Lindsey Henderson is Sales Director for leading independent humidity control specialist Humidity Solutions. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Lindsey founded Humidity Solutions with John Barker in 2008, and now manages the sales team as well as being the dehumidification specialist within the company.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a test engineer in electronics; I worked at a large factory in South Queensferry, Edinburgh. It wasn’t for me however, as I was sitting in front of electronic machines all day long testing equipment. I am a real ‘people person’ and I remember thinking I needed to have more interaction. So I packed up and left the windy city of Edinburgh and moved down to London in search of my future.
That’s when I fell into the humidification industry, which actually has more of a mechanical engineering bias. However, if you have an engineering mind you can turn your hand to most problem solving. It was an ideal job for me as a sales engineer as I got to meet new people all the time and started to design the solutions to solve their problems.
What does your current role involve?
My current role involves sales across our complete product range which covers all humidifier and dehumidifier technologies and their associated ancillaries. I am currently heading up the expansion of the company’s dehumidifier market which covers both desiccant and refrigerant technologies. We are involved in many different markets, some sales are relatively straight forward with our regular customers, some are particularly specialised applications and others are providing a full turnkey solution including design, supply, installation, commissioning and after sales packages. I also manage the sales teams for equipment and spares and am part of the senior management team of the company.
Lindsey, front centre, with the Humidity Solutions team
What attracted you to the industry?
I have always had a very curious and inquisitive mind, always been interested in figuring out how something works. I like to use logical thinking and reasoning to work out a problem. Maths was always my thing when I was younger, probably why my spelling is atrocious now! I remember being told at a young age ‘If you look at something long enough it will tell you the answer’.
I actually left school at 16 because I wanted to study maths, physics, chemistry and biology, my year head said I needed to do a better mix and include home economics and things I wasn’t interested in, so I left and went straight to college to study a Diploma in Science and Technology, which I loved.
From there I went on to study an HND in Electronic Engineering, it was a scheme the Government was running to encourage women into engineering. It was run by the EITB and TESS (Technical Engineering Scholarship Scheme). They were sponsoring 75 women in the UK to get into engineering. I applied, sat the exams and got in - it was a really exciting opportunity for me.
What excites/interests you about the industry?
I enjoy the diversity of the job: we get involved in so many different applications it’s always interesting, and there is always a challenge or a new application to get my teeth into. And, of course, people - not just the people I work with but meeting new people, listening and understanding to their business needs and issues. I am a real believer in the fact that we should remain teachable; Albert Einstein said ‘once you stop learning, you start dying’ I think this is important in all aspects of our lives, whether it be the work we do, or our social and emotional intelligence.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
It was a very long ago but it has always stayed with me, and that was to trust in my own intuition, whatever the situation or the pressures, work or personal life, just trust your own inner guidance because it knows best. The challenge is of course to silence your mind enough to be able to listen to that inner guidance!
What do you see as the challenges facing the industry?
Our market is within industrial and commercial sectors but we increasingly see a demand in the residential, school and care home areas where indoor air quality is becoming better understood as being a key factor to human health and wellbeing.
Of course, interest in IAQ is particularly heightened with Covid-19, and humidity control plays an important role in reducing the transmission of airborne viruses. Humidity Solutions can supply complete systems to improve IAQ – including monitoring, ventilation, air purification as well as humidification.
Another challenge is educating the purchasers that the modest expenditure required to provide humidity control can provide long term and telling benefits to the building occupiers and their health, as well as helping to reduce energy in many cases.
What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry?
I would say follow your intuition and stick with it, don’t be pushed to do things that don’t interest you. Think outside of the box and dive into it; we are in a changing world and society and employers are working together to break what is considered the norm. To see more women moving into the engineering sector is really exciting, so if it interests you and you know it will push you to be the best you can be, then step up and go for it. We should all be doing something we enjoy and that we feel makes a difference.
Is there a little-known fact about yourself that would surprise other people?
I like to practice mindfulness everyday through meditation, tai chi and qi gong. Qi gong is a millennia old system of body posture, movement, breathing and meditation for health, spirituality and martial- arts training. Qi translated is ‘life energy’.