Women in ACR: Charlotte Dresser


03 March 2016
Charlotte Dresser - Mansfield Pollard
Charlotte Dresser - Mansfield Pollard
This month in the 'Women in ACR' series, the ACR Journal interviews Charlotte Dresser, age 19 who is an Apprentice Electrical Engineer with Mansfield Pollard.

Where did you study and which qualification did you gain?

​I attended Crawshaw Academy, Pudsey, and Guiseley School, where I completed my GCSE’s. I have always been certain that I wanted to be an engineer so I enrolled at Bradford College where I gained my Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering.

Tell us about your employer

​Mansfield Pollard is based in Bradford and has an enviable reputation for delivering bespoke air management and acoustic control solutions.

These are delivered to a wide range of UK and international customers working in sectors as diverse as health care, pharmaceutical production, leisure, retail and education. 

The management team encourages every team member to succeed, and we are given endless opportunities to benefit from personalised training initiatives. It is reasons like this why the company won the ‘Outstanding Employer of the Year’ award at the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2015.

What attracted you to the industry?

​From a very young age I have always had a fascination with speed and movement, and the processes that are involved in mechanical and electrical objects and machines. I was really lucky that my Granddad was part of a team at a museum in Doncaster that restored helicopters, so I was able to go along and watch him at work.
This led to me taking part in a project to restore the front of an aircraft, and the Transport Trust named me ‘Young Preservationist of the Year’ for making a significant contribution to transport preservation. This was such an honour as I was the youngest person, and the first female, to win the award.
As soon as I started my Diploma I was able to explore this more, and my eyes were opened to a diverse and creative industry.
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What do you specialise in now? Or, what type of projects do you work on?

​My role as an apprentice began in September 2015, so I have been spending a lot of time on the factory floor watching the engineers and learning as much as possible. The team have been so helpful and provide me with all the training and mentoring that I need to increase my skills and knowledge. 

As Mansfield Pollard deliver bespoke industrial air management and acoustic control solutions there is lots to get to grips with and every day is so varied. I love that I constantly need to be alert and proactive.

​What do you know now about the industry which you wished you had known before?

​I grew up thinking that engineering and manufacturing was the norm, and that everyone would share the same passion that I did! It was a huge eye opener to see that there was only one other female on my college course, and I was further shocked to hear that only 7% of people working in the UK engineering sector are women.

I was so happy to hear that Mansfield Pollard address this issue. They work hard to raise awareness, and promote the industry in schools and to young people. The message is to explain that our profession works with cutting edge technologies and has excellent career prospects in an expanding market, for men and women alike.

​Manufacturing offers a long term career path and exciting and challenging work on a diverse range of projects.
​"Manufacturing offers a long term career path and exciting and challenging work on a diverse range of projects."
Charlotte Dresser - Mansfield Pollard
Authorised use of the image to the extent that BESA own any copyright in the same and subject to a full acknowledgement in the piece itself of Mansfield Pollard's long-standing connection with and contribution to BESA

What excites or interests you about the industry and your part in it now?

​The diversity of the industry is very exciting. You never know what kind of project you can be working on. 
Once I am fully qualified as an electrical engineer, I will have developed the skills needed to undertake many more engineering positions. Being an engineer opens so many doors, and the knowledge that I am set to gain can be transferred to many more roles.

What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry?

​Do it! 
It is such an exciting, innovative, and fast paced industry, and you will be given the opportunity to work on a variety of complex projects. 
I get to work with 150 team members who share my passion for the industry and work together to deliver projects for companies as diverse as pharmaceutical brands, luxury car makers and the aerospace industry, as well as major retail, leisure and commercial developments.

Where do you see your career developing?

​I am looking forward to finishing my apprenticeship, and working at Mansfield Pollard to develop and perfect my skills. In the next five years, my dream is to join the RAF as an Aircraft Technician, to maintain aircraft structure, propulsion systems and associated equipment.

What are the challenges of being an apprentice in this industry?

​Being patient is definitely a challenge!
As an apprentice, I am spending a lot of time on the factory floor to watch and learn as much as possible, whilst juggling my college work. There are so many aspects to take into account, and so many processes to remember. I want to excel in everything that I do, and to qualify as quickly as possible.

What are the benefits of being in your role?

​Being an engineer is paving the way for the future, and I am excited that the skills that I am set to learn will help find creative solutions for the challenges facing our society.
Engineering offers a rewarding career, with opportunities to travel, and work with the most innovative organisations, and people in the world. Another great benefit is that the analytical skills and technological expertise that I will develop can also be put to use in many other fields, and will definitely open so many doors for various career opportunities in the future.