At #YesSheCan we got the opportunity to have a chat with Shauna Murphy, Senior CAD Draughtsperson at Edson & Company Limited. We chatted to her about a typical day in her career, her inspirations and what she would tell her 16-year-old self.
“Be patient and persistent in order to reach your goals and get what you want.”
Can you tell us a bit about you and your career:
I started working at Edson’s in 2015, shortly after graduating from University. I started as a trainee CAD assistant, having had no experience at 3D design and a very limited joinery knowledge. I’ve worked my way up through the CAD department to my current role of Senior CAD Draughtsperson.
A typical day in your career:
Most days I’ll be in the office drawing something! Whether it’s detailed site surveys or designing and drawing 3D models of bespoke joinery to be manufactured here in our workshop. In addition, I have to ensure the workshop have all relevant information for our joinery to go into production; from cutting lists to programming the CNC machine. I’m also responsible for all work that leaves the CAD office, so checking drawings are complete and have all relevant information on them.
What made you choose this career/industry?
It wasn’t planned. I struggled to get a job out of university after graduating with a Geography degree. I intended to get some work experience at Edson’s and move on but found I really enjoyed designing bespoke furniture, and seeing it develop from initial concept details to the finished product installed on site.
How did you get to where you are now and did you face any challenges along the way?
I was constantly looking at ways to learn new design skills and developing my knowledge on all things joinery related, and when potential new positions have become available, I would always put myself forward for them. My main challenge was the lack of joinery knowledge. There’s so much to learn and even after 5 years I’m still learning daily.
If any, can you tell us more about how you overcame those setbacks?
Having a good team around me meant that I felt comfortable to ask questions about anything joinery related I was unsure about; from explaining why a piece of furniture was constructed a certain way to which ironmongery works best. Getting this advice from people who’ve worked in the industry for 20 plus years was invaluable.
What’s great about being a female in your role?
The joinery industry is a mainly male-dominated industry, so it can surprise people that I know what I’m talking about and that I am good at my job!
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way?
Asking for help when you need it. There’s no shame in not knowing everything straight away, and it’s better to ask for help than struggle along. Be confident, plan your time wisely and take every opportunity to develop your talents/ skills.
Can you talk about one woman who has impacted your life?
My grandma, she was a woman who always knew what she wanted, and would make sure she did everything she could to achieve her goals.
Do you think enough is being done by businesses to address gender imbalance?
Since working at Edson’s, I’ve found it to be fairly equal. However, I think more needs to be done to attract a woman to industries that are seen as male-dominated and address the negative stereotype related.
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
Have the confidence to put yourself forward and have your voice heard. If you’re good at what you do, let people know!
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Prioritizing the day’s workload. Some days I’ll find I have so many different tasks to be completed, but by writing everything down and organizing what needs to be done means I work much more efficiently.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
Don’t worry that you have no idea what you want to do in life, you’ll find your way. Smile and enjoy what you do.
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