Sophie shows her true mettle after reaching the top with Corbetts
A Telford Managing Director is showing her mettle as she leads one of the UK’s oldest galvanisers on the next stage of its journey.
Sophie Williams is bucking the trend as a female working in the galvanising industry after joining Corbetts in 2005 where she started as an invoice clerk in the finance team.
She entered a male dominated environment at the Halesfield firm but was determined to prove herself and help the well-established former family business go from strength-to-strength.
Sophie’s time as an invoice clerk and finance assistant in finance gave her a thorough overview of Corbetts and helped her to understand more about the day-to-day operations of the firm both financially and operationally.
In 2012, she had made such an impression over a seven year period that she was promoted to Finance Director and became instrumental in shaping the firm’s future direction and strategic approach.
After Corbetts was taken over by Canadian private equity firm Ardenton in 2017, Sophie’s commitment and dedication to career development continued to be recognised.
And her journey took a further upward turn in 2020 when she was appointed as General Manager.
Halesfield-based Corbetts, which is the longest established and largest independent galvanisers in the UK, is launching a recruitment drive targeting up to 50 new employees in a variety of roles.
The firm is particularly keen to attract more females to work within the business as operatives.
In 2021, two females joined the team as operatives and both now have aspirations to enrol on the new Iron Duke Academy to become Shift Supervisors.
Now Sophie is hoping her career pathway with Corbetts can inspire other females to do the same in a business with a history dating back to 1860.
Sophie said: “There’s no doubt that the galvanising industry is male dominated and probably always will be but a career for women in this industry is not only achievable but also rewarding.
“It was challenging when I first joined the business and there was perhaps a reluctance to accept females into it.
“However, times have changed. We’re attracting more females and we want to continue to do so, particularly on the operations side.
“The two ladies we currently have working as operatives are doing exactly the same work as the men –they’re enjoying it and being at the cutting edge of what we do.”
Sophie is delighted with how the female recruits have gelled into the team and believes that women can bring different attributes to help Corbetts build on its decades of success.
She said: “I think everyone has different strengths but at shop floor level women often have a much better eye for detail which can only be a good thing in terms of what we produce and the work that we are doing.
“There’s very much a team ethos here and they have fitted in so well with the rest of our workforce and their performance levels are outstanding. We’re confident that more female workers can only benefit us.”
As for Sophie’s own journey, she is now looking forward to the future after becoming the firm’s Managing Director in 2022.
She said: “These are exciting times at Corbetts and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved with the business so far but there’s more to come.
“The market place is buoyant but demand is outstripping supply which is why we need to recruit 50 new staff across the business.
“It seems a long time ago since I started at Corbetts but it has been a great journey and hopefully other females can follow in my footsteps.”
Anyone over 18 can apply for roles which Corbetts are offering.
Councillor Eileen Callear (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy, Employment and Skills said: “It’s wonderful to see how Sophie has risen to the very top at Corbetts which has an excellent reputation locally and nationally.
“Her journey has taken her to the top and she is a role model for other females to follow in the galvanising industry.
“Through this recruitment drive, Corbetts is offering a range of employment opportunities and the chance to learn new skills which is great news for both local people and the economy.”
Find out how Telford Job Box can support you with opportunities at Corbetts by calling 01952 382888 or visit Telford Job Box.