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IWD2021 - Shirley's Story

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

In celebration of International Women’s Day and to celebrate the achievements and successes of our female team we took some time to interview them about their careers.

This is Shirley’s story...

Shirley Ollier joined Packaging Automation in 2005 and is our Projects & Export Admin Coordinator

Q. Shirley, can you tell us do you have a role model?

I would say I have two role models: my late Mother – who instilled in me ‘work hard and always do your best’ and the other has to be Jacinda Ardern. I believe she is a natural and empathetic communicator, and an authentic leader with strong morals and values.

Q. Please can you tell us a little about your experience/career history in the manufacturing sector?

Initially I started in a receptionist role and moved into the Projects team after 12 months. My role evolved, as it was a new position. I began with assisting the Project Engineers with filing the piles of paperwork they accumulated, into logical order.

It has always been the Projects department’s responsibility for getting our equipment safely from PA to the customer site. In 2008 we began exporting to a customer in the USA and this is where I began to become involved with export.

From obtaining packing, air and sea freight quotations, to coordinating the shipments and producing the necessary documentation, and liaising with internal colleagues and our customers. I just assumed anything export related was something I should deal with, which over the last couple of years has meant gathering as much information as possible relating to Brexit and feeding this back to my colleagues so we could prepare as much as we could with the information available. It is early days in the Brexit World, so this is very much a work in progress.

Q. What is it like working in a male dominated environment?

Personally, I feel I am listened to and the bonus is they can do all the moving around of heavy items! I honestly don’t find any difficulties.

Q. Have you had to overcome any difficulties throughout your career?

I have learned to keep going and never give up, even when I thought I couldn’t.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is always somebody with more knowledge who will be only too willing to pass this on, even if you think they won’t, or the question may be too silly.

Q. Have you developed any specific skills?

Anything export related. If I am not 100% sure, I won’t give up until I have the right answer. So in that respect, I would say I have developed perseverance and determination, with attention to detail.

We hope you enjoy Shirley’s story and positive experiences. The lessons we have learnt from her are numerous but include:

· Persevere – don’t give up

· Don’t be afraid to ask for help

· There’s no such thing as a daft question

Thank you, Shirley for sharing you journey, we are proud to have you on our team.

You can read more about Shirley and the PA Brexit Journey here

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