A local businesswoman has narrowly missed out on being named manufacturing champion at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards held in London last week.
Laura McBrown, Managing Director at Bordon-based manufacturer G&B Electronic Design, took silver in the Leadership Award, sponsored by Liberty, which celebrates the achievements of outstanding manufacturing leaders and the significant contribution they make to their business and to UK manufacturing.
Laura, who has worked in manufacturing for over 18 years, was selected by a panel of judges drawn from business leaders, industry experts and academics. She was up against tough competition from other outstanding leaders from a range of dynamic businesses, small and large, from across the UK.
Judges were impressed with how Laura worked hard to develop the business and maintain its success in a challenging environment.
G&B Electronic Design is a sub-contract manufacturer working across the medical, military, aerospace, commercial and automotive sectors.
Laura McBrown, Managing Director at G&B Electronic Design, says: “I am truly honoured to have been recognised in this way by my peers. However, this award is as much one for the fantastic team that I work with at G&B Electronic Design. This achievement is as much about their efforts as it is about my own – it feels like a huge endorsement of what we have built together.”
It is a real honour to have been recognised by my peers in this way. This achievement is as much about the efforts of my fantastic and dedicated team as it is about my own – it feels like a huge endorsement of what we have built together.
I feel it is also important as a message to other women. When we were girls we were fortunate to have loving parents who supported us with whatever we wanted to do. I remember my mum always saying that “there is no such word as can’t” and to "just do our best”. So when I found myself to be the only girl on my engineering course, I just got on with it. Roll forward 20ish years and sadly the engineering and manufacturing industry is still struggling with diversity. I look at other industries, some of which are facing huge criticism for their treatment of women and I think about my experience of ours. I’ll admit that we aren’t perfect and that saying “Hi I’m Laura, I’m Managing Director of G&B Electronics” has been met with some interesting responses but I have always just put this down to not enough women stepping up. I have always been treated with the upmost respect and kindness by everyone I’ve had the privilege to meet, so stepping up and putting myself forward for the EEF Future of Manufacturing Leadership Award was my opportunity to give something back with the aim of raising the profile of women in engineering, manufacturing and directorships. I’m honoured to have been awarded Runner Up at National level and I’m extremely proud to be able to say to other women…. there is no such word as can’t.”
Douglas Dawson, CEO of Liberty Industries Group Says: “Strong, dynamic and inspiring leadership is at the heart of every successful business. Laura embodies this – she has steered this company to great achievement and demonstrates the skills that enable companies like hers to be the driving force of manufacturing and the wider economy. This award is very justly deserved.”