Fact File

  • Name: Gemma
  • Age: 35
  • From: Sheffield
  • Favourite place: Calahonda, Spain – our family summer holidays
  • Favourite food: Cheese
  • Favourite animal: Horse or Dolphin
  • Favourite TV show: Usually the latest Netflix series
  • Favourite band: Oasis & Liam Gallagher
  • Selfie or polaroid? Polaroid
  • Saying that you use a lot: There’s not such thing as can’t and practice makes perfect
  • Pet peeve? Things being unorganised
  • Inspirational woman: I have worked with many inspirational women in my career so far

Gemma always knew that she wanted a job that was really interesting. Her work with an international firm based in South Yorkshire gives her that.

What do you do as a Quality Engineer?

Howmet is a superalloy* manufacturer. The sites I work at have melting, forging, finishing and inspection facilities. I work in the quality department. My role is to make sure everything is as it should be. Where there are any discrepancies it is part of my job to find the root cause of the problem, and find solutions to stop them happening again.

(*superalloys are super strong mixes of metals used for things like jet engines)

How did you get to be a Quality Engineer?

I studied systems and control engineering at uni. My favourite part of the course was project management and process improvements. That’s what led me into the job I am doing now. I started work as a continuous improvement engineer and have had many roles in the business since then.

Gemma in the boardroomWhat do you like about your job?

I love that it is different every day, I love that we manufacture material that is used for lots of things including aircraft parts, medical implants, car parts and I love the variety of what I get involved in. I also work with a great team of people and really enjoy coming to work.

Who or what inspired you?

When I was at school I wanted to be pilot in the RAF. After meeting with the RAF and discussing my options I decided that wasn’t the right choice for me at 17 years old, which is why I decided to go to university and study engineering. I chose engineering because I found it interesting, it included my favourite subjects at school, and the different jobs it could lead too all looked great and interesting.

What do your family and friends think about you being an engineer?

I think they think it is cool. My grandad was an engineer so it is nice to keep engineering in the family. It is always funny to see people’s reactions when they ask what I do and I tell them.

Gemma inspecting furnaceAny ideas about what you’ll be doing in 10 years’ time?

At the moment I am too busy living in the now and enjoying what I do.

What do you do outside work?

I have two young sons who keep me very busy outside work. They are very sporty and both play golf, which I used to play, so I am hoping to take that up again in the very near future.

Your advice to girls?

Follow what you want to do and what you enjoy. Don’t be put off by going into a ‘man’s world’. I love working in this industry and there are so many opportunities to grow and learn.