TR Fastenings Lends Support to Women in Business Conference in East Sussex
Fastenings Firm Sponsoring the Wayfinder Woman ‘Inspiring Through Technology’ Event on 12th May 2017
Global fastenings firm TR Fastenings, (TR) based in Uckfield, is proud to announce its executive sponsorship of the WayfinderWoman conference, entitled ‘Inspiring Through Technology’, at the East Sussex National Golf Club in Uckfield, on Friday 12th May.
The conference is organised by WayfinderWoman, which was set up in 2013 to allow women to come together and discuss workplace issues and challenges. The event will celebrate and explore the progress being made by businesses to support, encourage and further the careers of women in business, with a specific focus on industries in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sectors.
Through a series of inspiring talks and seminars, the event will focus on encouraging women to learn about and engage with STEM companies and make the most of the rapidly improving employment opportunities opening up in these industries. Open to both female and male business owners and decision makers at SMEs across Sussex and Kent, the conference will also aim to help businesses identify the challenges and opportunities involved in using different emerging technologies and how they impact on business operations and customer expectations.
This will be the second year the event has taken place, with the inaugural conference in 2016 attracting 130 attendees, 77% of whom were female and 95% of whom were business owners. Speakers at this year’s event include world renowned philanthropist and tech entrepreneur Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley, author of ‘Let IT Go’. TR has invested in executive sponsorship of the conference and Helen Toole, HR Director, Abi Burnett, Head of Marketing and Sian Whitlock, Marketing Executive will all be attending on the day.
Helen Toole, HR Director, says: “The huge advancements in technology and innovation, especially in STEM industries, present both challenges and opportunities for employers and employees and we are thrilled to be sponsoring the WayfinderWoman conference and be associated with this debate."
“As members of a global STEM business, all of us at TR are enormously proud of the advancements we have made in terms of championing women: 50% of our global board is now female and six of our eight branches across the UK are managed by women. We are really looking forward to the conference and are delighted we can lend our support to such a vital and topical issue.
Q&A with two of our apprentices
Aleksandra Kuczynska - Project Support, Strategic Projects Team
Q. When did you join the business as an apprentice and what were the details of your placement?
A. I started on the apprenticeship scheme in June 2014, after being approached by senior members of TR who wanted to recruit someone with my language skills (I speak English, Russian and Polish). I spent three months working in a number of departments including administration, and marketing. Once I joined the strategic projects team, it became apparent that this was the perfect department for me and I have been there ever since!
Q. What did you learn from your time as an apprentice?
A. The great thing about the apprenticeship scheme was the access it gave me to parts of the business that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I learnt quickly and ‘on the job’, experiencing things first hands and witnessing how all the departments operate and work with each other.
Q. What was the most valuable experience you had as an apprentice?
A. Being able to deal/speak/meet with people from all over the world. For me, from my linguistic point of view, this was an amazing experience. Also, having access to and contact with the senior people within the business was a real privilege and has helped me considerably in my career and in my current role.
Q. What was the biggest challenge?
A. Learning on the job can be intense and hard work, but being challenged to pick things up quickly has been hugely rewarding and has really helped me to take skills through to my current role. The more I did, the more I gained in confidence and ability, and the senior support I’ve been given has been amazing.
Jade Wickham - Project Manager – Strategic Projects Team
Q. When did you join the business as an apprentice and what did you do during that time?
A. September 2011. I spent two years working across different departments before joining the strategic projects team four years ago, and I’ve recently been promoted to project manager in that team.
Q. What did you learn from your time as an apprentice?
A. Working in a variety of departments meant that I learnt not only what those teams do but how they support and fit with each other, resulting in a seamless process across the whole business. I was able to pick up a lot of skills and knowledge that I can and do apply now in my current role. As well as gaining an understanding of how the whole business operates, my time as an apprentice also gave me the chance to get to know colleagues in different departments. This has become extremely helpful in my current role because I have relationships with people across the business that I may not have had without working with them. It also helps me understand just exactly what goes on behind the scenes and how everything joins up.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone considering an apprenticeship?
A. An apprenticeship allows you to experience what working in a certain type of business is like. It gives you more in-depth knowledge and hands on experience than reading about how businesses work in a text book, and allows you to start earning and working straight away. In my view, it’s the best training opportunity you can have.