BRADFORD-based air management specialist Mansfield Pollard has reached an equality milestone as half of the firm’s senior management positions are now held by women.

It follows the appointment of a new female sales director, Lou Frankland, which is a key moment for the Parry Lane engineering firm in its push to encourage a more gender diverse workplace in what is traditionally a male-dominated sector.

The manufacturer is now led by a board of directors where 50 per cent of positions are held by women - a first in the company’s 150-year history.

With only nine per cent of the UK’s current workforce in this sector being female, the manufacturing company is spearheading a campaign to attract more women to the sector.

Mansfield Pollard is led by managing director, Joanna Robinson, who was elected chairman of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) Ventilation Group earlier this year.

She said: “Diversity matters, and companies are 15 per cent 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.”

Ms Frankland added: “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.”

An important part of her role will be to promote the manufacturing industry in schools and to young people, explaining that the profession works with cutting-edge technologies and has excellent career prospects in an expanding market, for men and women alike.

The award-winning firm is an expert in air management and one of the UK’s leading providers of industrial air handling units, refrigeration, controls & ductwork, and acoustic control solutions.