The Tees Businesswomen Awards can highlight the incredible but often unsung achievements of businesswomen in our region, believes Malcolm Knott of category sponsors ITS.
It was only after talking to the women in his workforce that the Industrial Technology Systems (ITS) managing director fully understood the issues many women have had to overcome due to their gender, including that of juggling childcare and career.
“ITS have a lot of senior women who really drive us and spur us on,” says Malcolm. “They were employed on their merits and are very, very good at their jobs.
“I really wanted to do something to help them, to raise their profiles and celebrate women like them. Being involved with the Tees Businesswomen Awards seemed a great start.”
For the forthcoming awards, in association with Northern Skills Group – the training and apprenticeship arm of Middlesbrough College – Malcolm chose to sponsor the Breaking the Mould category because that’s exactly what he feels the women he works with do.
“They excel as women in a so-called man’s world.”
ITS currently has around a 30 per cent female workforce, with many in senior positions, and Malcolm wants that figure to increase.
“We have 13 women here and another coming in soon as an engineer,” he says. “It’s important that we don’t stand still and we do all we can to encourage women into this field.”
For Malcolm, that includes being an understanding employer.
“I strive to be as flexible as possible,” he explains. “Whatever your gender, if you have childcare issues then that’s OK, we will deal with it, we will find a way.”
As well as celebrating the Tees region’s businesswomen, Malcom thinks that sponsoring an award will encourage women to look at ITS as a potential employer.
“I don’t get a 50 per cent take up from women when I advertise a position and I’d love that to change,” he says. “We want to attract the best and, from experience, I know how good women can be.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the event brings.”
• Middlesbrough-based ITS – sponsors of the Breaking the Mould category in the 2020 Tees Businesswomen Awards – currently has around 30 per cent female workforce. Some of them are pictured (above) with Tees Business sales manager Chris Garbutt.
For further information on sponsoring the remaining category in the Tees Businesswomen Awards 2020 (Charity/Voluntary), contact Chris Garbutt on 01642 450255 or email email@example.com.