FAYE TOMSON: Finalist
Faye Tomson, the visionary founder and owner of Tomson Consulting and District Eating, has emerged as a distinguished finalist in the esteemed Women-Led Business of the Year category at The British Business Awards 2023.
This prestigious accolade celebrates the exceptional accomplishments of female entrepreneurs and business leaders in establishing and nurturing successful enterprises. The esteemed panel of judges has commended Faye Tomson’s company for its remarkable organisational growth, diverse customer base, and her commendable resilience as a business leader over the past two years.
Faye embarked on her journey in the industry after making a momentous decision to pursue a foundation course in Renewable Energy Technology at Cornwall College at the age of 26. This transformative experience captivated her, leading her to earn scholarships for Energy and Environmental Engineering studies at Leeds University, where she graduated with first-class honors. Her career began by producing biomass fuel for a renewables company, propelling her into the realm of energy management, where she excelled in devising decarbonisation plans for housing associations, running insulation programs, and contributing to heat network business strategies.
After five fruitful years as an Energy and Environmental Engineering Consultant, Faye gained a strong foothold in resource efficiency audits and carbon management plans. Notably, she spearheaded the design of a sterling renewable energy project, inaugurated by Nicola Sturgeon, and played an instrumental role in establishing the Earls Gate EfW plant in Grangemouth. Her expertise also contributed to the highly regarded Edinburgh heat network project, which has become a beacon of excellence in the field.
However, Faye encountered increasing challenges as a woman in a predominantly male-dominated industry. At the age of 30, she became a single parent and faced the imminent threat of losing her job. Balancing the demands of full-time work with childcare proved arduous, and despite seeking part-time positions, she found few opportunities available. Determined to overcome these obstacles, Faye embarked on a career as a meditation teacher.
Eventually, she secured a position with the Heat Networks Delivery Unit, which provided her with more suitable hours to raise her daughter while actively contributing to feasibility studies and heat network projects. Nonetheless, the inherent difficulties of managing a fixed-schedule employment alongside childcare responsibilities intensified, prompting Faye to take matters into her own hands.
Driven by a desire to work in an environment that respected work-life balance without compromising professionalism, Faye established Tomson Consulting Ltd, unencumbered by restrictive parameters. The company has flourished under her guidance and now employs a diverse team of six individuals, fostering an inclusive workplace culture. Notably, Faye recruited one of her former bosses—an industry expert in carbon management planning and auditing—who embraced the new business approach.
With Tomson Consulting’s established reputation, Faye delved into the realm of heat networks in greenhouses, culminating in the creation of District Eating in 2019. This innovative venture focuses on harnessing waste heat for greenhouse farming and food production.
Faye’s ability to manage her time and priorities has empowered her to build businesses that bring together highly qualified and experienced professionals to provide expert services across various industries, particularly agriculture, food supply, and supermarkets. Employees of her businesses enjoy the flexibility to determine their working hours, enabling them to balance personal needs and customer projects.
“We are a contented team that takes pride in our work and operates free from the constraints of outdated employment norms. Our flexibility enhances outcomes and ensures our clients receive an exceptionally effective service,” explains Faye.
By pioneering new approaches to running an engineering business, Faye continues to make remarkable strides in achieving her professional goals. Her upcoming project involves exploring the extraction of warm water from tin mines in Cornwall—an endeavor that sparks excitement within her and the industry as a whole.
“There is a wealth of untapped potential, and it’s enthralling to explore various methods of harnessing energy that would otherwise go to waste. Being at the helm of my own company enables me to pursue my professional aspirations on my own terms, unbound by outdated expectations,” shares Faye.
Faye remains an influential figure in thought leadership and innovation, actively encouraging other women to follow in her footsteps. She firmly believes that personal commitments, including raising a family, should never hinder anyone from fully engaging in the exciting realm of engineering.
Thrilled to be recognised for her remarkable leadership as a woman in business, Faye looks forward to witnessing further accolades for other exceptional women in similar positions.
“As an industry, we have undergone a necessary transformation, and I am delighted to witness positive advancements being acknowledged,” she adds.
The British Business Awards 2023 presents a befitting platform to celebrate the trailblazers who are reshaping the business landscape, and Faye Tomson stands at the forefront of this remarkable cohort.