Xtrac support International Women’s Day 2023

8th March 2023 is International Women’s Day – a day dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements around the world, raising awareness on the challenges women face, and determining ways of achieving gender equality.

Xtrac is committed to ensuring gender parity and is creating a more diverse workplace to make our business attractive to the widest group of people. Our workplace is currently made up of 9% of female employees. In a male-dominated engineering industry we are working extremely hard to grow this percentage daily.

Our industry is a close-knit community and there are countless women playing a huge role in keeping it alive.

Some of our female talent have shared their thoughts on what #IWD means to them, talk about their careers and working in the motorsport industry.

What is your proudest achievement whilst working at Xtrac?

“My recent promotion to Programme Manager for Motorsports and also the last two years of managing our P1359 LMDh product with multiple constructors and OEMs as well as the series organisers IMSA / ACO.” – Natalie Stevenson, Senior Business Manager

“Joining a successful and dynamic business and integrating quickly.” – Tracy Walker-Reed, HSE Advisor

“Being able to lead the HR team and to rethink and refresh the whole way we engage with and support our employees to ensure we create a culture where everyone can be their best.” – Kirsty Knight, HR Director

“Being awarded Apprentice of the year & becoming a turner.” – Faye Cooke, Apprentice

“Growing the business by attracting and recruiting new employees. It has been really rewarding to see new starters flourish and teams grow, not only in size but in skills, knowledge, and talent.” – Amie Heath, Talent Acquisition Manager

“There have been occasions when the team has been missing something and through perseverance I have either found what we were looking for or at least helped.” – Meria Sukanen, Buyer

“My proudest achievement in the short time I have been working here is that I have grown more confident using the machines.” – Katie Fowler, Apprentice

Which women inspire you the most?

“My manager, Natalie Morgan – an expert in her field.” – Tracy Walker-Reed, HSE Advisor

“My best friend; she has five children (one with ADHD), two dogs and is a nurse. She never complains and takes life as it comes. Also, Jane Hawking- wife of Steven Hawking, he obviously was very intelligent and had MND, her life must have been very hard work, but they were married for 30 years and she was an author as well.“ – Meria Sukanen, Buyer

“Rachel Blackmore, who is one of the most successful female jockeys and competes alongside men as a complete equal in what was traditionally a very male-orientated sport. She has won all the top races from the Grand National to the major races at the Cheltenham festival.” – Kirsty Knight, HR Director

“Female race engineers – I just love to see them in action at the track when I’m on race support for the company.” – Natalie Stevenson, Senior Business Manager

“Everyday women – friends who have overcome challenges, colleagues that have built and continue to develop their careers. Those that are fiercely and successfully independent and those that have created and nurtured loving families.” – Amie Heath, Talent Acquisition Manager

“The Queen, Princess Anne and my Mum.” – Faye Cooke, Apprentice

“The woman that inspires me the most is my mum as she has grown in her career while raising a family and this has proved to me that women can do anything they set their mind to, and we are not limited to what other people think is possible for us.” – Katie Fowler, Apprentice

How do you influence your colleagues around you and the wider business?

“I have only been here for a short time however I hope that my colleagues around me think that I am friendly and good to talk to.” – Katie Fowler, Apprentice

“By keeping everyone smiling in what is at times a highly-stressed environment. Also, providing support for less experienced colleagues across the business and setting an example with customer communications.” – Natalie Stevenson, Senior Business Manager

“I personally believe this starts with building trust with people and doing what you say you will do as this will support people in being open to your influence.” – Kirsty Knight, HR Director

“By trying to encourage change and growth with a positive attitude. I feel passionate about development and adaptation for individuals as well as the business.” – Amie Heath, Talent Acquisition Manager

“Being positive and helpful.” – Meria Sukanen, Buyer

“Be friendly and if I can try to help I will.” – Faye Cooke, Apprentice

“Communication and humour, try to encourage and cajole colleagues into being involved.” – Tracy Walker-Reed, HSE Advisor

How do you think we can encourage employment of women in this industry?

“We need to catch them when they are young, show them that engineering is not scary and everyone doesn’t need to be social media superstar.” – Meria Sukanen, Buyer

“Spread the word of the industry to make as many people aware as possible especially to the younger generation.” – Faye Cooke, Apprentice

“I think by demonstrating success stories, breaking down stereotypes and considering what might attract women not only the industry but into the workplace itself.” – Amie Heath, Talent Acquisition Manager

“By showcasing more about what we do as an industry and where we have females supporting specific work, and sharing some examples specifically for Xtrac on the type of culture we have here and how this could appeal to females as an industry they could consider.” – Kirsty Knight, HR Director

“We can encourage more women in the industry that anything is possible for them through events such as International Women’s Day and school visits. I hope to do a presentation about females in engineering at my old secondary school in the future.” – Katie Fowler, Apprentice

“Sharing employee achievements and engaging with the local community by attending local events.” – Tracy Walker-Reed, HSE Advisor

“Grow our presence in the local community, especially in local schools via STEM activities.” – Natalie Stevenson, Senior Business Manager

Katie Fowler - Apprentice
Caitlin Farrell - Accounts Assistant and Karen Birtwhistle - Purchase Ledger Controller
Angelika Waszak - HR Business Partner & Teresa Bearne - Payroll Controller
Tracy Walker-Reed - HSE Advisor
Meria Sukanen - Proprietary Buyer
Poppy Johnson Humphrey - HR Administrator, Amiee Heath, Talent Acquisition Manager, Leanne Walmsley - Comms & Marketing Manager