One got sent on a typing course so she could ‘work with machinery’ after telling careers advisors she wanted to be an engineer, another was a teenage bus driver and the third became a book-keeper.
But all three women have played a major part in breaking the manufacturing mould in South Yorkshire’s male-dominated industrial scene.
Bridie Warner-Adsetts, chief operating officer at Naylor Industries, Anne Wilson MBE, the boss of Numill Engineering and Marie Cooper, plant manager at Parker Hannifin, will be sharing the inspirational stories of their rise to the top at an event to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8.
“These driven and dynamic women will talk about Breaking the Mould - Women in Manufacturing, and what motivated them to get there,” said Jackie Freeborn, event organiser and chairman of the Women In Business Group at Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.
Bridie Warner-Adsetts wanted to be an engineer from her teens. She strayed into financial management for 10 years before returning to manufacturing. At Naylor Industries the number of female managers has increased from five to 18 in five years and its board is 50 per cent female.
Anne Wilson joined Numill as a book-keeper in 2001 and bought the business in 2006.
Meanwhile, a car accident at 17 left Marie Cooper unable to finish her A levels and aim for a degree in finance. She became a bus driver instead, then went into accounts at Wath motor giant DC Cook. When the company went into liquidation she worked alongside the receivers who set her on the road to accountancy qualifications.
For tickets to the Women in Business event at Tankersley Manor, visit www.brchamber.co.uk/events-812