FAYE TOMSON: Finalist
Faye Tomson, the visionary behind Tomson Consulting and District Eating, has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Women-Led Business of the Year category at The British Business Awards 2023.
This esteemed accolade celebrates the remarkable accomplishments of female entrepreneurs and business leaders who have successfully established and grown their businesses. The judges have taken note of Faye’s company’s exceptional organisational growth, diverse customer base, and her ability to overcome challenges as a business leader over the past two years.
Faye embarked on her journey in the industry after making a life-changing decision to pursue college education at the age of 26. She studied Renewable Energy Technology at Cornwall College and was captivated by the subject. This passion led her to receive scholarships for Energy and Environmental Engineering at Leeds University, where she earned a first-class honours degree. Her career began by producing biomass fuel for a renewables company, and from there, her professional trajectory soared.
Over the course of five years as an Energy and Environmental Engineering Consultant, Faye gained invaluable expertise in resource efficiency audits and carbon management plans. Notable projects included designing a groundbreaking Sterling renewable energy project inaugurated by Nicola Sturgeon, as well as contributing to the Earls Gate EfW plant in Grangemouth. She also made significant contributions to the Edinburgh heat network project, which has become a benchmark in the field.
However, Faye faced the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, which were compounded when she became a single parent at the age of 30. The industry demanded full-time commitment, making it nearly impossible for her to balance work and childcare responsibilities. Frustrated by the lack of part-time opportunities, Faye pursued a new path and became a meditation teacher. Eventually, she found a job with the Heat Networks Delivery Unit, which offered more suitable hours and allowed her to review feasibility studies and contribute to heat network projects while raising her daughter, Daisy.
Although her circumstances improved, Faye still grappled with the challenges of juggling a fixed-schedule job with childcare. Determined to address these issues, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“I aspired to work in a business that allowed for personal and family time without compromising professional standards. This proved difficult in a male-dominated industry that showed little flexibility for work-life balance or part-time positions for professionals,” Faye explained.
The establishment of Tomson Consulting Ltd was driven by her unwavering commitment to excel in her field without constraints. The company has thrived under her leadership, now employing a team of six individuals in an inclusive and diverse environment. Faye even welcomed one of her former bosses, an industry expert in carbon management planning and auditing, who embraced the new approach to business.
Once Tomson Consulting gained recognition in the market, Faye ventured into researching heat networks for greenhouses, leading to the creation of District Eating in 2019. This innovative business focuses on harnessing waste heat for food production in greenhouses.
Being in control of her time and priorities has allowed Faye to build her businesses by bringing together qualified and experienced professionals to form a cohesive team. Their expertise caters to various industries, particularly farming, food supply, and supermarkets.
“At our company, we foster a contented team that is passionate about their work and unburdened by archaic notions of rigid employment patterns. Our flexibility enhances our service to clients rather than compromising outcomes,” shared Faye.
By establishing new norms for running an engineering business, Faye continues to achieve her professional goals with unwavering determination. Her next project involves exploring the extraction of warm water from tin mines in Cornwall, an undertaking that excites both her and the industry.
“There is an abundance of opportunities to harness energy that would otherwise go to waste. Running my own company allows me to pursue my professional aspirations on my own terms, free from outdated expectations,” Faye expressed.
As a prominent figure in thought leadership and innovation, Faye aims to inspire other women to follow in her footsteps. She believes that these exciting times offer limitless possibilities, and personal commitments should never hinder anyone from fully engaging in the dynamic field of engineering.
Delighted to be recognised as a female business leader, Faye looks forward to more accolades for women in similar positions.
“The industry needed to change, and I am pleased that positive advancements are being acknowledged,” she added with satisfaction.