A Female Perspective on Working at Labman
Woman in Science and Technology by Ivana Nanut
When I started at Labman, the higher ratio of male to female employees didn’t surprise me. That was because it reflected a trend I’d seen throughout my technical studies, it’s a fact that engineering currently attracts far more males than females.
At Labman females enhance the business, in engineering and as a whole. There are five of us so I took the time to ask everyone about their work:
Amy Nixon. is a machinist who works in the workshop specialising in making intricate parts for the robots.
Tell me about your role?
I am a machinist and started working at Labman in 2013, I really enjoy it too. We all work hard in the workshop but the atmosphere is fun. I think women might find the idea of working in this sector intimidating which is a shame. I do think that there should be more women in technology and feel schools should be encouraging this.
Jo Batey is Labman’s business development manager, working on the marketing and sales side of the business.
What do you enjoy about your role at Labman?
I thrive on developing relationships with our customers and am involved in all kinds of activities geared towards growing the business: keeping in touch with people, following up on enquiries, attending exhibitions, developing our marketing strategy, writing press releases and having a strong commercial awareness. My background is actually in newspapers, I arrived with no engineering experience at all. However this did not hold me back, largely due to the support I receive from the engineers.
I feel I’ve fitted in to the team and organisation well, introducing many new people to the business, the project involving TIDAS has proved particularly successful. I believe my attitude, skills, personality and enthusiasm brings value to the business. Plus the more I discover about the fascinating and innovative nature of the work the more confident I am talking about it.
Christine Smith. is the Finance Director at Labman
What do you do at Labman?
My role is to take care of the higher financial and administration aspects of the company. I enjoy my job, particularly the variety and diversity of my work. When I started working at Labman in October 1998 I was the only female. I felt outnumbered at first but soon adapted, and got used to conversations dominated by football, football and football!
It’s a very friendly working environment and the expertise, for example in IT and technology, is fantastic. My perception, being a non-engineer, is that engineering is historically dominated by men, a situation which possibly stems from the culture in school and education. I think that in order to get more women in science boys and girls alike should be encouraged at an early age.
Sue Sorrell started working at Labman, taking care of accounts and the administration system in 2013.
Do you like your job?
Yes, like Chris I enjoy the diversity. My role is specifically accounts, dealing with suppliers and purchases however I also get involved in organising social activities, dealing with visitors and being an additional pair of hands as needed. My role also allows the engineers to focus on their areas of expertise rather than administration.
Personally, I like working in a male dominant environment but believe females have certain strengths which men don’t always possess, for example the ability to multi-task! It would be positive to get more females in to this field. I think the way to do this relates to changing people’s perceptions and, like everyone else, feel this should start when children are in school.
Finally a little from my own perspective, I am Ivana Nanut and I started working as a mechanical engineer for Labman just two months ago. Like the others I really enjoy it. I believe engineering is fun and useful, and I consider myself lucky for having a job I actually love.
As my colleagues say females are underrepresented in science and I am very glad to hear that the world is recognising the need to improve this.
I will be personally involved in an event at Stokesley School on 23 June to promote women in engineering and stimulate girls to get interested in science. It marks UK National Women in Engineering Day. It is great that Labman will be there supporting the event and sharing the enthusiasm and passion for technology.