sites in and around London. Every customer is as important as the next,” she says.
“Working hard to get results and seeing what you have achieved is by far the most satisfying part of my job. Seeing potential in people and helping them progress is one of my favorites. But the best part of my job is driving the company into achieving accreditations that only a few years ago was impossible,” Ioannou says.
One of those accreditations was for the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) Rental+ for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). Ioannou also now is the chair for the IPAF Rental+ committee. Four years ago, she says, Mr Plant Hire could not even pass the IPAF audit.
“This is a great industry to be in and I am excited for what the future brings. After working through the whole pandemic, it has made me even more proud to be a part of hire industry,” she says.