What does your job entail?
I’m managing director of Numill, a tooling manufacturer based in Sheffield. I oversee the operations, finance and all 11 employees.
How did you get into manufacturing?
I left school at 16 and went back into education when I was 40 to become a certified accountant technician. I started at Numill as the bookkeeper, and then gradually expanded my role into what was essentially the commercial manager.
I did a post graduate degree in strategic management and did my dissertation on how Numill could pass the baton in the company once the owner retired and what that exit strategy could look like. Off the back of that work, I bought the company with the owner’s blessing in 2006.
I’ve been able to transfer life skills I learned over the years into management skills and bring a strong focus on finance to the company.
Why do you enjoy working in manufacturing?
It’s so inspiring. I’m amazed at the innovation and how we’re able to find solutions to problems. It’s amazing to be a part of.
We work with businesses around the world – I’ve gotten to travel around Europe and Southeast Asia as part of my job.
I also enjoy working as an education partner and industry champion with Sheffield Secondary School, helping the kids with their employability skills.
What challenges have you overcome in your career?
I had a massive learning curve when I bought the company, especially going into the recession. I didn’t want to lose engineers and wanted to keep the skills we had during this difficult time.
I try not to view challenges as a negative, rather as an opportunity to learn something new or do something differently.
What advice would you have for women thinking of a career in manufacturing?
Go for it! There are so many opportunities and so many jobs in the industry, and not just in engineering. Working with machines isn’t the only path; you can be part of the management teams of the future.