Your Interview Celine Gehamy


Celine Gehamy

How long have you been involved in the lighting industry in total?

Since 2016 (before was interior design/product design)
2016 - 2022   Lighting manufacturer (Nulty Bespoke)
2022 - 2023  Working part of the F&F team in an interior design firm: designing bespoke lighting and other products (Studio Reed)
2023 - until present (PSLab)
So I’d say: 7 years, including my experience for the interior design studio

Have you always been involved in the manufacturing side or have you come from another part of the industry?

Always been involved in the manufacturing side (as a product designer/Lead designer). Until i joined PSLab and now involved in communication/Sales and PM as a job itself.

Do you feel that there is a wider diversity in sales, manufacturing and marketing over the last 20 years?

I’ve seen more and more women working in those fields. And this since the start of my career. I’ve been lucky to work for companies that empower women. Especially, when it's in your first job it sets your standards; when your first male manager empowers you as a women.

What reasons do you think there are so few women working for manufacturing companies? What obstacles do women come up against?

The reason is from my personal opinion, I feel is that It starts at home. In schools, in universities: I studied industrial design and obtained my master in Paris. A large majority of the students from my year were men.

I've always felt lucky to have a supportive family in which women and men were educated to treat women as equal. For example my dad and my mother always encouraged us (my sister, my brother and I) to lead, express ourselves and that everything is possible whether you are a woman or a man. My dad, as a civil engineer and project manager, would always bring me to building sites from a very young age. Not only to learn about his company's projects on a general basis but also to understand how a space is built and the technicality of it. There was never a limitation because I was a woman.

As a result, when I studied industrial design, I never thought I was getting in an environment "for men" as I never thought that because I was never told it would be an obstacle in the first place. But I started noticing it once in on how other people could behave around you; a woman.

Education is key. Having an open mind too.

How do you think more women can be encouraged into this side of the lighting industry? What can manufactures do to encourage a diversity of applicants for roles in sales and product development for example?

Before getting into lighting, someone told me "but it is very technical, are you ok with that?”. I think that people like to put you in boxes but you can be a women and be technical and creative. I feel, we need more women in those leading positions to act as examples for other women but especially for men to understand that. Also, HR need to be educated to hire women and recognise how much they bring to the table.

What are the positives of working for a manufacturer? What are the negatives?

positive: innovation, creativity, problem solving, challenge.
negative: As a women, even if things are evolving now, the double challenge for women to have their place in it. But I am positive this is changing.

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