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PA Champions Women In Engineering

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

Often perceived as a male dominated role, at Packaging Automation we are keen to encourage and support Women in Engineering.

Currently only 13% of engineers are women in the UK ( and we like to think we are playing our part to demonstrate that Engineering can be a great rewarding career for women too.

Tanya Westenraad joined Packaging Automation 19 years ago as an Apprentice, here is her story…

From a very young age Tanya liked to tinker, drawn to problem solving and puzzles she was always interested to find out how things work, you could say it was, perhaps, inevitable that she would become an engineer.

With a father who was a Design Engineer at Toyota, Tanya was always happy to accompany her father on a visit to work and with every visit she understood more.

When they came to the UK from South Africa, Tanya was already winning awards in Technical Drawing at school so when she was introduced to Packaging Automation via Connexions, she jumped at the chance of an Apprenticeship and 19 years later she has never looked back!

Tanya is now Team Leader Mechanical Design Engineer at Packaging Automation, as well as a wife and a mother to 2 young children. Having recently returned from adoption leave for the second time, Tanya made sure that during her period of leave she kept in touch with her team and kept up to date with the fast moving world of technology so the return to work was relatively straight forward.

In a male dominated industry, Tanya is mindful and polite, but do not be fooled, she can stand her ground. Her strong emotional intelligence enables her to flex her management style to suit all situations and she would be the first to say that sometimes engineers can be quite blunt and direct using colourful language but she has learnt not to take it personally and has earnt the respect of her colleagues.

Tanya credits some of her success to the Senior Management Team at PA who have encouraged and supported her professionally and helped her through some difficult personal family times too. Tanya cites the Team Leader Course she attended, arranged by PA through the Manufacturers Alliance, as extremely helpful in taking her career to the next level.

Responsible for the mechanical design of the Packaging Automation Rotofill machine, Tanya is the PA pot filling expert. She is now keen to support and mentor new engineering apprentices at PA and encourage women to consider a career in engineering.

If you would like to find out more about starting a career with Packaging Automation, then contact Dorothy Wainscott HR Manager on 01565 755000.

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