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Crew | August 2023

Accidental light bulb moment opens up a new world for Kornelia

Accidental light bulb moment opens up a new world for Kornelia
  • Electrician Kornelia discovered her career by accident but has become a passionate advocate for women in trades
  • Born in Poland, she now lives in the UK and is starting her own business with her partner
  • Kornelia had struggled to find comfortable work boots until discovering Steel Blue’s women’s range.

Some people discover their passions as small children, becoming obsessed with something from a young age—like the Williams sisters with tennis or Greta Thunberg with environmental campaigning.

Others discover their passions almost by accident; fate leading them to the thing that would become their career.

So it was with Kornelia Dziewicka. When the young Polish woman moved to the United Kingdom in 2019 to study English at university, she had no idea that within a few short years she’d be a qualified electrician working on some of the most exciting construction projects in London and England’s South-East.

Making her own opportunities, finding her niche

“I’d been working on a production line in a warehouse when I got offered a job in an electrical company, doing administration in the office,” she said. “My job was to send invoices, order materials, make sure everything was running on time, taking phone calls, that sort of thing.

“I did it for a while; then I asked the boss if I could go out on the building site and work on the tools with all the boys, because I’d seen the boys coming into the main office to have their meetings and they were always happy, laughing, bantering. And I thought, ‘I’m so bored in this office. I would like to go onsite’. My boss was really surprised but he gave me a week’s training onsite to see how I liked the environment.”

A sense of freedom

Spoiler alert: Kornelia loved working onsite. She became a trainee and studied to achieve her trade qualification. Initially, she worked on a lot of new-build projects, including around Battersea, where the iconic power station was being redeveloped. She then moved to nearby Kent and gained experience in domestic electrics. Now, Kornelia and her partner, Matt—a plumber, are starting their own property services business. They have big plans and Kornelia is currently studying for her qualification to run electrical tests, so she can sign off jobs herself.

Accidental light bulb moment opens up a new world for Kornelia

Every day is different onsite

“I just love the variety of the jobs,” Kornelia said. “Every day is something different, a new challenge to complete. I love the freedom of the work. Working in a trade and being self-employed gives you so much more freedom and I really appreciate that.

“What I also love is being able to satisfy clients. Something is broken, they call you, they’re all panicked. Then when you turn up to fix it and you’re a woman they are always surprised. It just gives me a lot of satisfaction to be able to fix their problems for them.”

Encouraging more women into trades

What’s her advice to other women considering a career in the trades?

“Just give it a try,” she said. “Don’t be scared because you’ll be working somewhere where it’s just men and you might feel intimidated. Take the first step. It might be the career of your life. You might love it. You never know.”

Accidental light bulb moment opens up a new world for Kornelia

Why Kornelia chooses to wear Steel Blue boots

It was Kornelia’s partner, Matt, who first introduced her to Steel Blue work boots.

“I’d always struggled with boots and I went through quite a lot of brands,” she said. “I felt like I always had a blister on my little toe and the back of my heels. I was always buying a bigger size and wearing thicker socks or double socks and at the end of an eight-hour shift I was just begging to get out of the boots and into something else.

“My boyfriend showed me Steel Blue and ordered me a pair. I tried them on at work and they were so soft around my toes. They have like a pillow underneath the steel cap. I just loved them right away. The sizing is great and they’re extra fashionable, as well.”

Head to your local Steel Blue stockist to discover work boots that are a mark of true skill, or shop online.

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