Blog: Joanna Robinson, Mansfield Pollard
We are delighted to be involved with Bradford Manufacturing Week and know for sure that the series of events will raise awareness, not only for Bradford, but more specifically for a relatively unattractive industry to many.
It is a real opportunity to shout about the wonderful prospects available in manufacturing for young people and a chance for them to work in a fast paced, high technology sector with great rewards and an exciting career ahead of them.
Being a female MD in the manufacturing industry is not too common and we also know that only 23% of our industry’s work force is currently female. Working in a male dominated environment like this does have challenges, particularly if you don’t come from an industry background. It is important to ensure that respect is earned, challenges are embraced, and performance is achieved at every level. Demonstrating capability for the role is also important.
At Mansfield Pollard we are extremely proud that our board is made up of 60% women, with our sales director, Lou Frankland, and our finance director, Allison Howgate, also sitting on the board. The recruitment of the board was purely about skillset, capability and cultural fit. We are a business which embraces diversity at any level and strive to find the right team members who display aptitude for the role as well as the right approach and attitude. In the recruitment process it just happened that those people were female, which also brings the benefit of a slightly different approach and collaborative leadership. Having such diversity in the board room strengthens the team hugely and we are proud to have this variety.
We are extremely passionate about attracting more female engineers into the industry and have historically supported Skipton Girls Grammar School with many initiatives. This included motivational talks, sponsorship of their engineering award, work placements and mentorship of some individuals.
Female leadership within the business has almost certainly increased interest from young women and we really feel that it is less intimidating for people to join a diverse company with a more open approach. Across the business we see an increase in females joining our industry and we will continue to embrace such a positive step forward.