Joanna Robinson, MD at ventilation equipment manufacturer Mansfield Pollard has been named RACHP Woman of the Year at the National ACR & Heat Pump Awards 2018.
The annual awards – held on Thursday 18 January – are organised by trade publication the ACR Journal and recognise excellence in the air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump sector.
Robinson was presented with the award for her sustained work in promoting equality in the industry, both at Mansfield Pollard and beyond.
Some of the ways in which she does this are as the first female member and chair of the BESA Ventilation Service Executive Committee; setting up social enterprise STEER to connect the world of education to industry by guiding, mentoring and supporting undergraduates through the transition; and establishing a strong working relationship between Mansfield Pollard and all-girls engineering academy, Skipton Girls High School.
Robinson commented: “I was honoured to receive a surprise award at the National ACR and Heat Pump Awards.
“The lack of diversity in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry is a widely acknowledged challenge. Research shows that businesses with a diverse mix of employees in terms of gender, ethnicity and skills tend to be more successful because they are better connected to their clients’ needs.
“As one of the few women in the industry, I believe that I have a responsibility to promote the career opportunities that are available for both sexes. I hope that my example not only inspires other women to pursue careers within the industry but urges others in the position to do so to join in and help with the agenda.
“We will continue to 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.”