Women encouraged to consider a career in engineering

"You don’t get many female engineers but I’d love to see more women in the sector."

Women thinking about embarking on a career, or changing career, have been encouraged to consider engineering. 

Kim Lynam has ventured far down that path and warmly recommends it, insisting that, though the world of engineering remains heavily male-led, opportunities do exist for women also to carve out rewarding and successful careers. 

Kim has 20 years’ experience in manufacturing and runs DARL Engineering, in Exhall, with her partner Daren. They started DARL producing general manufacturing and invested to future proof the business in manufacturing crankshafts for automotive and other sectors.  

The business has flourished, despite launching just before the pandemic. The order books are full and they have just taken on a contract with a Tier 1 supplier to Porsche.  

Integral to all this success is Kim who started off simply helping out in the factory part-time but has hugely expanded her role. 

“I always had finance and engineering jobs and was working two days in my main job and three days and evenings here,” she said. “But we realised that I needed to be here full-time and manage the whole business. 

“Daren has been in engineering since age 11 and works the machines. He’s very multi-skilled but we work well together as a team and, as time progressed, I took on more roles like quoting for jobs and running the business.  

“I do all sorts. If I need to go out and work a machine, I can do. I do cleaning and driving, the payroll and the accounts. I get pulled from pillar to post, but any company I’ve been at have been has been like that and I really enjoy it. 

“I have worked at a few engineering companies like Gardner Aerospace and Freeman & Procter, and all sorts in quite a few sectors, and have picked up a lot about engineering. You don’t get many female engineers but I’d love to see more women in the sector. You have to be a certain type of person, you can’t be easily offended and you have to be ‘one of the lads’ to a certain extent, but it is all good fun.” 

In Kim’s in-tray at the moment is a new customer who is providing all the cars for a new Brad Pitt F1 film, being made for Netflix. D.A.R.L are manufacturing multiple parts for the cars that are being crashed into walls to the film-makers’ satisfaction! 

“We are supplying them because they cannot get it done anywhere else to the required quality and short timescale,” said Kim. “We have all sorts of customers on our books and they are all really valued but this is one is unusual!”  

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