Gripple Women back new Campaign to Redress Industrial Gender Imbalance

30th January 2014

Two women directly involved with operations at Gripple Limited, the Sheffield-based world beating manufacturer, joined their counterparts, wide ranging industrial representatives and MPs from across the city and the UK at the House of Commons to celebrate the launch of the Women in Manufacturing (WiM) initiative to build and sustain the pool of female talent in engineering and manufacturing.

Representing Gripple were Emma Hibbert, the company's internal sales manager, and Catherine King, its sales marketing co-ordinator, who were nominated to attend the launch event by Ian Farquhar, the newly appointed MD of Gripple, which is an employee-owned manufacturer of the unique wire joiner. At the House of Commons they met up with Angela Smith MP who invited them and was hosting the event on behalf of WiM as one of its regional champions. Following the event, Emma said: -This is an essential and much needed initiative. During the launch Catherine and I were able to speak to a number of our peers and hear the views of several influential people in the industry. Our opinion that women make a valuable contribution towards manufacturing and engineering by introducing a totally different perspective to a business is now stronger than ever! WiM is a not-for-profit initiative created by the Glass Academy which is the training and skills arm of the British Glass Manufacturers' Confederation. With the support of The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London, WiM is driven by a programme of cultural change to bring about a shift in the thinking of industry's senior people. It aims to bring together the UK manufacturing and engineering community to attract, support and retain women into the sector, encouraging diversity and increasing the UK talent pool by raising the number of women in industry at all levels and across career disciplines. In the UK, fewer than one in ten science, technology, engineers and mathematics (STEM) managers is female and only 8.7 per cent of professional engineers are women. The UK has the lowest proportion of female engineering professionals across the EU states, compared to Sweden with 26 per cent and Bulgaria with 29 per cent.

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