Inspiring Women in Manufacturing recap

Posted on 7 Jan 2021 by Tom Lane

At the end of 2020, The Manufacturer and KTN teamed up to bring you a serries of profiles of 30 Inspiring Women in Manufacturing. We have put all the inspiring quotes in one place to kick-start your 2021 with a bit of positivity.

We had such a positive reaction to our six-part series with KTN profiling Inspiring Women in Manufacturing in December we thought we would give our readers a January recap.

2021 has not got off to the most positive start with the UK going into its third Coronavirus lockdown of this pandemic. In tough times it is good to seek inspiration and focus on your goals. We thought we would share the inspirational quotes of all of the women involved in one place, in no particular order to spread a bit of positivity.

Dr Abi Hird from KTN’s manufacturing team who work on this series alongside The Manufacturer explains why it is so importenat to inspire the next generation: “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.”

“This is a vocation where it’s possible to make a real difference to the environment, society, and people’s lives. The women included in this blog are all passionate about their work in a way that is contagious and inspirational.”

We are committed to highlighting leaders across our sector and inspiring the next generation to follow in their footsteps and forge a career within the UK manufacturing sector.

If you would like to get the full profiles of the women involved in the series you can read part onepart two , part threepart fourpart five and part six here.


Inspiring Women

Kate Barnett, Global Operations Director, ThermoFisher Scientific

“No guts, no glory: nudge yourself out of your comfort zone and try things out safely by assembling a trusted team around you who can give you honest feedback. Aim high. Be authentic. Give credit where it is due.”

Dolores Sanders, Co-Founder, Total Control Pro

“You are never too young, and you are never too old, or too female or too busy, don’t buy your own excuses or others, stay curious on the journey and open to opportunities.”

Dr Lee Caroline Kenny, CEO, Chase Research Cryogenics

“Reflecting back on my own career, being the only woman in a team feels lonely and isolating. It’s important for women to stick together and to support each other to secure the changes we need.”

Jillian MacBryde, Professor of Innovation and Operations Management, University of Strathclyde

“Be yourself, be honest, be respectful of others and finally be confident in your own abilities”

Sarah Black-Smith, Head of Factory Operations, Siemens

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, then you’re right’ (Henry Ford) – Believe in yourself”

Claire Holt, Business & Partnership Consultant, Hosokawa Micron

“Be true to yourself: – Keep your individualism, innovation, USP and work ethic.”

Camilla Wigmore, Director, Newton Europe

“My advice for others is make sure you enjoy your work. Engineering and manufacturing careers can present fantastically stimulating, rewarding and fun environments to work in. Do more of what you enjoy, be kind, have fun and make the most of every opportunity that presents itself.”

Philippa Oldham, Strategic Engagement Director, Advanced Propulsion Centre

“You are entering a time of transition when the world is your oyster. Manufacturing is the heart of everything that we use and dispose of – ideally in a sustainable way. Improving the efficiencies of these processes and retaining the value within our products is paramount. However, never feel trapped in one sector – always move when you start to feel comfortable or bored, as other sectors will need your wealth of knowledge and experience to improve and grow their businesses.”

Kadine James, CEO & Founder, The Immersive Kind

“Companies can’t afford to lose women leaders – Everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges we face”

Helen Anderson, Head of Business Improvement, TMD Technologies Limited

“With the digital revolution, the opportunities within Engineering & Manufacturing, to have a fulfilling and continually evolving career that also shapes the future, have never been greater.”

Julia Moore, CEO, GTMA (Gauge Toolmakers Association)

“To take your team with you on the journey and not to allow anyone to divert your focus”

Steph Locke, CEO, Nightingale HQ

“The need for change is very clear to manufacturers but change is hard due to a relatively low digital savviness inside manufacturers and how new AI is. Overcoming this skills gap, if you have it, helps you boost your own productivity, foster a culture of innovation, and steer strategy. Digital & AI solutions have never been easier to access and there is so much support out there to help gain these critical skills. Investing in AI tools and skills will help you and your business.”

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!”

Phillipa Glover, Managing Director, CNC Robotics

“Like many people working in manufacturing, I don’t just work in this sector because I have to; I work in this sector because I am insanely passionate about manufacturing. Whether you are working as an operator on the shop floor, leading a team of engineers or running a business, you must do what you love. Have courage, speak with conviction and most importantly, always be you. Surround yourself with individuals who continue to empower, inspire and encourage you to grow. Never stop learning.”

Women in Science

Suzanne Farid, Professor of Bioprocess Systems Engineering, University College London

“In academia, we meet many students and colleagues who strive for excellence and build up great accomplishments and so it can be surprising to discover that behind this success many of us let imposter syndrome rear its head occasionally to downplay our achievements. It helps to notice our mindset and reframe subconscious limiting beliefs that hold us back from achieving our full potential. We all have the capacity to reach new heights and can inspire others along the way while contributing positively to our diverse society”.

Coreen McCubbin, Senior Aerospace Consultant, Leading Edge Consulting

“I often hear female engineers talk about how they need to change to fit in better and be stronger. Your strength is in your existing personality, capability and skills please believe in yourself and stay true to your moral compass. Diversity is key to innovation and you are one of the guardians for the next generation to hear their voices and allow them to become a truly diverse and equal workforce.”

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”

Sarah Jardine, Chief Operating Officer, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

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

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”

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.”

Tracey Dawson, Managing Director, Daletech

“Be open to Innovation in all areas of our businesses promoting and role modelling flexibility – which will be key to success in the face of new challenges.”

Abigail Levin, Operations Director, Abigail Levin Consulting

“Always be true to yourself. If you are good at what you do, you will gain the respect, trust and friendship of male colleagues. You should never try to alter who you are to fit in. If you don’t feel you fit in – move do not change who you are”

Dr Sarah Petrie, Innovation Director, Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc

“Don’t keep doing things the same way just because it works and is comfortable. Women often bring a different way of thinking, so consider how you can improve and experiment with new processes. Occasionally, take time to try things differently and see what happens.”

Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez, Reader in Multifunctional Materials Manufacturing, Loughborough University

“The UK is a knowledge-driven economy and women possess the skills to thrive in a working environment where both technical and soft skills are crucial to bring the most out of people. Women should not shrink from the opportunity to come forward and leverage their enormous potential to make the UK a competitive global leader in digital manufacturing”

Andrea Wilson, Director, Hone-All Precision Ltd

“My one piece of advice for Women in the industry is to ensure they experience every aspect of the business they’re working within in order to understand, question and improve processes and performance. Women bring a fresh perspective to many engineering and manufacturing businesses and the most successful of companies embrace this fresh approach and are more flexible, responsive and adaptable as a result.”

Dr Sara Ridley, Project Director, Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions

“The piece of advice I would give to other women is to not doubt yourself, mistakes are fine as long as you learn, you must believe you have a right to be where you are because you do.”

Eser Torun, Chief of Staff, Everledger

“Don’t be content with the status quo, be resilient. Career is a marathon not a sprint. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, ask questions, and take risks.”

Charlotte Horobin, Region Director, Make UK

“Take every opportunity that comes your way to train, develop yourself and broaden your interests, you have to invest in and back yourself”

Dr Yan Wang, Principal Lecturer – Remanufacturing, University of Brighton

“Be determined towards your goal in your career”

Rachel Eade MBE, Director, Red Ltd

“Top advice: 1. listen, look and learn – every day is a school day; 2. never say no to an opportunity, especially those that push your boundaries, talking and presenting helps you learn and grow, and present women as equals in the world of business.”