Mansfield Pollard achieves 50% female board

L-r: Lou Frankland, sales director; Allison Howgate, finance director; Joanna Robinson, MD.L-r: Lou Frankland, sales director; Allison Howgate, finance director; Joanna Robinson, MD.

Air management specialist Mansfield Pollard has bolstered its senior management team with the appointment of Lou Frankland as sales director.

Her appointment is a pivotal moment for the engineering firm, marking a pioneering shift from the status quo associated with this male-dominated sector. The manufacturer is now lead by a diverse board of directors, where 50% of positions are now held by women; a first in the company’s 150-year history and a rarity in this sector.

The sales director role is key and reflects the business’ strategic agenda for commercial growth which should enable it to focus on adding value for its customers and extend the reach of the brand internationally.

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Frankland has a distinguished track record of driving growth, having spent 16 years in specification sales within the industrial/commercial lighting industry, where she moved up through the business from the sales department to head of sales and marketing, and finally sales director in 2011. Her role was to develop the vision and implementation of the company’s sales and marketing strategy which ensured healthy profit and growth.

Her role at Mansfield Pollard will be extensive, but her immediate priorities are to develop the sales structure significantly across the different business divisions, implement key strategies to develop short-term business and delivering long-term growth via strong specification routes.

An important part of the role will be working together with other members of the board to promote the manufacturing industry in schools and to young people more generally and to explain that the profession works with cutting-edge technologies and has excellent career prospects in an expanding market, for men and women alike.

MD Joanna Robinson said: “Diversity matters, and companies are 15% more likely to perform better if they are gender diverse. The different ways women approach issues add to the flexibility and resourcefulness of an organisation.

“As one of the few women in the industry, I believe that I have a responsibility to promote career opportunities for both sexes and in particular I hope that my example inspires other women to pursue careers within the industry.

“We are delighted to welcome Lou to the team and shine a light on gender diversity within our industry, but there is no room for complacency. If our sector is to thrive we need to be looking at the entire talent pool and that means ensuring that women have the right skills and opportunities, and are shown that a career in this sector is diverse, exciting and can provide equal opportunities for all.”

Frankland added: “The role provides an opportunity to build on the strong foundations already in place, working with a great team of people who understand what the business is here to deliver. My experience in specification sales should assist in the future growth of the business, and with some focus in key export markets, I believe we have the perfect combination for a successful future.

“Supporting Joanna on her quest to promote the industry is really exciting, and I am looking forward to helping spread the message to women and girls that engineering offers fantastic career prospects and the opportunity to improve society by contributing to ground-breaking projects that will really make a difference.”

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