Ellie Radcliffe | Regional Operations Manager UK&I
Ellie Radcliffe, Regional Operations Manager at ERIKS UK&I, has been at ERIKS for almost a year now. She explains why ERIKS is a special company to work for and gives her perspective on diversity.
You joined ERIKS during the lockdown period. How was this for you?
It was good actually, as it allowed me to start in the remote way of working that we’re now all so used to. It was also challenging, because I’ve had to establish a relationship with my team and with customer contacts from a distance.
I have met them in person only once since I started. Fortunately, they have been extremely helpful and welcoming to me. They are so passionate in what they do. It energizes me every day. Its infectious.
What is your role at ERIKS?
I’m responsible for nine Service Centers in the west region, overseeing a number of key customers such as Kellogg’s and Muller. I’m responsible for the delivery of the operational contractual obligations with these customers.
The on-site team deal brilliantly with the standard day-to-day business, and so this means that I can talk to them about strategic topics.
I work with them to understand their needs & objectives, to see where we can further support them and where we have opportunity to innovate with our specialism and new services.
What are your current priorities?
To ensure that we deliver an incredible level of service to the customer. There shouldn’t be the slightest chance of any contractual renewal discussions.
What is your impression of the company so far?
Having worked at a competitor for years, I can safely say that we provide something really special. I feel that people elsewhere are simply not as qualified or as passionate as our people. ERIKS is a proper engineering business, with experts who understand what our customers need.
How does that help these customers?
We are able to surprise customers with new ways of working and add value to their business with our specialism, whereas many competitors focus on cost management only. I strongly believe that our focus on innovation and investing in technical improvements is more sustainable. And it’s not only our technical expertise that benefits customers. Staff departments such as legal and procurement are the backbone of our successful operations. Recently, we were able to help a client solve supply issues caused by Brexit, supported by our own Brexit Committee who did such a great job of preparing ERIKS for this event.
You are a woman in a leadership role, in a traditionally male dominated sector. Has the fact that you are female ever been an issue?
Not at all. I have never felt a glass ceiling, nor have I experienced the negative aspects of the usual diversity topics. At ERIKS, I am treated with the utmost respect and I feel appreciated by my manager, who judges me on how I perform.
What is your personal connection to the D&I topic?
Not that strong actually. I believe people should get jobs based on merit. Gender is immaterial to me. But it’s true that the industry is traditionally male. And, in a way, ERIKS are the victim of that.
Could you explain? How would more diversity benefit ERIKS?
I believe it would give more balance to the company. However, this is certainly not exclusively a gender topic.
There are differences between men and women, but also between men and men. In some regards I have more masculine traits than my male colleagues. It’s the blend of people and cultures that makes us stronger.
How can we achieve more diversity?
It would be great if more people have access to a career in industry because it’s such an exciting field.
I was never encouraged to pursue this career. I stumbled upon this path and happened to love it. It would help if businesses take the lead in encouraging girls to take an interest in industry, by reaching out to them at an early age, opening their eyes to what is out there.
I have a four year old daughter – and I would love to see her working in my field.
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