The States of Matter Podcast State of Matters Logo2

The States of Matter podcast is brought to you by the Women in RACHP Network and shares hints and tips on issues that affect working women. It also brings together women with careers in engineering to discuss the opportunities and challenges they have encountered. During light-hearted and informative conversations our guests share their experiences and knowledge to support and encourage other women working in the field. They address many preconceptions about working in a predominately male-dominated field and hopefully inspire the next generation of engineers and more engineers to join the IOR. 

How to listen

Search "The States of Matter Podcast" in your preferred podcasting apps to listen. 

The podcast is available from PodbeanSpotifyAmazon MusicPlayerFM, or Podchaser


Available episodes

12. Engineering, you might think it’s a man’s job but it really isn’t

In this episode, we have a shared episode with the IOR’s Tip of the Iceberg podcast.  Miriam Rodway talks to a student doing work experience at the IOR discussing how their views - and those of their friends - have changed about the sector and careers now they know more about refrigeration air conditioning and heat pumps.  We talked about what kind of career advice young people receive in schools, what they think of engineering and what we can do to raise awareness of this sector.  If you are unsure whether you should take on a student for a week's work experience, we hope this podcast will help convince you of how much value they can add!

11. The gut is the mothership of our health

We all want to be healthier. In this episode, we talk to Angelika Cutuk-Short, a functional nutritionist with a special interest in perimenopause and menopausal women’s health. Angelika shares hints and tips for managing perimenopause and menopausal symptoms and explains how by using diet and exercise you can take back control and restore your gut health.

10: Professional Troublemakers

Discussing allyship is simple, but being a genuine ally can come with its own challenges and discomfort. Becoming an ally is a gradual process that requires not only recognising your positive actions but also acknowledging your mistakes. It involves raising awareness about how one's actions can affect others. In this episode, we are joined by two guests, Lee Chambers and Steve Gill to shed light on the complexities and responsibilities of allyship. Lee is an acclaimed business psychologist, a committed male ally, and an expert in well-being. Steve is the Head of Sustainable Cooling at the Carbon Trust and the founder of Cool Mentoring, a platform dedicated to connecting and empowering young professionals and students in the refrigeration sector.

9: INWIC – a network to fall back on

Our featured guest this month is Colleen Keyworth, the President of the International Woman in Cooling (INWIC) Network. Colleen shares the positive impact her active participation in a professional network has had on her career development. She discusses the importance of tackling gender stereotyping when it comes to career choices and how raising the visibility of women in predominantly male roles is vital to help recruit the next generation of women into the RACHP and HVAC professions. She also shares the story of how she ended up leaving amateur rodeo and kayak tours behind to become part of the HVACR community.

8. I’m human, hello!

This episode is dedicated to celebrating the positive impact of supporting mental health in the workplace and offers advice on how to nurture your own mental well-being. From embracing neuro-atypical personalities and behaviours to supporting those experiencing mental health difficulties, fostering an inclusive work environment can create a space that welcomes and accommodates everyone, leading to happier and healthier staff. Recognising and prioritising mental health not only makes better leaders and managers but also creates a sense of belonging and promotes overall well-being within organisations.

7. Why be afraid of a chainsaw?

Self-belief, determination and role models. Three things that led both Catarina Marques and Nasheen Basha to have successful academic careers. This month's guests discuss the importance of women realising they don’t have to be perfect, the advantages of working in diverse teams and how learning through failure is not as scary as it sounds.

6. Plant a litte seed

Hear from two award-winning engineers who have taken very different routes into the RACHP industry but both share a passion for encouraging the next generation of engineers. Laura Bishop and Jacinta Caden share their experiences of working in some unusual surroundings, the importance of mentoring and how being involved in professional bodies can enhance and develop careers. They also discuss topless calendars and how flipping the script can change a company policy in less than 24 hours. 

5. Everyone hates that feeling of being excluded

Hear how tampons and toolbox talks are being used to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Our guest, Kat Parsons, is a passionate advocate for a more inclusive culture. In this episode, she shares some of her experiences of being an engineer working on-site and how an interest in health and well-being led to her becoming the Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at ISS. She discusses the initiatives and changes implemented at ISS that acknowledge that not everyone is the same and how, with a little consideration, everyone can be supported and allowed to thrive.

4. Too young and too female

If you suffer from imposter feelings you are not alone. Although all genders experience these nagging doubts, research has shown that women experience them more often than their male colleagues. Hear from Carla Miller, a leadership and lifestyle coach about how social expectations and self-doubt can negatively impact women in the workplace. She shares hints and tips on managing those inner voices and changing behaviours that may hold you back.

3. It’s ok to talk about this

Menopause is still something of a taboo subject but in this episode, we have a frank discussion about how to help yourself, colleagues and staff who are dealing with it. Bev Thorogood, a trainer specialising in menopause awareness, shares hints and tips on how companies can support staff dealing with the large and diverse range of symptoms, employment rights and how to ask for help at work if you are struggling. We also discuss what menopause is, treatment options and how menopause can impact working women because it’s good to talk and as Bev says "the struggle is real, ladies"

2. Progress is better than perfection

Career paths to culture change: how one person really can make a difference. Alex Knight talks about how, despite thinking she was poor at maths and science, she has achieved a successful career in STEM and how pushing outside your comfort zone can lead to amazing things, even if it means giving up Netflix. From leaving a successful career in engineering to founding Stemazing, Alex shares her career highs and lows and the joy of mentoring. Stemazing is an organisation with a mission to empower women in STEM to shine and inspire young people to become the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers.

1. 100 Years of Rebel Women

Bringing together a panel who between them have over 100 years of experience working in the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump sector. They share what the network means to them, explore how the expectations and attitudes toward women in engineering have changed and revisit some career highs, lows and everything in between.