Celebrating International Women’s Day at IPU
IPU is celebrating International Women’s Day on 8th March 2022. IPU has a growing female workforce and has some advice for females considering a career in engineering.
Findings published by the Women’s Engineering Society in 2021 states that women make up 21.80% of the workforce in the engineering sector in the UK. This is still far from where we need to be as an industry.
IPU works hard to support gender diversity and equality. The company operates an equal pay policy, which is based on job role and not the gender of the job holder. This is proven in the fact that IPU’s Management Team is almost a 50/50 split, with 5 men and 4 women.
As part of IPU’s celebration of International Women’s Day, we’d like to introduce some of our fabulous females:
Louise Hazel – Managing Director
I’ve worked at IPU for 7 years, when I joined as HR Manager. I’ve worked in the industry for over 15 years. As Managing Director, my role is to set the vision and building the team to deliver. I love to learn and understand more about different business areas – I started life in Finance (qualified accountant), then moved into HR (CIPD qualified), Coaching & Mentoring degree and a whole host of other continuous learning courses and self-study. Since moving from Scotland to the Midlands, I have been lucky enough to work within 3 great engineering firms. The people in this industry have a particular passion and pride in what they do, it really is an industry of innovators and problem solvers. There are so many career opportunities that can be pursued in this industry I would encourage everyone to explore engineering firms and there are so many knowledgeable and experienced people around that are inspirational.
I’m proud to be a woman for many reasons – but if I were to try and choose one, it would have to be that we have incredible resilience both in business and personal lives.
Anna Childs – Operations Manager
I’ve worked at IPU for 10 years, I have progressed from Document Controller to Project Manager and now I’m Operations Manager. My role involves looking after all the operations side of IPU, which includes the production, purchasing, stores and service departments. I have a degree in Economics, but I also have a Management Qualification. The people I have come into contact within this industry have been supportive of my progress and development, and I have always felt particularly well supported by IPU itself. For those women considering a career in this industry, I would say it’s great to get into. It’s interesting, challenging, you meet some great people and there is plenty of scope to pursue a varied and rewarding career.
I’m proud to be part of a team of strong women at IPU, who all support each other.
Melissa Payne – Internal Sales and Marketing Manager
I’ve worked for IPU for almost 7 years. I joined as a Marketing Assistant, moving to Marketing Executive, Senior Executive, all the way up to Manager. My role now is to oversee the running of the Internal Sales team, ensuring excellent customer service and that quotes & orders are flowing through the business. The other side of my role as Head of Marketing means I am responsible for the IPU brand – everything you see, touch and feels comes through me. I have a Degree in Marketing & Events Management and a Master’s in Marketing Management. It was daunting to enter this industry, because I had no technical background and it was very different to what I was used to. But the people are welcoming and patient and my knowledge has grown immeasurably. It has been heavily male-dominated in the past, but it is getting better. There are so many opportunities, and this industry is HUGE – so much scope to learn and progress.
I’m proud to be a woman because we are strong and powerful. We have lives full of pain and vulnerability, but we power through. I absolutely love to see women doing amazing in whatever path they choose – there is no stopping us.
Hayley Butler – Management Accountant
I’ve worked at IPU for 7 months, but within the engineering industry for over 20 years. As Management Accountant, my job is to prepare, analyse and report the performance and position of IPU from a financial perspective, so that management can make well-informed decisions, leading to stability, growth and profitability. My qualifications include CIMA Part Qualified, HNC Business & Finance and a Diploma in Management. Those that work in engineering are a great bunch of people, who make everyone feel welcome, with a fantastic team camaraderie and excellent skill sets, who thrive to train and develop, and promote each other. The more women we have in this industry, the better.
I’m so proud to be a woman! We are strong and resilient, we are sisters and cheerleaders, we multi-task and get jobs done, we grow humans, we have great bonds and we protect one another. And finally, I’d like to do a shout-out to all the Ukrainian woman, these are remarkable woman who should be recognised!
Monica Kaur – Trainee Sales and Proposals Engineer
I have been with IPU for 8 months, and this is my first job after University. I have a Degree in Mechanical Engineering. My role involves coming up with a technical/commercial proposal for the customer’s requirements, and present it in a detailed proposal. The proposals will outline projected costs, materials and other matters. The role also involves visiting sites and speaking to the customer directly to find the best solution for them. I was nervous about entering the industry due to lack of experience, but I believed there was a role out there for me and here I am. Every industry will have different types of people, but I can honestly say that IPU is full of people willing to help and allow you to experience different parts of the business. Don’t be put off because it’s historically an industry dominated by men – times have changed so follow your passion and do what you enjoy. No one knows everything! There is always more to learn!
I’m proud of what I’ve gained so far in my life.
Gemma Stanway – Receptionist
I’ve worked at IPU for 13 and a half years. My job as Receptionist involves answering, screening and forwarding incoming calls. Greeting our visitors with a smile at the front desk and directing them appropriately. I also perform various ad hoc duties and offer administrative support across the business. I have a GNVQ Business & Finance Advanced Diploma. For any women considering a career in this industry, I say do it. Being a woman has no impact on your ability to do your job and will not limit any of your opportunities.
I’m proud to be a woman – I take great pride in being myself and the fact I’m able to stand up for myself and others.
Sundas Salim – Accounts Assistant
I’ve worked at IPU for 10 months, but 7 years in the industry. My role involves processing payments, updating financial records, and managing invoices, reviewing and performing audits on financial statements and reports. I have a Master’s in Accounting and Finance. This industry can be male-dominated however, there are a growing number of organisations promoting women in engineering and increasing awareness of engineering as a career path for young women. Don’t let the current imbalance put you off.
I’m proud to be a woman because the female bond is so strong. When women support women incredible things can happen, our instincts are strong. We are special because we bring people into the world, we are the ones that shape the world. We are special because we are strong enough not to fall apart because of the inequality that we receive. Historically (and even now), we are not treated equally, but we don’t stop that from us reaching our goals.
Christine Staples – Service Delivery Co-ordinator
I’ve worked at IPU for just under a year, but I’ve been in the industry for over 10. As Service Delivery Co-ordinator, I work within the operations team, focused on the coordination & leadership of our awesome service team. I support Sales, Production and anyone else who needs it to allow us to give brilliant service to our customers. I have completed various leadership & management courses including a Degree in Business Management Leadership Practices that I will graduate from this year, after completing it in 3.5yrs while working full time. There have been times where it has been hard to progress in such a male-dominated industry, but it’s getting much better. People within Engineering as some of the most down to earth, no-nonsense people you’ll meet. It’s a challenging industry, but rewarding.
Women are capable of anything – we can handle anything you throw at us!