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Hako Machines Ltd Eldon Close, Crick, Northampton, Northants, NN6 7UD

International Womens Week – Alison Conroy

Continuing our week of championing women in the workplace, we caught up with “New girl” on the block Sales and Marketing Director, Alison Conroy. Alison joined Hako Machines just over a year ago and has well and truly made an impression on those around her. Joining Hako with 15 years’ worth of industry experience, Alison has seen how the industry has changed, from her first job as an office apprentice for an engineering company in Huddersfield to leading a team of 14 Executives and Managers within Sales and Marketing and encourages them to #PushForProgress

“I’ve been with Hako for just over a year now and I’m very proud to be part of the senior management team in this company. Our people are our greatest asset a well-used phrase, but in our case it’s a fact. Personally I manage a great sales and marketing team, they’re all very different and that’s what makes this job so enjoyable. When I accepted the job at Hako I had two other job offers on the table. I chose this one as I felt it was the right fit for me personally. The company ethos, the people I met on various visits, the ‘feel’ of the place all made the decision an easy one. I love my job, its challenging its rewarding, I get to meet great people, sell great products and manage a team of people all of whom are driven and successful. Someone once told me that managing a sales team is like herding cats – I couldn’t possibly comment”

We asked Ali do you think it is more difficult to be a woman in the industry. “Sadly yes I do. There can be a perception with some individuals that you can’t possibly know what you’re talking about when it comes to the technical side of the business, it’s great to prove them wrong! Yes I’m female but I’m here to do my job and hopefully lead by example regardless of gender. It’s a very male dominated industry and that has posed some challenges but I’ve dealt with those and become a stronger individual. Every job I’ve had has been based on my capabilities to do the role, the fact I’m female hasn’t been a factor.”

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be and why? “Passionate, enthusiastic, confident. My favourite quote and my personal ethos is keep your head, heels and standards high – Coco Chanel, but I also think it is important to take inspiration from those around you. And I personally, derive a lot of inspiration from our MD Sylvie, you couldn’t meet a more driven, passionate individual and that’s infectious.”

Have you always wanted to go down this route? “When asked what I wanted to do when I was at School I always said I wanted to be a teacher. My mother was the Deputy Head and she was the strongest person I ever knew, she has been a huge influence on my life choices, sadly no longer with us I know she’d be proud of her little girl. I’m not sure I’d have been as brilliant a teacher as she was but I wouldn’t honestly change the path I’ve followed.”

My one bit of advice to give would be “Glass ceilings exist to be shattered”

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