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Women and Manufacturing: Experience of A Female Manufacturer in Male-Dominated Industry

At McLaren Packaging, female professionals are represented at all levels of the business. On International Women’s Day, Kirsty Cochrane, Operations Manager for Corrugate, shares her experience of managing a team of 25 men.

Commenting on her career, Kirsty Cochrane said,

“I entered the packaging industry two years ago, but I’ve been working in manufacturing since 2017, so I've been involved for seven years. I studied Chemical Engineering and I enjoy establishing and implementing processes where I can make my mark. I like collaborating with others to enhance efficiency and analyse data. Manufacturing, to me, seems like a career with longevity – it’s not something that will leave Scotland anytime soon.”

The general trend shows positive change, as more women are represented in leadership roles across various industries, including the manufacturing sector. This change reflects a growing recognition of the value and contribution of women in the industry, while also breaking the stereotypes they may face.

Kirsty Cochrane said,

“I have had several experiences managing teams. Through them, I have learned to speak up and show more confidence. I find that I can communicate effectively with almost anyone. Being a female manager encourages people to approach me with their problems, which I see as an opportunity to listen and provide support. Managing people with respect and dignity is fundamental to me.”

“For me, it is important to work with like-minded people and to have diversity in the workplace because it brings different points of view, which I may never have considered due to our diverse life experiences. Having more women leaders in businesses not only creates a more representative community but also a better collaborative environment. So, it is important to ensure that women have their space, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries.”

People Engagement Director, Alison Noble said,

“Promoting and delivering Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is something that’s important to us here at McLaren. It’s essential that responsible businesses create and support an environment with equal opportunities for everyone based on capability and merit that means everyone’s talents can be recognised. Kirsty is a really valuable member of the McLaren team. She brings great perspective and leadership to her role and is a positive role model within our business.”

As more women assume leading roles and expand industries, they inspire future generations to pursue their career goals.

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