Inspiring Women in Manufacturing part three

Posted on 17 Dec 2020 by Tom Lane

Dr Abi Hird from KTN’s manufacturing team explains their motivation for partnering with The Manufacturer to showcase 30 Inspirational Women in Manufacturing.

Working and socialising with people similar to ourselves is comfortable and affirming. In business, it can be especially easy to look for the path of least resistance when we are striving to get a product to market quickly or desperate to make change happen. The thing is, by taking the seemingly easy option we are missing out! embracing difference and truly listening to new points of view takes time but it stretches out thinking and inspires new and more robust ideas. If we are serious about innovations that lead to powerful, positive change, diversity of viewpoint is not an optional nice-to-have, it has to be integral to strategy.

KTN exists to help businesses connect to realise powerful, world changing ideas.  To do this we need a diverse innovation ecosystem and to grow a diverse innovation eco-system we need inspirational role models.

Manufacturing is a diverse and exciting area to be working in. To be world-leading in the future, UK Manufacturing needs to retain and attract the best talent and inspire the next generation. It is critical that we promote the diversity of careers available in manufacturing and the satisfaction and passion that manufacturing can inspire. This is a vocation where it’s possible to make a real difference to the environment, society, and people’s lives. We can work with mind-blowing technologies and clever ideas to address multi-faceted challenges  across a whole range of sectors: from automotive to fashion. The women included in this blog are all passionate about their work in a way that is contagious and inspirational.

Professor Jan Godsell, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick.

“Even if you only fulfil 80% of the criteria for a role you really covet, apply”

Inspiring WomenJan Godsell is a Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at WMG, University of Warwick. Her work focuses on the pursuit of more responsible consumption and production through the alignment of product, marketing and supply chain strategy with consumer needs. In particular Jan’s work focuses on the design of end-to-end supply chains to enable responsibility, sustainability flexibility and productivity. As a chartered engineer, Jan has more than two decades of combined industry experience in product development, innovation, supply chain strategy, and process improvement working for ICI, AstraZeneca and Dyson. She has advised government and industry on supply chain strategy and its relationship to industrial and business strategy. Jan is currently a member of the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) supply chain resilience advisory group. Jan is also a member of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) advisory groups.

Jenny Holloway, Development Director, Fashion Capital

“To be successful; everyone has to be busy all of the time so there’s no bottlenecks. This means every day is different and there are times when you’re a detective to find out what part is going wrong and why. You may enter that floor with 70 pairs of eyes watching you so remain calm, develop that ability to scan the floor quickly and cut to the chase. It’s the best environment to work in!”

Inspiring WomenJenny Holloway has over thirty-five years in the fashion industry. Initially she worked for Littlewoods, M&S and a senior buyer for the Arcadia Group before opening her own label Retro. For almost ten years Jenny was Director of her successful international brand Retro UK Ltd .In 2000 Jenny commenced a consultancy business, took on the role of an Industry Advisor to Government and Project Manager for the London Fashion Forum from 2001-2006.  In April 2006 Jenny incorporated Fashion-Enter Ltd (FEL), a not for profit social enterprise. Today FEL employs over 100 people and produces 12,000 – 15,000 quality garments a week for multinationals such as ASOS, Tesco F&F and Coast; provides a sampling service for independent brands and created the UK’s first SFA approved Fashion Technology Academy (FTA) offering accredited qualifications for fashion and production skills Level 1 – 5.

Sarah Jardine, Chief Operating Officer, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

“In a world where you can be anything, just be yourself.”

Inspiring WomenHaving gained a BSc (Hons) in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics and an MSc in Laser Engineering from the University of Strathclyde and Heriot Watt University respectively, Sarah’s career began as a Laser Engineer with Thales Optronics in 1993.  After seven successful years, she moved to medical device manufacturer, Optos, as a Senior Optical Engineer.  Sarah held various roles within the company, including Senior Director of manufacturing from 2017 until her move to the National Manufacturing Institute (NMIS) in early 2020.  Sarah joined the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board (SMAB) in 2013 and chaired the Board from 2015 to December 2019.  She was awarded Strathclyde Alumna of the Year in 2018 and received a Top 100 award from The Manufacturer magazine in 2016.  Sarah has had the privilege of being a Career Ready mentor and enjoys working with children to encourage them to pursue careers in manufacturing, engineering and

Katie Murray, Technical Director, Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre

“Invest time in your own development and work with a mentor. There are lots of experienced people who find mentoring very rewarding and would be happy to help, but you have to ask.”

Inspiring WomenKatie is a chemical engineer with over 25 years; experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She started her career in process development and scale-up roles with both Merck and Co. in the US and AstraZeneca in the UK, before moving to technical leadership roles in the deployment of technology into large capital projects, also at AstraZeneca. Her expertise covers both drug substance and drug product development and manufacture. A year ago Katie joined the Centre for Process Innovation’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC). This is a cross industry-academia-UK government collaboration to drive the adoption of more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technology to increase patient access to medicines and reduce the manufacturing carbon footprint, through the execution of ambitious, transformational Grand Challenges. As the Technical Director for MMIC, she is responsible for leading the development and delivery of the technology strategy and has accountability for the Grand Challenge portfolio.

Netty England, Consultant, BioIndustry Association

“Don’t underestimate the value of networking and collaboration – I have been lucky to meet and work with many amazing people over the years, which has led to a happy, fun-filled career so far”

Inspiring WomenOver the last 30+ years Netty has enjoyed being part of the UK bioprocessing community. After graduating from Birmingham University with a Masters Degree in Biochemical Engineering, Netty spent 15 years in industry before setting up as a bioprocessing consultant. She has been involved in the successful bioProcessUK Conference since the outset. Through the BIA she was part of the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce, and was instrumental in getting funding for and helping deliver the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC) programme, through the CGT Catapult. As well as her regular role as secretariat for the BIA Manufacturing Advisory Committee (MAC), this year she has also been part of the BIA Covid-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Taskforce and recently formed Expert Advisory Group, working with the collaborative bioprocessing community to support existing vaccines and prepare for any potential new vaccines that may be manufactured in the UK.

Read part one and part two here.