To mark International Women’s Day, we announced a series of features celebrating the many talented women working at Lucite International (LI). Clare Wheeler, Manufacturing Improvement Team Leader at our Newton Aycliffe site in the UK, spoke to us about her time with us so far.

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When did you join LI?

CW: February 2005.

How long have you been in your current role?

CW: I’ve had the role of Manufacturing Improvement Team Leader for five and a half years.

Have you been given good learning and development opportunities?

CW: I’ve been given great opportunities!

I started my career as a Process Engineer before moving into Operations Management. When I first joined LI, I was the Technical Operations Manager for our Newton Aycliffe, UK site. I really enjoyed this role, both for the technical and people management aspects.

Over the last five years I have been focusing on improvement work – the scope of this has helped me develop my coaching and leadership skills, as well as project management. All in all, I’ve definitely been able to develop various skills through the different roles and projects I have been involved in.

Are you happy with your career progress since joining LI?

CW: Yes! As mentioned, I started at LI in an Operations Management role, but since having children, I’ve been able to move to a part-time role focusing on improvements. This allows me to balance my work skills with my home life.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

CW: The variety and challenge. As all of my work is project-based, I get to work with different people on different projects. This year, I’ve been working on improving our training and documented approach to standards. Last year I focused on coaching to help strengthen our culture.

I enjoy adapting my role depending on the needs of the business.

What advice would you give to women aspiring to work in the chemicals industry?

CW: Go for it! There is such a great variety of roles you can move through. It’s a rewarding career with plenty of opportunities.