Having spent time living in Australia and touring New Zealand, Tracey Glew came back to the UK for a new challenge. With family already in the floor preparation industry, she felt that it was as good a choice as any to set out on a new adventure and break into what is stereotypically a very male dominated profession.
When she arrived back, Tracey worked in marketing for another company, but the more she looked around, and with all she had learned in the marketing department for the Australian police force, she knew she could create a company that would do better.
Tracey founded The Preparation Group in 1991, which specialises in the full preparation of any flooring surface from concrete to marble on the streets or in Buckingham Palace. The company has completed jobs everywhere and, after being contracted to prepare the floors of the London Eye in 2004, the business made a lasting impression.
This feature interview was first published in issue 88 of the Lincolnshire Business weekly magazine, now available to read at www.lincsbusiness.co. Subscribe to the email newsletter to receive the latest edition in your inbox this Friday.
“We stopped Question Time when we prepared the flooring in the pods because the vibration levels and the noise we created sounded a bit like a pre-terrorist attack. The Thames made it sound ten times worse. Apparently, all the SAS came along,” Tracey laughed. “I was skiing at the time on top of a mountain, getting calls telling me we had stopped Question Time.”
However, it took a while for the company to be able to get to a level where it could work in the royal household and on key British landmarks.
“We started off as a contracting organisation, with two of us in the office and a couple of guys on the road, and then we started designing and manufacturing about eight to 10 years later. It’s just evolved from there.
“Looking at the industry at the time, we felt that we could offer more in terms of service, innovative equipment and technical support. We used our initial contracting experience to develop equipment in the mid-90s.”
Staff now travel up and down the country on a daily basis completing projects, conducting site surveys, demonstrating equipment and training the next generation of workers in the industry.
“We have worked in factories, supermarkets, airports, ships, we’ve done McClaren, we’ve done the Man United building, we’ve done hangers for multi-billion pound jets.
Taking the lead
Tracey wasn’t prepared to stop breaking boundaries when she entered into a male dominated industry. Despite throw-back comments from her competition, she ploughed forward with her ideas and plans to become the market leader in floor preparation.
She would have to seek approval on decisions she made and the responses that she had back could be quite condescending.
“There are still not that many females in the flooring preparation world and it doesn’t bother me. My father was involved in the industry many years ago.”
Continue reading the full cover interview with Tracey Glew in issue 88.
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