The women of the Norton Motorcycles Team challenge gender bias every single day. A 2022 report by the Automotive Council UK revealed that, “the overall automotive manufacturing sector lags behind other UK industries, with women representing 12% of the workforce compared with 47% in the UK workforce as a whole.” That being said, more and more women are considering a career in the automotive industry and Norton fully embraces this.
International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate women as well as their achievements and successes. So on this IWD, we would like to shine a spotlight on some of the incredible women making an impact at Norton.
Tania Gomes, Engine Build Operative
“I’ve always loved engines, cars, and motorcycles, so learning up close how everything works is very interesting and rewarding. However, it can be challenging and comes with a lot of responsibility.
My role at Norton is to assemble engines; whilst strictly complying with the engine assembly processes and procedures. We have to prepare all the necessary tools, such as lubricating and pre-soaking some parts for a few hours ahead of build, together with pre-assembling parts such as pistons. My Station is number three, where I complete and finalise the engine assembly process, before it moves on to the production line and into a chassis.
If you are considering an automotive career then don’t be intimidated; female characteristics in an automotive business can be a perfect combination for success. Women bring flexibility, technique, empathy, negotiation and can contribute to a lighter, cleaner and more organised working environment.
International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on the struggle and celebration of women’s achievements and victories. Although we are in the 21st century, many women face difficulties in having basic rights guaranteed around the world.”
Roxy Timofte, Admin Stores
“I have always been passionate about trying new things and pushing myself, and working at Norton has allowed me to achieve this. I work with some amazing people, and have learnt a lot about the motorcycle industry in a very short amount of time.
As Stores Admin Assistant, my job entails staying up to date with new products and features, order status and stock availability. I also support the build process by working collaboratively with the Engine and Chassis teams.
My advice to other women is to be open to new opportunities. I’ve learnt that knowledge is power in a male-dominated industry, so don’t be afraid to speak up because by doing so, you will boost your own confidence and get the recognition you deserve.
To me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating women’s success. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the women in our lives and to celebrate their achievements.”
Ewelina Pawlak, Assembly Operator
“As an Assembly Operator, my main job is to assemble the parts in the last stage of bike construction, such as fitting the exhaust, connecting the tank and fitting bodywork. Occasionally I may lend a hand on other build stations for instance, mounting the engine into the frame, connecting the wiring or fitting wheels or chains.
Seeing a bike reach the end of the production line is very rewarding, especially to know I played a part and contributed to making a customer very happy.
My advice to young women would be to believe in yourself and do what makes you happy, because at the end of the day that’s what’s important.
International Women’s Day is a time to appreciate all women and our hard work. Although things are slowly improving, there is still a long way ahead.”
Emily Love, Supplier Development Lead Engineer
“I work collaboratively with Norton’s critical, strategic and high-potential suppliers to improve their capabilities and competitiveness in cost, quality time and technology for the benefit of the supplier, Norton and our customers. Delivering Right First Time, On Time, Every Time.
What I enjoy most about my role is working on improvement and development for products and processes, and seeing projects executed with the end result being exceptional motorcycles for our customers.
My advice for anybody considering this line of work would be: if you have the ambition, go for it, and if you love the product, even better! Have faith in your abilities and push yourself a little out of your comfort zone. Most importantly, learn from your mistakes and share your successes.
International Women’s Day is a chance for us all to promote our achievements to the younger generation, and to those who are still perhaps a little nervous of pursuing a career or sport in what is perceived as being male-dominated.”
Syranpreet Rai, Category Buyer – Chassis
“My main category for purchase is sourcing the paintwork for our current models, the Norton Commando and V4SV. On a more general day, I visit suppliers and work closely with different departments across the company.
The chassis side of purchasing is very hands-on, and I love to get stuck in and help to improve and create processes. It can be challenging at times, but worth it for the final result.
The automotive industry has endless tools and training available which allow you to grow and develop your skills. So my top tip is to go for it!
For me, International Women’s Day means opening doors to women who are coming along behind me, so we can all celebrate more successes together.”
Danielle Bartlett, Material Planner
“My role at Norton as a Material Planner means I analyse raw material stock levels and raise awareness on potential issues. I regularly liaise with other departments throughout the business, such as Procurement, Quality, and Stores to ensure we have sufficient stock to support the production build plan.
No day is the same (which I enjoy), there are always fresh challenges to overcome, and I take satisfaction in seeing improvements and issues resolved.
Working in a male-dominated environment as a woman can appear daunting at first. In my experience, I enjoy working with men, and my male co-workers have all been super receptive and helpful. It makes me realise I bring just as much knowledge and hard work to the industry as them.
International Women’s Day is a day to support and uplift one another, and to acknowledge that we have so many opportunities to be what we want to be if we have faith and determination.”
Victoria Lepska, Buyer
“My role at Norton is a Buyer, working within the Procurement Team. This involves looking after commodities such as fixings for various systems and machine parts.
What I love most about my role is seeing progress and being able to communicate with different people on a daily basis. Whether it’s with internal teams or external suppliers, there is always the opportunity to learn from one another and work together towards a common goal.
My advice for others is always be yourself and spread your positive energy amongst others.
I have been celebrating International Women’s Day since I was a young girl. I love this celebration and everything it stands for – it means a lot to me.”
Ellie Poole, Electrical Buyer
“As an Electrical Buyer, I manage our supplier accounts and work closely with other departments to determine what is needed for the build process and to obtain the parts while attempting to reduce cost and lead time.
I enjoy the fact that every day I can develop my skills further while completing and implementing results at the same time.
I truly believe that expanding diversity in the automotive sector can only be beneficial. There are opportunities for everyone in all areas of Norton because the business is evolving quickly, therefore offering a wide variety of roles and specialities. If you are passionate then I encourage you to apply!
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women’s accomplishments, promote gender equality, and push for positive change in advancing women.”