Rachel Eldridge Operations Director Eminox Ltd

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Rachel-Eldridge 

What’s your job like?

My role at Eminox is often fast-paced and at times challenging. With this comes a great sense of achievement when we accomplish our goals. Being a medium-sized manufacturing company with over 250 employees working in the exhaust industry, it can appear to be a male dominated environment, but this is simply not the case.

I oversee operations for the site, which include shop floor, health and safety, quality, maintenance, supply chain, customer service, planning, and continuous improvement.

 

How did you get into this career?

I worked in procurement with Siemens for 10 years, but moved to Eminox because I wanted a broader role that involved more of the operations and manufacturing side. I really enjoy the scope of my position and seeing the small decisions have ripple benefits across the company. The company is going through an exciting period of growth.

I never thought about manufacturing as a sector in particular, but once I was given an opportunity to learn about it, I found it was really interesting and pushed myself to understand it better. Sometimes you just fall into something that really suits you, and that’s what happened for me.

 

What do you enjoy about working in manufacturing?

I love the visibility of my efforts where you can see a tangible result of your work and instant visibility of improvements. I also enjoy seeing the product go from design to being manufactured and ready to ship.  I try to get out on the shop floor two or three times a day and talk to the team so I can see exactly what goes into making our products.

It’s a high pressure environment, and I’m in a role with a lot of responsibility, but that’s the kind of environment I really thrive in.

 

What challenges have you faced?

The main challenge has been the speed at which I’ve had to expand my knowledge base. When I worked at a larger company, I was responsible for a single commodity, but now the scope of my role is so much greater. However, I enjoy the challenge and putting in the hours to learn more. I’m looking to take some more formal training in operational and managerial leadership.

From a personal perspective, there were challenges surrounding family life – as every job has. My husband and I worked together to find a solution that worked for us.

 

What advice would you have for young women thinking about manufacturing as a career?

I’d say that they shouldn’t consider the fact they’re female as a factor in what kind of career they can have. Although, manufacturing is male dominated, companies are in the process of changing this. At Eminox we always look to employ the best person for the job, whether male or female. I’m proud I’m the first woman to reach this level at our organisation and its parent company.

You just need to have confidence in your ability. Whether you’re male or female, it doesn’t make a difference in your ability to do the job. It hasn’t personally affected me working in this industry.

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