A Burnley engineering company is leading the way
with its gender equality outlook
BCW Manufacturing Group is proud that its workforce of 221 comprises of
22 per cent women – and that figure is continually growing.
The latest statistics from the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) found that females make up just 11 per cent of engineers in the UK. Although numbers have increased in recent years, Britain still has the fewest women engineering professionals in Europe.
And with only 15.1 per cent of engineering undergraduates being female,
more needs to be done to readdress the imbalance.
Janette Reeson is the latest employee to join the ranks at BCW – a provider of precision engineering primarily for the aerospace and automotive sectors. Janette has taken the role of quality manager but admits a job as an engineer was not her first choice when leaving school. She said:
“Engineering was never a conscious career decision, but gradually evolved over time.”
Janette began her working life as a laboratory assistant before taking time off to start a family and spending three years living in South Africa.
She later returned to the UK, and took a job as a laboratory technician before progressing to a quality technician in automotive fasteners and later being promoted to the role of quality engineer.
Janette said the majority of her career had been in male-dominated industries.
“I have had to prove that I am capable and deserve to be in my appointed position to some male members of staff,” she added.
“There has only been one occasion when there was pay discrepancy, which is a hot topic at the moment. They hoped to pay slightly less as I was a woman but it was quickly rectified and equal pay resumed.”
And Janette, who started work with BCW in February, is encouraged that the number of women engineers is increasing.
She said: “It is my experience that if you speak with confidence and know your stuff you will fit in with any team. I have always worked to become known as someone who can be counted on and ultimately that has the impact and gender isn’t considered.”
On her new role at BCW, Janette said: “I was encouraged to apply for a vacancy at BCW and when I researched the company, I found them to be dynamic, expanding, progressive and fast-paced – the ideal company for me!”
Joint Managing Director, Claire Whelan, said: “I am really pleased that Janette has joined our highly-capable team.
“We want a company that is equal and diverse in every sense and if that means we are above the national average in the employment of women in the engineering sector, then we are pleased to support such progression.’’
BCW has a collective experience and proven track record at a high management level of dealing with large blue-chip clients in markets sectors including aerospace, automotive, power-generation and off-road vehicles.
Its recent business growth has seen BCW invest in state of the art hi-tech equipment with the introduction of robotics and fully automated cells allowing them to fill the 80,000 ft2 expansion space at Innovation Drive, Burnley, which now totals over 200,000 sq ft.
BCW continue to invest and 2019 sees its latest expansion come to fruition – increasing its anodising treatment capacity to meet the expected UK growth for lightweight aluminium chassis, hybrid and electric cars.
Significant new contracts have been secured through a clear business strategy and the diversity our customer portfolio.
Last month BCW was crowned the best engineering company in the region at the Red Rose Awards 2019 – beating off hundreds of nominations before impressing judges with an excellent presentation and impressive interview.
Joint managing director, Brent Collins, said: “It’s an honour to lead a dedicated workforce that has resulted in this prestigious award.
“Proud is not a strong enough word to begin to explain how I feel. “