Angela Taylor, Director of AT Management Solutions and director OF BMPCA  

What is your current role?

Director of AT Management Solutions and director of BMPCA (British Manufacturing Plant Constructors Association). I also volunteer as an enterprise adviser in Sheffield.

What does that involve on a day-to-day basis?

I work with a wide portfolio of clients on business growth and the changes required throughout the business to achieve their goals. On the engineering side, I work in supply chain management with clients to source the best products globally, including foundries, machining, and other metal-manufactured products.

How did you get started working in STEM?

I was looking for a new challenge at what was quite a difficult point in my life and wanted to use my sales and business development skills in a role with the potential to travel and use my language skills. My engineering ‘apprenticeship’ started with an export sales executive role with Wm Cook Ltd.

What qualifications did you gain along the way?

My professional qualifications are linguistic, and business based. Throughout my career I have completed bespoke courses related to sales and business development and management. Now I am concentrating on Certifications for Professional Development (CPD) related to leadership and coaching, corporate governance, due diligence, networking strategies and how to become a non-executive director (NED).

Why do you love working in STEM?

I am passionate about how we make things, how they work and the concepts behind them. I have always been fascinated by flight and steam engines – because without STEM and everything it involves the world would stop.

My favourite projects I’ve been involved with include supplying components for the Joint Strike Fighter – vectored thrust, and Typhoon EJ200 Eurofighter.

What challenges have you faced in your career? How did you overcome them?

When I accepted the role at WM Cook, I had zero foundry experience (not a clue about how castings were made!), so I identified the most experienced technical people and spent time shadowing them, asked curious questions, and discovered the answers, enabling me to fulfil my role.

I have been made redundant and learned it is not personal, but instead a very formative lesson in resilience and understanding my core skills and how transferable they were.

What advice would you offer for someone joining the STEM sectors?

STEM is everywhere – building Lego is engineering, and physics and baking is chemistry and maths. There are more ways into STEM than you can imagine in terms of roles and career opportunities.

Know your passions, be and stay curious and remember there is no such thing as a ‘daft’ question.

What do we need to do as an industry to attract and keep more women in STEM?

Retain talent through flexible working conditions such as working from home policies (much more likely to be second place since the pandemic), compressed working hours, and job sharing all mean women can find a better ideal work/life balance. Organisations must offer equal pay. Women are often paid up to 20 per cent less than their male counterparts. To retain more women across all role levels, we need to pay everyone the same base-line value.

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