March 5, 2020
As part of our commitment to equality and diversity, George Barnsdale is celebrating International Women’s Day 2020 by sharing an insight from Ines Oliveira, Team Leader in our Assembly area who oversees the work of her mainly male colleaugues. Joinery manufacturing is traditionally a male environment and Ines, aged 24 from Portugal, joined us from the food industry where greater numbers of women are usually found. We asked her how she has found it working in a male dominated environment:
“When I started, I was the only woman working in the production department. I felt very excited and looked forward to a fresh start. I believe it was difficult in the beginning for some of the staff to have a female presence and I worried that there was a bit of disbelief in my skills as a professional,. They had few expectations and were guilty of a bit of stereotyping, believing that I wouldn’t stay very long.”
However, it wasn’t long before their opinions started to change, Ines explains further “Unfortunately, as a woman in the workplace we feel that we need to prove something all the time and make sure we are being heard and our opinion matters. Looking back I feel that, unintentionally is exactly what I tried to do for a while until I realised that I was in the process of being accepted in the team and I let things take their natural course.”
Ines realises that women are still in the minority in the timber windows industry, “For a lot of organisations ,women do not feel as valued as I do in my role as we are still a very small minority (around 12%) in our industry in the UK. I think it’s down to everybody within the sector to make changes to the workplace mentality so we can see more diversity in the workforce in the UK and around the world.”
Ines is ambitious and is currently studying CMI Level 5 which is helping her to develop her management and leadership skills and she plans to use this to assess the business as it evolves, fill the gaps and make a real difference. She wants to be a part of the company’s progressive future and is a huge asset to the organisation.
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