Belmont Packaging is a female-led cardboard manufacturing company in Wigan, Lancashire. Kate Hulley is its Managing Director, as well as being a mother of three.
Manufacturing is a sector I feel passionately about and figures show only a quarter of the industry workforce (26%) are actually women, so of course I would like to encourage more women to seek out careers in such a fascinating and diverse industry, said Kate.
Manufacturing is a male dominated industry and only few women choose a career within this industry; and those that do, are few and far between. Can 2018 close the gender gaps in manufacturing?
Kate has been working in this industry for the majority of her life and in 2013 she bought the family business. Besides being the companyâs first female owner, 40% of her workforce is also female: I am passionate about ensuring women and working mothers be the best they can be and that they can have it all, being a good mum and fulfilling their potential at work.
Businesses such as Belmont Packaging prove that women can also be very successful within the manufacturing industry and set an example for the future. More and more women are getting involved; however, there still is a gap that needs to be filled.
One of the issues, and a reason that puts women off when thinking about a job in manufacturing, is the lack of role models. In fact, only 7% of SMEs in the manufacturing sector are women-led, while only 8% of SMEs in the construction sector are led by women. More women are needed in work to aid the economy; manufacturing is a wealth creation industry so the more the merrier! Women are able to bring softer skills to the party to aid cohesion and collective decision making, argued Kate.
She highlighted that running a business in this industry is like running a business in any other area of industry: Whether male or female, when running a business self-belief, tenacity and the ability to bounce back after knocks are important.