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International Women's Day: Speaking with women in Ellard.

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

The 8th of March marks International Women’s Day, a day that has been celebrated unofficially since 1911. It wasn't until 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating it that it was recognised as an official awareness day. International Women’s day is still as relevant and important as it was when it was founded over a hundred years ago, and people worldwide continue to use the day to not only celebrate how far society has come but also to address issues where we still fall short.

Within the industry Ellard operates in there is still a large gender disparity, with women only making up 21% of people working within the sector. It is vital that as a company that operates within this industry, we recognise diversity and provide an environment that fosters inclusion. Ellard provides our employees with a range of optional training and motivational courses through our parent company Indutrade. The Women’s Empowerment course, for example, is vital in providing women with tools that instil confidence and knowledge. At Ellard, we find it crucial that we create a pathway that promotes and actively participates in helping women grow in their careers with equal opportunities.

Catherine Lockett - Head of Human Resources

Research shows that gender diversity correlates positively with both profitability and value creation and in a male-dominated industry, it remains a challenge for companies such as Ellard to embed diverse decision-making at the ‘top table’.

This challenge is evident across the Indutrade Group, of which Ellard is part. Current data from Indutrade’s c.200 businesses, and 9,100 employees, shows that there is still a long way to go. Whilst 28% of Board members overall are female, only 4% of businesses employ a woman in the Managing Director role. At Ellard we are proud that we have female representation both at Board and Senior Management Team level.

It will take a generation or two for this to level out in businesses, in countries and across the Group; reassuringly however, there is a drive to do it from the most senior level of the Group. Currently, 26% of the Indutrade workforce worldwide is female (25% in the UK), and indeed the Ellard workforce is reflective of this. But with our actions to raise awareness of STEM careers and make them accessible to all; alongside the active steps that we are taking to break down some of the barriers that women can face in entering and remaining in the engineering workforce – ‘calling out’ off-putting language in job adverts, and ensuring that women are represented in marketing materials are ‘easy wins’ here – we can make this a reality within a generation. Indutrade has a target to grow female Board membership across its businesses to 30% within the next two years. Progress won’t be quick that’s for sure – but small gains will add up over time.

As the only female member of the Elllard Senior Management Team currently, I think that I do bring a different perspective to some of the decision-making that happens. I consider myself lucky compared to some other women across the world who can’t access employment, education, and even business ownership, as I have been able to throughout my life so far. However, my perspective as a woman is sometimes different to the men around me, because perhaps of the ‘female socialisation’ and biological factors that I have absorbed from society and otherwise experienced throughout my life. I’ve grown and given birth to two brand new humans during my career, which was a challenge in itself at times. I’m still occasionally seen by others as the ‘default’ parent, and who knows, I may face health issues in years to come that my male counterparts will never have to think about.

International Women’s Day always brings me something new to consider; and having been in post at Ellard since last summer, that’s true for this year too. I know for sure however that I’ll continue to advocate for women in the workforce in whatever way necessary year after year, throughout my career, and beyond.

Danielle Clubb - Marketing Manager

"As a young woman in the industry, from the very first day in my role at Ellard, I have felt supported in having full autonomy in my decisions. Fresh from university, I was the start of the marketing department at Ellard and this came with a lot of responsibility in building the Ellard brand from the ground up. Ellard has been a major supporting factor in the development of both my career and personal growth as I have been given not only access to numerous training courses, a mentor and multiple diplomas, I have also been given the space to use my creativity when taking actions within the department. This has had a positive effect on me personally as I have built transferable skills that help me navigate life as an assertive and confident woman.

There is still a long way to go but if we continue to share our voices and stories we all have the power to rewrite the narrative towards change. As a marketer, I feel as though I have the platform and the responsibility to raise awareness about inequalities that are still present between genders so that women of the future can lead successful lives full of opportunity. "

Sara Smith - Key Accounts Coordinator

"Whilst working at Ellard I have been given a lot of opportunities to improve myself and grow my career.

In a typically male industry, Ellard has made a point to foster equality and diversity making sure that everyone including myself, is offered fair and equal opportunities.

I have worked here for nearly 4 years and have been made to feel empowered by being able to participate in multiple courses and training sessions including the first-line managers course which has improved my knowledge of the products and industry, whilst also improving my confidence within the role.

At Ellard, women are made to feel equal and integral and unlike other workplaces, valued, and appreciated."

Tracy Capper - Credit Controller

"I attended the Empowerment Course in 2022 and feel I learnt so much. I gained insight into my own self-worth, how we perceive ourselves to be and how others actually view us. The course was to inspire and empower women whether at work or at home. Provided the tools to unlock potential, highlight capabilities and achieve positive career changes. Networks were created and support was given for us all to grow in confidence to take the next step. Anyone, especially women, would benefit from attending this type of course to encourage positive change and a better future."

It is important that we continue to empower women and raise awareness, not just on International Women's Day but year-round. Awareness can lead to action, and if we continue to increase the visibility regarding bias, discrimination and inequality, we can help people take active steps that lead to a collective change.

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