Maariya Hussain on Placement at Ingredients Manufacturer Stephenson

Leeds-based personal care ingredients manufacturer Stephenson is showing its support for International Women’s Day 2020 (Sunday 8 March).

The global manufacturing business which specialises in soap production for clients such as The Body Shop, employs 100 people from its production plant in Horsforth. A third of the Stephenson workforce is women, an increase of 24% in female employees since 2017. This includes the recent appointment of two female shift managers, Agata Pacanowska and Ewelina Ryba, to supervise operations in the manufacturing plant.

The number of female staff team leaders has also trebled in the last three years and for the first time in the 164 year history of the fifth generation family owned business, a woman has been appointed to Stephenson’s Board of Directors. As finance director, Lisa Flannery brings over 25 years of financial and accountancy experience to the business.  

Coming from a corporate background with a wealth of experience, Lisa plays a key role at Stephenson not only as a finance director, but also working alongside male counterparts to align business culture and driving strategy forward. Lisa comments: “Making a difference in a smaller company and making things happen is what I really enjoy. The flexibility of top leadership and a family-focused culture allows the company to achieve ambitious goals and create a pace needed for competitiveness in the market. Everybody can add value to make a change.” 

Stephenson is also a major supporter of the STEM initiative, running a dedicated STEM work placement scheme. This year Maariya Hussain is on placement at Stephenson, working as a QC Laboratory Assistant.

She comments: “Stephenson has been a huge part of my learning experience. As a student in pharmaceutical chemistry, this has been a great opportunity for me to obtain vast skills in real-life situations and it is incredibly fascinating to see this company grow. I am surrounded by amazing people who are always willing to help, and I am thankful to be a part of an organisation of such diversity and female empowerment.”

The campaign theme of this year’s International Women’s Day 2019 is  ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights.’ 

Jamie Bentley, CEO of Stephenson commented: “As a business, we are once again supporting International Women’s Day. The manufacturing sector is traditionally heavily male-dominated but as a progressive, forward-thinking and inclusive business we want to make sure we have the best people performing to the best of their abilities, contributing to our ongoing success as a global manufacturing business. 

“We remain fully committed to workplace equality and have seen the number of women across our business steadily increasing over the past few years in all areas ranging from quality control and the technical division to warehousing and factory operations.”

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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