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Two key figures from Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME), a Green Port Hull initiative to encourage women to choose a career in these industries, have been shortlisted in the Northern Power Women Awards.

Paula Cullen and Kirsty Clode

Kirsty Clode, Chair at WiME, and Paula Cullen, representing WiME partner Airco Centre of Excellence, are in the running for Mentor of the Year and Small Business of the Year. The awards, in partnership with Northern Powerhouse, are run by Northern Power Women – a collaborative campaign to accelerate gender diversity from the North of England.

The role of the organisation is to encourage transformation of business culture to increase opportunities for women in business and showcase role models and best practice businesses that are driving and leading economic growth.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Manchester on Tuesday 7th March.

Kirsty commented:

“It was a great surprise to learn that my work with both WiME and my last employer, BP, is being recognised. I'm delighted to be nominated because I believe that people are a company’s best asset.  Mentoring employees enables them to grow and become the best they can. It drives cultural change as well as delivering real business improvements.

“The WiME initiative is a fantastic way to showcase role models and opportunities for women in manufacturing and engineering. This, along with our Humber Renewables Awards shortlist, shows that WiME is being well-received in our industry.”

Paula added:

“At Airco, we have made great strides in promoting careers for women and I’m proud that, as a company, we’ve been shortlisted for an award for our efforts in this area.”

Paula and Kirsty will both be attending WiME’s careers open event, as part of Hull UK City of Culture’s Wow - Women of the World festival on Saturday 11th March, from 10.30am to 3pm (last entry at 2.30pm), at the Guildhall, in Hull.

The event will be an opportunity for women to meet females already working in the manufacturing and engineering sectors, find out about current vacancies, discover what training and qualifications are needed, and learn about apprenticeship opportunities.

Women can talk directly to representatives from these companies and their female employees about how to get into this exciting and growing sector of the local economy. There will also be an opportunity to get hands-on with engineering equipment, including a Siemens blade mould, and an F-Gas rig from Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited.

Councillor Helena Spencer, Portfolio Holder for Business Support and Change including Equality for Hull City Council, said:

“Congratulations to Kirsty and Paula for being shortlisted in the Northern Power Women Awards. Having two local women nominated will help inspire female business women to continue with the drive to secure more of a gender balance across all industry sectors throughout the country.”

Places are limited for the WIME Careers Open Day, so women are being encouraged to enrol now at www.greenporthull.co.uk/wime-careers where they will find a link to Eventbrite registration.