International Women’s Day - Kira Allen, QA/Laboratory Manager

Fourth up in our IWD Q&A this year is Kira Allen. Kira is currently the QA/Laboratory manager for RE:Group based in Hull, a company that is part of the wider Slicker Recycling Group. She has been with the company for nearly 14 years, having joined in 2010 as a Lab Technician. Over the years Kira’s role has evolved from doing the day-to-day testing of samples to running the entire lab, managing a team, and helping to maintain the company’s various certifications.

Hi Kira, thanks for joining us and it’s fab to have someone from RE:Group too. Let’s start with a question we’ve been asking everyone to kick off with. What does inclusion mean to you as a professional?

Exciting to be involved! I think for me, inclusion means everyone matters equally. Everyone should be involved. Everyone should be given a chance. We are all people, we all add value and we can bring something to the table, regardless of gender.

And more generally, what more can be done to improve female inclusion in the workplace?

So much more can be done but we should start by stopping genderising roles, activities, colours, and toys.

As a child, I was constantly told I could not do, wear, or play with something because it was for boys. I was always having dolls and pink things forced onto me when I wanted to play with dinosaurs and science kits. I had to constantly fight against this bias just to be allowed to do the things that most interested me. If I had not, then I would not be where I am today - a scientist working in a lab.

These early years shape children and help them to decide what they want to be when they are older. If they are told that only boys or girls can do certain things, then this is a belief they will grow up with and will impact their actions and choices later in life.

As a society, we have to stop dictating what is appropriate for boys or girls and instead give them all the options and let them pick for themselves. As I keep telling my sons, there is no such thing as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ toys, they are toys for everybody.

Moving on to life here at Slicker. What is done here to ensure balance and female inclusion? 

I don’t think there is anything done differently at Slicker that specifically encourages female inclusion as activities are organised for all to attend and take part in no matter what gender you are. We each support and help one another during difficult times. We all get on well and can have a laugh and joke with one another. No one is excluded because of their sex or for any other reason.

And what will you be doing to play your part this year in promoting female achievement, or pushing back against bias or discrimination? 

I will continue to do what I have always done and that is be myself, work hard, and not let anyone tell me or my boys we cannot do things because of our genders.

And the best question is left until last. Which female has inspired you in the past 12 months? 

I do not get my inspiration from just women. I get my inspiration from everyone around me, regardless of their gender. Gender does not dictate who inspires me to be better, a person’s actions and how they make me feel do that.

When I was a kid, I saw how my brother and mother behaved and they inspired me to not be like them, so I grew up to be a nice person. My Great Nan, who raised me, inspired me to always help others through her example and encouraged me to follow my dreams of becoming a scientist.

My husband encourages me to follow my career and inspires me to be myself, be confident, and do the things that make me happy. My two boys inspire me to be the best parent I can be and to raise them to be kind, caring people who can do anything they want to, regardless of gender stereotypes.

For more on International Women’s Day 2024, you can visit the website through

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