Girl power

Posted on 12 Jun 2009 by The Manufacturer

BAE construction capability manager Helen Barratt was last night named First Woman of manufacturing at a CBI awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of women in business.

Held by the Confederation of British Industry in conjunction with Real Business magazine, the awards ceremony recognised female achievements in a range of areas such as finance, media, retail, tourism and science, along with manufacturing.

“I was delighted but also hugely surprised to receive the award against such high powered opposition,” said Barratt, who works for BAE Systems Submarines Solutions. “I felt very fortunate just to be shortlisted – for someone to read my citation and decide I was worthy of being short-listed was quite remarkable. Winning was the icing on the cake.”

Barratt is in charge of £100m in budgets and more than 1,500 employees. She has reached her current position after starting with BAE almost 25 years ago as an admin assistant.

“There are now eight females in my team, and I like to think I have introduced more women into operations, both directly and by showing that a journey previously seen as ‘no entry’ for women is open,” she added.

Barrat beat off a number of rivals to the award including timber firm executive Penelope Lloyds, Isuzu Truck UK boss Nikki King, and ethical skincare products producer Dr Mah Hussain-Gambles of Saaf Skincare. She is BAE’s second recipient of the award after Rosalind Murray won it last year.

Nikki King was the recipient of the PwC Lifetime Achievement Award.