International Women’s Day 2024

Today is International Women’s Day and, here at Kersia UK we are celebrating the theme of Inspiring Inclusion.  When asked in a recent DEI survey what they believed to be an important focus for Kersia, 78% of employees across the globe stated Gender Equality as their number 1 priority.  

In Kersia UK, 40% of our Board are female and 33% of our Senior Management Team are now female. At the end of 2023 our Managing Directors and HR Directors worldwide signed up to a non-discrimination charter which demonstrates our commitment to raising awareness amongst our managers and employees about the challenges of non-discrimination and diversity to eliminate any bias or preconceptions and promote integration for all. 

As we celebrate International Women’s Day at Kersia, we are delighted to celebrate all our female employees and we will continue to ensure that they are each given every opportunity to reach their full potential. 

We spoke to several women who work here about females working in the hygiene sector. There are some interesting observations on equality progress within the sector and emphasis on why International Women’s Day is such an important day.  


Belinda Jennings, Technical Sales Consultant, Brewery & Beverage said: 

“I believe we have good career opportunities regardless of being male or female. I have seen this change in the last couple of years at the Kersia site in Bury, with more women in senior roles with opportunities for progression and career development.  In the brewing sector it is a mixed bag depending on the type of brewery.  I have seen some changes for the better over the years, many brewers have always been supportive of women in production or managerial roles, but women may not always feel comfortable in these environments.  I believe this is changing, and the very ‘male stereotype’ production environment is much rarer to see these days in the office or production floor.” 


Rajvinder Parmar, Analyst Programmer, said: 

 “Being a female developer within the IT sector can mean working within predominantly male-led teams. 

At Kersia, I feel I have equal opportunities to develop and advance my professional role. I am supported to run research projects and explore various avenues to professionally challenge myself.“ 


Nicole Thompson Technical Category Manager (F&B), commented: 

“Since joining Kersia and becoming part of a global company, I feel there is a much more even balance of women working in the sector, particularly within middle and higher management roles. It’s really refreshing to see so many female professionals, especially within the traditionally male dominated chemical industry. While I feel there are more women working in the sector than there has been in the past, I still feel there needs to be increased exposure to encourage females to undertake these roles. Although I have never personally felt intimidated or out of place in the industry, I do think there needs to be a shift in general to encourage females to study in the scientific/chemical sector and to choose this as a career path.” 


Sara Blanco, Technical Manager & Project Lead (Farm) added: 

“I consider myself lucky, as within Kersia and being a female in a leadership position has never closed any door for me. However, I believe there is always room for improvement, and perhaps executive positions must be tailored and adapted, to encourage more females to apply for these types of jobs when the opportunity arises, not letting the fear of failure to take part of the process. There are many opportunities globally speaking where Kersia is acting to promote equality. With the Kersia changemaker programme, the company promotes the changemaking skills, this includes things that promote natural strengths that females have, creating an effective and empathetic leadership style across the organisation. The presence of women in the chemical industry across the different positions has increased in the last few years. There have been many campaigns and awareness raised about women in STEM and doing jobs that used to be traditionally more male dominated.  


Susanne Reid, Research & Development Chemist, said: 

 “Inclusion in the workplace can bring many benefits for companies, including improved staff retention rates, increased problem-solving abilities and stronger culture. This has been demonstrated in numerous studies with companies scoring higher in diversity also scoring higher in customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility and profitability. In terms of gender equality, I believe there are still many challenges to be overcome and have seen these personally. 

However, I do believe things are improving, with many companies now offering more flexible options allowing more possibilities for women.” 


Emily Neate-Wynne, Area Sales Manager – Pig & Poultry 

“In terms of gender parity, women in agriculture currently make up about a third of those working in the sector with many of those women facing challenges in the industry’s attitude. However, the industry is changing, becoming more technical, and attracting a more diverse workforce and with more women attending agricultural universities, giving hope to the future. I believe that interest needs to start younger, at school level.  More education about where food comes from, the country’s ability to sustain itself, and how individuals can support the industry would be incredibly impactful for young minds.“ 


 Sarah West, Technical Service Manager, summed up working in the sector:  

“In sectors like chemical manufacturing and the food/farm industry, there have been efforts to promote gender equality and provide equal career opportunities, but challenges still exist. Companies like Kersia may have policies and initiatives in place to support the progression and career development of women, however, it's essential for organisations to continually assess and improve their practices to ensure gender diversity and inclusion. While progress has been made, the pace of change may vary depending on factors such as geographic location and industry norms. Overall, fostering gender diversity and inclusion requires a concerted effort from both organisations and society to address systemic barriers and create environments where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and succeed.”