When I first started work in 2002, I never thought I would consider myself a ‘woman in engineering’, in fact probably quite the opposite! But now, I couldn’t imagine not being part of such an exciting, evolving and integral industry, and I’m proud to be helping push against stereotypes and know the value I bring to help drive the business forwards.
A bit about my career background
After finishing university in 2007 with a degree in English Literature and Language and Linguistics I wasn’t sure what to do next. Teaching seemed like the obvious choice, but staying at university for further studying just didn’t appeal to me.
Over the next few years, I built up a successful career in retail management. By 2016 I was managing two stores – one of which being a brand-new flagship I had just opened and recruited a full staff for, a team totalling more than 30 people, and achieving fantastic KPI results in a multi-million pound turnover, high pressure environment.
I loved the pace, I loved managing people, and I loved the achievements. But when I became a mother, my priorities changed.
Work-life balance was something I’d not really considered before, and it quickly became clear I had none! So, a change of career path ensued, and I started working in insurance. There were many skills I had developed along the way that put me in good stead for this role – sales, KPIs and working in a high-pressure target driven environment. But something was still missing.
Joining the ISF team
After having my second child and following a delayed return to work through covid, in 2021 I started working as quality manager at ISF.
Again, my skills transferred over well – but imposter syndrome was definitely present – I had no experience in engineering and I definitely didn’t know anything about an animal feed mill!
However, I completed a higher course in ISO Systems and Internal Auditing and had great feedback. As time progressed my role has developed, and along with my quality management duties, I now take care of various areas of the business including training, and liaising with our marketing company to raise the profile of the business.
My role now
I’m learning all the time and that is what I love the most. With the training I have completed, transferable skills from my previous positions, and the time and support from my colleagues I now feel comfortable in my role, and know that I am making a real contribution to the company.
It is evidence that with the right attitude, and the right support network, you can change your career path – even if it is to something you had never considered you could do! And I’m proud to be a woman working in engineering.