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Rising to the challenge - inspiring manufacturers 

Our recent International Women’s Day and Manufacturing event, on March 8 2021, saw us host two terrific speakers, Jenny Manning, Aerospace Engineering Manager, BAE Systems, and Ruth Amos, entrepreneur and inventor of the StairSteady.

The manufacturing and engineering sector is one that must constantly remain on the pulse of societal needs, meeting each new challenge with market leading innovation and product development. But how do the leaders in their fields reach their goals, what are their drivers, and what has stood in their way in order to obtain it?

Our two speakers discussed just that, and the challenges they faced along the way.

Jenny Manning - The road to becoming a rising star

Jenny Manning, an Aerospace Engineering Manager at BAE Systems revealed that during her time with BAE she has acquired accolades such as the UK National Apprentice Champion of the Year, the Royal Academy of Engineering Rising Star, as well as WES (Women’s Engineering Society) Top 50 Women in Engineering and featured in The Manufacturer’s Top 100. Jenny explored the finer details about her career to date, how she started out in her apprenticeship, and how the road since that time has been littered with new challenges to reach her goals. She details how she has overcome those challenges with a steely determination to succeed and a refusal to accept barriers.

View Jenny’s talk here as an excerpt recording from our event.

Ruth Amos - Why we should celebrate failure

Ruth Amos is a British entrepreneur and inventor of the StairSteady. And for anyone who isn’t aware, the StairSteady is an aid to enable people with limited mobility to use their stairs confidently and safely, which Ruth invented at the remarkable age of 16 in a school project. Ruth, also an inspirational and motivational speaker, talked about how being able to move through failure makes us more resilient. She discussed the various stages from ‘bright idea’ to production and those that helped inspire and develop her career.

Ruth can also be found inspiring the younger generation on YouTube with her ‘Kids Invent’ show, featuring inventions brought to life from the imaginations of her viewers. Whether that’s flame throwing pianos to furry electric dog cars; Ruth discussed how viewing the world around us a little differently can make us better at our jobs.

What was key to both of our speakers, was the need for further inclusivity in the world of engineering and manufacturing. As an industry, like many others, predominantly male led, both Ruth and Jenny demonstrated why women and girls should feature in today's and future generations of successful engineering and manufacturing firms. They highlighted the need for encouragement and education at a young age to show the possibilities and opportunities open to children, regardless of gender, in order to discover that untapped potential and create the innovators of the future.

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