LEADING businesswoman Lynn Tomkins has embarked on a new career to help get more women into management positions.
Tomkins has left her position as UK operations director at skills organisation Semta to devote more time to developing and delivering a gender diversity programme which she has successfully implemented at a number of companies in traditionally male-dominated workplaces.
Mum of one Tomkins, who has more than 25years’ experience working in industry, will chair and be an executive coach for Skills 4, (www.skills4uk.com) the UK’s leading provider of the accredited Career Advancement and Progression programmes and bespoke interventions that help global clients achieve their diversity objectives.
Tomkins, who lives in Morpeth, Northumberland, said while engineering and manufacturing firms were beginning to realise the potential of women, there was still much to do and management positions in other areas – most notably the legal and financial professions – still continue to be dominated by men.
“Women represent half the UK workforce but only account for 22 per cent of science, engineering and manufacturing employees,” says Tomkins. “They are a great untapped resource at a time when we need a wealth of new talent and higher level skills to improve competitiveness.
“Too many women see their careers put on hold or grind to a halt when they have family. Businesses must do more to help them get into management positions but women themselves need to develop the skills required to take advantage of any opportunities.”
One of her proudest achievements while based at Wynyard Park, Teesside, with Semta was the development of Career Advancement Programmes specifically for women after identifying a lack of positive female role models and gender specific training.
More than 2000 women have benefitted from the Skills4 programme, which continues to be delivered in businesses across the UK.
Leeds-based Skills4 Ltd.’s managing director Jayne Little said: “I have known and worked with Lynn for many years and I am absolutely delighted she has agreed to be chairman and one of our executive coaches.
“She has a proven track record having made it to the top of her own profession in a male-dominated environment. I am looking forward to working with her to help empower women to develop their careers and show more businesses how better gender balance makes better business sense.”
Tomkins added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with some of the biggest names in industry – Babcock, Bae, Nissan, Siemens, Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover to name but a few – to boost workforce skills through the recruitment of apprentices and graduates as well as developing training programmes to enable the existing workforce to skill up in order for the UK engineering and manufacturing sector to meet the challenges posed by traditional competitors and the emerging nations.
“It is now time for me to devote my energy into ensuring women and the businesses they work in are ready to take advantage of the opportunities which will be afforded as the economy once again begins to grow.
Tomkins was Vice President of the Ship Building, Ship Repair Association (SSA) – the first woman to hold the position, and she continues to serve on the board of the UK Electronics Skills Foundation, which she helped found.
She is also a non-executive director leading on business development of the successful North East’s Hexham Racecourse and is a governor at Northumberland College.
For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with Lynn or Jayne call Paul Robertson on 07887 832144