International Women's Day - profile on Highways and Environment manager

In honour of International Women’s Day today, we've met some of the women doing interesting jobs here in Cornwall Council.

My name is Rachael Tatlow.

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I’m a Highways and Environment manager at Cormac Solutions Ltd, working as highway authority on behalf of Cornwall Council.

My job involves the day-to-day management of highways and open spaces in four community network areas of Cornwall, as well as liaising with elected members, parish and town councils, stake holders and members of the public.

In a typical week I could be dealing with a variety of requests, from blocked drains, grassing cutting and renewal of road markings, to requests for new signs, traffic calming measures and speed limit reductions.

As council budgets have reduced, we find ourselves getting more and more requests for reactive work – work that we might once have been able to do as part of planned maintenance. For example, if we have to clean out drains and guttering less frequently, inevitably we get more blockages to deal with. We received hundreds of enquiries or requests for service each week.

I’ve worked for the Council for 11 years. Before that I was completing a BSC Hons Sports and Physical Education degree in Wales.

One of the strangest things I have to do as part of my job is attend maintenance or stakeholder meetings as the only woman in a room full of men!

It’s still a very male dominated division, but this is changing.

What I love most about my job is the variety. In any one week, I will be dealing with a range of enquiries from pothole repairs to highway improvement requests.

I once received a request from a visitor to Cornwall who asked for all our road signs to have a reference to ‘London’ on them, so that visitors would know how to get back there.

I love living in Cornwall because of the short journey to the coast. There’s nothing like that feeling of standing on a beach after a long day at work and breathing in the sea air.