In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are proud to showcase some of our amazing women from across the group.
The maritime industry is one that traditionally lacks gender balance despite the many ranging opportunities available to women. At Harland & Wolff, we see women from across the group excel in their roles from apprentice welders on the yard, to the graduates and business support staff in the office, to senior leaders in the boardroom.
Read about the experiences of some of the women at Harland & Wolff:
Commercial Director: Defence & Government Vessels
“After studying History at university, I took a sharp change of direction and completed an MA in War Studies, with a particular focus upon maritime warfare and civil military relations and I was then privileged to join BAE Systems on the Astute Class Submarine programme. While working I also completed a Law degree part time and became MCIPS accredited. Having spent over fifteen years at BAE Systems and Thales, I worked on several major defence and civil programmes. Following this, I moved into government where I managed central government controls of the Ministry of Defence spending, and eventually took responsibility of controls for all departments.
“My experience of working at Harland & Wolff has been full of growth and positive change. The rate of development and opportunities to make a mark has been unparalleled, and it is exciting to be part of that process. Personally, it is energising to help others realise their ambition for the firm. I have grown so much as a professional over the past eight months, whilst also feeling as though I am making a genuine difference.
“I would encourage women to consider a career at Harland & Wolff because of the various opportunities available within the organisation, despite its stage of maturity. The business is changing daily and constantly innovating, which provides a countless number of benefits for employee progression.”
Permit Controller Assistant
“Born and raised in Bristol, I eventually left to complete a degree in Recreation and Community at Plymouth Marjon University. After acquiring my degree, I moved to London and joined the Metropolitan police in 1988 and transferred to Northumbria Police in 1996.”
”Following this, I was transferred to Devon and Cornwall Police in 2003, living in North Devon. Here, I worked across various departments throughout the Devon & Cornwall Police force until health complications required me to take a break from work. Despite this, I still took up opportunities for volunteering and care work and eventually completed a door supervisors SIA badge in 2021. I then went from providing security services at a caravan park to working under the Health & Safety department at Harland & Wolff as a Permit Controller Assistant.”
”Working at Harland & Wolff has been an amazing experience so far. I love the team down at Appledore and the different characters that make up the team. The working environment motivates me to want to come to work even on a down day. I would recommend Harland & Wolff as an ideal place of work. My daughter also is currently applying for an apprenticeship at Harland & Wolff, after studying two years of plumbing at college and this choice will provide her with the best support to progress in the industry.”
Junior Quality Engineer
“Born and raised in a lineage of engineers in Stornoway, I very rapidly developed an interest in engineering. During my childhood I enjoyed working on small projects with my father who ran our family engineering business that was set up by my late grandfather.
“I knew engineering was the career path for me after having a fabrication and welding workshop at I attended when I was at school. After this, I went on to complete a HNC Fabrication and Welding qualification that consisted of three years of practical and theoretical experience. Unfortunately, there were no apprenticeship opportunities when I was in college, neither were there many options in the industry at a local level. The local Arnish yard had also been inactive for many years and it was not till Harland & Wolff acquired the yard and provided opportunities that I was able to make a career out what I love doing.
”In my opinion, working at Harland & Wolff has not only allowed me to pursue my passion, but it also has provided me with support for career progression. I would highly recommend Harland & Wolff as a great company to work for and I believe there has never been a better time for women to get into an engineering career at Harland & Wolff than now. At the Arnish yard, there are currently 13 apprentices 3 of which are women and are all doing an amazing job. All colleagues are treated equally, with the utmost respect and everyone is regarded as one team.”
“Before studying International Hospitality Management at Ulster University Belfast, I attended all all-girls grammar school. During my time in university, I acquired various skills through part-time work across various sectors. After completing my degree, I went on to do a 1-year internship at Belfast City Hospital as Admin in the Hematology and Cancer services department. My time working in Belfast City Hospital reconfirmed HR as my chosen career path. Which is why when I saw the opportunity for the HR graduate role at Harland & Wolff I did not hesitate. In addition to this, I come from a line of Harland & Wolff employees as my grandfather and great grandfather both worked for the company, and I saw it as an honour to follow in their footsteps.
“Although I have only been working at Harland & Wolff for six months, I have really enjoyed my experience so far and I particularly appreciate the team of supportive colleagues within my department for the admirable work they do. Being part of a business with multiple sites has allowed me to meet various people from different backgrounds which has been a highlight for me.
“I encourage women to consider careers at Harland & Wolff for its dynamism and endless opportunities. Even though I am based in the office, I have the opportunity to experience all activities on the yard from the team’s hard work on the ground to the work behind the scenes. I started career with Harland & Wollf in HR with no knowledge of the shipbuilding industry but soon realised there is an array of career opportunities in finance, payroll, sales and many more.”
About International Women’s Day
The aim of the International Women’s Day 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. You can read more about this here.