How to get on in manufacturing

Posted on 6 Nov 2013 by The Manufacturer

Two women from opposite ends of the career ladder give their views on how to achieve career ambitions in manufacturing and engineering roles.

Jenny Body OBE, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society

In some professions it’s all about who you know.

In manufacturing and engineering it is about who knows you.

You must demonstrate that you are willing to try different things. Be responsive and show a willingness to take opportunities as they are offered.

This happened to me. I spent the first part of my career doing very technical jobs.

But suddenly, on the back of being seen to be good at managing teams, I was asked to do jobs which were outside my technical expertise. I said yes and it opened doors.

There’s a balance to be struck. Make sure you don’t get taken advantage of by saying yes to menial or irrelevant jobs.

But by and large it is a rule that if you say yes, you’ll be remembered for saying yes. If you say no you’ll be remembered for saying no and you’ll probably never be asked again.

Charlotte Tingley, mechanical engineer, BAE Systems

In the next five years or so I would like to take the step into management – perhaps in a project or operations management role, but I’m not exactly sure.

I don’t see any obstacles to achieving this ambition except gaining the necessary experience.

I’m going back to university to build up my technical abilities and knowledge, but the harder bit will be gaining confidence in the more intangible parts of doing different jobs – you can’t learn that from a book.

Apart from wanting to promote what a great career engineering is for females, this is a reason why its important to me to participate in events like the Every Woman Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Academy.

The other panellists I will be speaking with have all been there and done it. I am really looking forward to hearing their perspectives on how different job roles are different in terms of what they demand from you.

It’s a great to network and these other professional – all successful women in industry – will have some interesting views and experiences to share.

The Everywoman Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Academy

Everywoman has teamed up with the Royal Academy of Engineering to host the first in a new series of workshops designed to encourage the development of female role models in industry and help women in engineering and manufacturing jobs achieve their career ambitions.

TM readers get a 20% discount on attendance at this London-based event on November 14. Just quote TM20 when booking.