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Celebrate International Women’s Day

The 8th March is a great day to raise awareness against the bias that surround women, and to celebrate their achievements as part of this years’ International Women’s Day. The 2023 International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity.


Here at Zircotec, we champion and celebrate women in the automotive sector, which is historically notorious for having a higher percentage of male workers. However, statistics show positive changes for the sector, indicating steady growth in the number of women working within Automotive organisations. Over the past year, we have recruited women across several departments, with various experiences including graduates, experienced hires and managerial positions. Our recruitment team have various initiatives in place to address imbalances and embrace equity with the overall aim of continuing to attract new talents across the business, as we continue to grow in line with our long-term strategy.

Today we celebrate the achievements of our team, sharing their thoughts on how the automotive industry should contribute to #EmbraceEquity.

Abi – HR Manager

Abi has been with Zircotec for almost a year now, joining as our Human Resources (HR) Manager. Abi forms part of the senior leadership team, and is an advisor to the board, making a difference across the company. Abi believes that #EmbraceEquity is all about understanding the differences between equality and equity, and having an appreciation of the value added that embracing equity has, not just for women, but for all. Removing the deeply embedded perception and views that act as barriers towards making a workplace equitable will make a positive change in the automotive industry.

What would you say to other women who are considering a role within the automotive/engineering/manufacturing industry?
“Go for it! There’s so much opportunity to be had for women in these industries.”

Would you ever spontaneously break out into a dance in public?
“Yes – and indeed I have, whenever there’s music I just can’t help myself.”

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Linda – Production Operative

Linda works as a production operative; her core focus lies within the masking department. The masking team prepare customer componentry prior to the Zircotec ceramic coating process. Areas that typically require masking include threads, mating faces, slip joints, etc. This type of work requires a perfectionist’s approach, a keen eye for detail and very steady hands. Linda is particularly proud of being capable of completing tasks that sometimes nobody else can, as well as being an all-rounder in the factory, as her intricate and accurate approach can be utilised in other areas when needed.

What would you say to other women who are considering a role within the automotive/engineering/manufacturing industry?
“My daily tasks are always varied which keeps my day very interesting. My role in particular requires me to be thorough and exact, ensuring our customers parts are masked exactly as specified. I’d say that my eye for detail is a particular strength of mine. My hobbies outside of work includes embroidery and creating decorated bespoke cakes. These types of tasks make me picky when it comes to detailed work, which is exactly what’s required in my day-to-day work.” Linda thinks that the automotive industry could contribute to #EmbraceEquity by having more out-reach activities at local schools, exposing to females from a young age how interesting our jobs in the industry can be!

What did you make or eat for dinner last night?
“Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding”

Poornima – Graduate Development Engineer

Poornima joined us as a Graduate Engineer last year, after completing her Master’s Degree at Cranfield University. As a Mechanical Engineering student, she’s often found herself in a male-dominant environment. Poornima would love to tell other women who are considering the industry that… “although there’s stigma around women in engineering still, I find it interesting and fun to get involved with the latest technology, so if that’s something that interests you, you should go for it!”. Poornima is most excited by her work around Hydrogen-ICE, working at the forefront of research & development for this sector.

During her studies at University, Poornima was a STEM ambassador, she’s very passionate about passing on her enthusiasm around this field, with the hope of inspiring other young individuals to become the next generations of STEM professionals. She believes that the automotive/engineering industry can add to #EmbraceEquity by holding more activities around STEM to encourage young females not to follow the misconceptions of “what women can’t or shouldn’t do”.

What super-power would you chose and why?
“Invisibility, can sneak into random bakeries and steal pastries.”

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Niki – Production Team Leader

Niki is one of our production team leaders here at Zircotec, overseeing the smooth operation of the surface preparation, plasma-application, and polymer ceramics application teams. Niki joined Zircotec nearly a decade ago, starting out as an operative in packaging, she has since worked up the ranks and received multiple promotions where she now manages 3 teams in the factory.

Despite what she’s been told in the past, Niki strongly believes that “her work isn’t unsuitable for anyone based on gender or background, and no one should be told otherwise”. Her continued success at Zircotec only strengthens this sentiment. Niki says that she has always been given the same opportunity as everyone else at Zircotec, and since she has been around, she has seen more and more women joining the industry, and not just in the office but also on the shop floor. Niki emphasised, “these jobs are not just for men, and I truly believe anyone can do it”.

If money were no object, how would you spend one year travelling the world?
“Thailand, Maldives, all the things you see in a postcard… I love tropical weather.”

Cherry – Marketing Assistant

Cherry started at Zircotec as a Marketing Assistant last year. Although she has always worked in male-dominant industries, Cherry thought that the automotive industry “is by far the most male dominated”. Even when it comes to client and customer facing, these roles are predominantly occupied by men. That being said, Cherry doesn’t feel that she’s been treated any differently and is an appreciated part of the team. When asked what she’s most proud of since joining Zircotec, Cherry explained, “I have been most proud of learning about the automotive industry as a whole, and how technologies are adapting to new industry challenges, such as EV and alternative fuel vehicles”.

What would you say to other women who are considering a role within the automotive/engineering/manufacturing industry?
“There’s absolutely no reason not to, I don’t think being in a male-dominant industry has made any difference to my opportunities, learning or any day-to-day responsibilities! I believe that the automotive industry could continue to #EmbraceEquity by ramping up the awareness of the varied roles available within our industry. As well as showcasing the stories of successful women leaders in the industry, further breaking down any stereotypes or stigma for the next generation.”

What’s your favourite animal?
“Penguins, they’re chubby and wobbly!”

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Sophie – Financial Controller

Sophie joined Zircotec as an accountant almost 5 years ago and has since been promoted to a senior role within the Accounting and Finance team. According to Sophie, “Although there’s a relatively high percentage of female employees working in finance roles in general, this number decreases dramatically when compared to the number of women in senior finance roles.”. Sophie is particularly proud of the promotions she’s received since starting at Zircotec, she now occupies a crucial role in the senior leadership team where she reports directly to the board.

What would you say to other women who is considering joining the automotive/engineering/manufacturing industry?
“It’s not new that the world of finance is visibly male-dominated, don’t give up any opportunities just because of the challenge of the gender gap. I believe that so long as you are well-prepared and passionate, anybody can be successful in their field.”

Sophie expands that “the industry of finance and automotive can contribute to #EmbraceEquity by raising awareness and providing training around being open and honest, because there shouldn’t be anything to stop you from challenging any unfairness towards being a female, regardless of industry gender gaps.”

What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended?
“When I was 18, I went to watch Green Day in Milton Keynes Bowl. It was absolutely incredible.”