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  • Women in STEM & Manufacturing

    August 25, 2021

    Sarah Williams
    Machinist, The Adelphi Group of Companies

    “My dad also worked in Engineering”, says Sarah. “I followed in his footsteps.

    My apprenticeship at Crawley College began aged 15, and included an intensive year at the Industrial Training Centre (ITC), where I was one of just 3 female students out of an intake of 130.

    After several successful years as a machinist at high vacuum technology manufacturer VG Scientific, I left engineering aged 22 to start a family.

    12 years later, I returned – first as a repair engineer and then as an engineer at another high vacuum technology company, Omicron, where following the merger with Vacgen, I was promoted to Manager.

    Discovering my current position at Adelphi was timely, after a COVID-related furlough and redundancy. My interview experience with Adelphi’s Workshop Manager Ron Wilkins was excellent, and Ron makes it very clear that there is zero gender bias in Adelphi’s recruitment process. I was invited to make the most of my managerial experience and put my own stamp on the department from Day 1.

    I have now been at Adelphi 9 months, and have transformed the Machine Shop from an R&D to a Production-based mindset, significantly improving efficiency and increasing productivity.
    Although at first I worried that my male colleagues found me intimidating, we actually enjoy a great rapport at Adelphi and they are willing to learn from me and approach me for advice – there is certainly no gender hierarchy.

    Adelphi are an extremely positive employer as they are openly engaging with the dialogue surrounding women in manufacturing, and the challenges we can face. Little by little, Adelphi are reducing the gender gap in their practical workforce of Machinists and Mechanical Fitters. My next goal is to take on Adelphi’s first female engineering apprentice, to pass my experience forward to the next generation!”

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