Supporting a Culture of Confident & Successful Women in the Workplace
Posted on March 10, 2021 by
The Manufacturing industry, is traditionally known as a man’s world. However, a shift is happening, and a more balanced working environment is being created. More and more women are choosing STEM subjects and are subsequently following their dreams of a successful career in engineering. Here at Zenith, we strongly believe in gender equality, emphasising that we are all responsible to ensure our employees are treated with the highest level of respect and opportunity regardless of gender.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we caught up with a variety of inspirational women across the company, from Team Leads, through Operations Management to General Managers, to hear their experiences of working in a traditionally male dominated environment.
Firstly, we spoke to Suzi Kennefick, Ireland Operations Manager at Zenith Technologies, about her experience working in a traditionally male-dominated environment.
She said: “Our industry can come across as male-dominated. I have worked in a range of positions, and Zenith has several women in leadership roles. I truly believe that women at Zenith are given equal opportunities and are supported to be successful in their careers”.
We asked Suzi about what she believes women can do to support and inspire each other, she said: “Over the years, I have mentored many women, especially younger women, and in my opinion the biggest key for success is confidence. I believe it is our responsibility as women in leadership roles to mentor those who would like to move forward and build confidence, it is about being brave. Something we tend to focus on is being perfect, but perfection gets us nowhere. It is about being courageous, brave, and building confidence and self-belief in our abilities.”
Wendy Reddington, General Manager at Zenith Technologies, discussed her thoughts on the topic.
“I am proud to be General Manager at Zenith. After having worked in project management and other management roles for many years, I really wanted to do the best I could and show the successes that female leaders can have. Diversity includes a range of factors, and diversity in leadership is essential. In my role at Zenith, I ensure that I work in a way that is true to myself, and my own personal leadership style. Being the UK General Manager is hard work and I would love to be surrounded by more female colleagues in the future.”
Our final interviewee is Georgia Kotsala, who has progressed from a Graduate Engineer to Managed Service Lead in the last 3 years.
“When you stop, think, and look back at how much I have personally achieved, it makes me feel very proud. I started at Zenith as a Graduate Engineer after 8 years of studying, but I still felt that I wanted more. Zenith has given me the ability to grow in my career, whilst trusting that I will do a good job. In order to have the correct skillset to progress in any career, you need the right attitude. For me, it is important to have never stop learning. I strongly believe that hard work is the key for success regardless of your gender. I have always wanted to be the best student in the class and I feel the same now as an adult.”
It is an unfortunate truth that there is still some way to go for women to continue to break down the gender stereotypes imposed on us, however through education, self-belief and support from both men and women, we can continue to see improvements in the manufacturing arena.
We asked Wendy what advice she would give to women out there thinking about a career in engineering or manufacturing, Wendy states “I believe sometimes its presumed men will progress because historically that’s happened, whereas for women thats not always been the case. I would encourage women to take opportunities and don’t be fearful of them, don’t give them a second thought! We must be confident in their own abilities to succeed, that is key.”
It is time to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness about women’s equality. Thanks to all the women interviewed today, we wish you all the best in your careers and encourage others to grow in confidence to become who they want to be and go as far as they want to go.
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