One Labour Party leadership contender followed her interest in both innovating companies and women working in engineering roles and decided that Sheffield’s multi award-winning manufacturer, Gripple Limited ‘fitted the bill’.
Liz Kendall, the MP representing Leicester West, toured The Old West Gun Works, HQ of the employee-owned world-beating producer of unique wire joining and fastening devices, where she met staff from both production and administration departments.
The MP chatted for a while with a recent arrival at Gripple, 28-year-old Charlotte Hill. With an engineering degree and currently studying for an MBA in industrial management, Charlotte is product manager for the company’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning suspension solutions.
Charlotte spoke to Liz about how her interest in engineering was sparked and her experience of working in what is traditionally a ‘man’s world’. Liz also expressed interest in the company’s firm adherence to the employee ownership model.
Charlotte had said: “As an engineer it was my father who encouraged me to find out how things worked and that I could do exactly what I wanted. My interest grew. In my previous jobs it wasn’t when working as an engineer that I experienced some prejudice, it was simply because I am a woman!
“I am thoroughly enjoying life at Gripple, where there is absolutely no prejudice against women. Everyone is an equal shareholder, all working together to ensure the company’s success.”
Gripple has won two Queen’s Awards for innovation and has 500 staff across bases in the USA, France and India. In the UK 35 per cent of engineering and team leading staff are female.