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To celebrate 'Women in Engineering National Day', 23 June, we are thrilled to spotlight some of our exceptional talent, such as Erin Thomas, within our organisation. Erin's dedication, talent, passion for her job, and for Woods, has not only fueled her success but also positioned her as a driving force within our team.
Erin Thomas is a Manufacturing Engineer, based in Colchester, UK, at Woods Air Movement. Erin first started at Woods through one of our apprenticeship programs and has been not only grown to be a valuable team member but Erin is also an inspiration for all future women engineers. Let's get to know more about Erin and her journey within Engineering.
8 years this year
"Starting a demanding full-time job straight from school (age 16) and being the only female. It was a huge change and required a lot of resilience both mentally and physically - especially getting used to ‘the banter’ that came with the environment. Working in a male dominated environment was daunting at the start, but something I was adamant I could handle. I wanted to prove to myself and other people that I could do the same things as the male apprentices could do. After 8 years, I can safely say that the guys on the shop floor treated me with nothing but respect, right from the off. They are helpful, approachable and have taught me so much over the year - they are also a great laugh! So, being the only female wasn’t so bad after all!"
"Apprenticeship programs! I honestly don’t think there’s a better way. Not only do you earn whilst you learn, but you gain so much invaluable experience that will push you closer to the top when it comes to job applications."
"Don’t give up! I’m not embarrassed to say that I was close to giving up during the first year of my apprenticeship. However, I knew that this was the best way of learning and moving forward within the Engineering sector. Mistakes make for knowledge, and most people will be glad you made the mistake, accepted it, and learnt from it.
Don’t be scared to ask questions, the likelihood is, you’re asking a question that somebody else is too embarrassed to ask, in the fear of looking silly! Asking questions is the best way to learn the job and get to know your colleagues, who turn into friends.
Becoming an Engineer makes you look at things more logically and level-headed, both at work and in day-to-day life; the role provides life skills, not just work skills."
"I have been a member of Colchester Young Farmers for 6 years now, holding various committee roles at both club and Essex County level, including Secretary multiple times. I love the team spirit we have when attending competitions (especially Tug of War!) and the life-long friends that are made. Not to mention we all love going to the pub too…"
"Erin brings unique perspectives to the design process, often creating more inclusive products and processes that better suit the needs of our customers. While there is still a long way to go in terms of achieving gender parity within engineering, Erin continues to be proof of a World where all individuals have the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of technology"