Hoses Direct

International Womens Day

Inspire Inclusion 

Happy International Women's Day! 

Sophie Harkup: Ecommerce and Customer Services Executive

Today is all about promoting inclusivity, not just in the engineering industry, but across all industries and sectors. In the spirit of this year's theme, #inspireinclusion, we’re shining a spotlight on Sophie Harkup as just one of the examples of how Hoses Direct is helping to forge a better more inclusive world for women within engineering.

Sophie, our Ecommerce and Customer Services Executive, has been a pivotal figure at Hoses Direct for the past two years. With seven years of experience in the retail industry, spanning customer services and ecommerce, Sophie recognised she could transfer her skills to this new role. Embracing the challenge of transitioning into the engineering field, her journey serves as a testament to the power of transferable skills and the willingness to take on new challenges.

Upon joining Hoses Direct, Sophie initially focused on learning the company’s systems, particularly diving into the product data due to her role in ecommerce. She diligently familiarised herself with the product ranges, industries, and applications, while also delving into the technical aspects of various products and components. Sophie has since gathered a wealth of technical experience to assist customers in procuring products tailored to their specifications. In addition to her learning on the job, Sophie’s curiosity and eagerness to learn prompted her to enrol in an hydraulics course. This initiative allowed her to deepen her understanding of hydraulic systems, including the fundamentals and aspects such as hydraulic fluids, valves actuators and more.

Recognising the importance of hands-on experience and Sophie’s eagerness to learn, Hoses Direct facilitated a visit for Sophie to a local manufacturer. This opportunity allowed her to engage directly with the production process and even get involved on the assembly line.

At Hoses Direct, our inclusive culture encourages women to take on customer facing roles, fostering opportunities for learning and growth. This environment nurtures diverse talents and perspectives, allowing individuals to thrive. Sophie’s experience exemplifies the effectiveness of this approach, as she utilises her skillset from data analysis, management of customer relations and identifying business development opportunities for the growth of the company.

Sophie's exceptional service has not gone unnoticed by our clients, many of whom now seek her out directly for her reliability and the assurance that their needs will be met promptly and effectively. This personal touch, rooted in Sophie's background in customer service, underscores the importance of soft skills in complementing technical knowledge within the engineering sector. Sophie has spearheaded numerous projects, both international and UK based, valued at tens of thousands of pounds. She’s adept at sourcing products for clients, even in situations where they may be uncertain about their specific needs. Leveraging her expertise, Sophie swiftly can offer product solutions, all while carefully considering technical factors such as pressures, temperatures and product environments.

Sophie's journey with Hoses Direct serves as a powerful reminder of the untapped potential that lies in fostering inclusivity and recognising the value of diverse experiences. Her transition from retail to engineering demonstrates that with the right support and opportunities, individuals can transcend traditional boundaries and contribute significantly to their fields.

As we reflect on Sophie’s contributions and the inclusive culture at Hoses Direct, it’s evident that the engineering industry is progressing. Making the industry fair and diverse involves valuing people’s skills and potential over traditional qualifications. It’s our responsibility to adopt a broader perspective on talent and to invest in inclusive practices that empower all individuals regardless of their gender and background, to excel and thrive for a better tomorrow.