This week, LotusWorks joined the Irish Cancer Society in their fight against cancer by hosting a Cups Against Breast Cancer coffee morning. By holding a Cups Against Breast Cancer coffee morning, LotusWorks are supporting patients with breast cancer and their families. The donations from the coffee morning will fund research and support services for breast cancer patients across Ireland.
To promote the fundraising campaign, LotusWorker Catherine Manning, a Quality Technician based on a Medical Device facility, shares her LotusWorks journey.
Catherine Manning began her career journey 7 years ago having completed a Degree in Undenominated Science in NUI Galway. Since then, Catherine has worked in multiple microbiology labs throughout Ireland, before taking up her current position as a Quality Technician with LotusWorks this year.
“I’ve always had an interest in science and engineering. I chose the course of Undenominated Science as it allowed me to study a variety of science topics without choosing one direct route straight away. That was important to me. It gave me an opportunity to sample certain subjects that I might never have, had I chosen one core science subject.”
Catherine, now based in Galway, is working with the LotusWorks team on a Medical Device client facility. Working as a Quality Technician, Catherine is the first point of contact on the production line who deals with any batch production errors and all quality control.
“My daily duties include NCEPs and routine quality investigations, corrective and preventative actions. Any operation issues from the production line are brought to my attention. We’re working with life changing products and the importance of adhering to the regulations, the development of the medical device equipment is so important. It’s amazing to think that every day I go to work, I am assisting in the manufacturing of life changing products that are supplied internationally.”
Engineering is a heavily male dominated career discipline worldwide. A running theme is the measurement of the extent of the gender gap in the engineering profession. Overall, just 12% of the engineering profession are women, a ratio of 8 men to every woman according to the Engineers Ireland “Barometer of the Profession in Ireland” 2018 report.
When asked about her decision to choose a career in a heavily male dominated workforce Catherine says it was never off putting for her.
“I had a keen interest in science and knew that it was an area I would like to delve further into as a career option. Out of a team of 10, there are four other females on my team. We have a great gender balance at this facility. I believe if you are passionate enough about something, you should just go for it, and that is what I did. It’s not all golf and soccer conversations at tea time!”
When asked about what advice she would give to females considering a career in the engineering and science industry, Catherine’s advice is to go for it. “Get in contact with companies working in the area you have a keen interest in. Check out what voluntary work options are available, complete an internship if they are available to you. Make sure you are happy and as a female I would say pursue your career goals. Don’t get put off because of a gender imbalance in certain areas. I’m thoroughly enjoying my role at the moment and the people I work with are superb. I couldn’t recommend the career path enough.”
Looking back on her first 10 months at LotusWorks, Catherine comments on the support network available to her. “The on boarding process at LotusWorks was excellent. I really felt comfortable in knowing that I would be supported throughout my journey with them. I really feel part of a team here and knowing the support network is available to me is encouraging. I would have no hesitation in recommending the company as an employer.”