In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re featuring the inspirational Rachael Millward, General Manager for TVP! Rachael was very kind to answer some questions about her role at Thames Valley Park and has offered her expert advice for women wanting to start a business career.

  • Explain your role here at Thames Valley Park.

I am the General Manager for Thames Valley Park which entails looking after the common areas of the business park, including the nature reserve, meadow area and the central roads in Thames Valley Park. I manage a team of 8 security officers who operate around the park 24/7, and a landscaping contract who ensure the park is clean and presentable to our visitors and occupiers. Without these core teams, the park would not function smoothly. In addition to looking after the common areas, I work closely with the occupiers onsite to organise community events and sustainability initiatives. My current focus is to bring in a fleet of electric buses ready for 2023 and support occupiers with their sustainability ideas. 

  • Tell us about sustainability at the park and why you’re passionate about this topic.

Thames Valley Park Management are actively collaborating with all occupiers on the park to find solutions to protecting the environment. TVP Management aim to be carbon neutral by 2030 and we are actively working towards this goal by bringing a fleet of electric buses to the park for early 2023 and introducing communal recycling facilities to the park. Our landscaping team have adopted 100% battery powered equipment and we encourage the use of EV’s with our low cost, charging pod points. 

We have plenty of green space and wildlife here at TVP, particularly birds, and we want to ensure the outdoors space is cared for. In previous years the park has held a River Thames clean up, and local groups come to the park annually to host a communal litter pick along the Thames Tow Path. 

For me, being sustainable is about being community focused and bringing people together to collaborate on best practice and share different ideas. The majority of occupiers here have a sustainability specialist and it’s great to be a part of their vision. 

  • What’s your favourite thing about working at TVP?

I love working at TVP for the outdoor space. TVP offers a unique green space to enjoy the outdoors and it’s great to be able to walk along the River Thames and watch the flow of water. The nature reserve is also a favourite of mine as the various routes around the ponds enable you to unwind and get creative.

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me it’s a day to recognise all the powerful women out there who have fought for women’s rights and overcome adversity. I think the cause goes far beyond one day and needs to be a reminder for the ongoing struggles that women still face around the world. 

  • What advice do you have for women starting out in business careers?

It’s not all about your qualifications and your life experience matters – I have a Business and Marketing degree which was a great entry point into marketing and events when I started out six years ago. However, I found employers to be more interested in my travelling experiences and how I found solutions to problems. If you have the drive, ability to learn and want to get into a business role, but have never done it before, take some business courses to give you the knowledge and apply for roles. We all start somewhere so it doesn’t matter if the first place is not your dream role or company.