International Women’s Day – An Interview with Philippa Glover

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Philippa is the Managing Director of CNC Robotics Ltd, a leading robotic integration company based in the Liverpool City Region. She started her career studying a Masters in Chemistry with a year in industry at the University of Sheffield and has worked in manufacturing ever since. Philippa is responsible for the strategic development of the business and its people. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and sits on several advisory boards, including MAKE UK Regional Advisory Board and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Manufacturing Made Smarter Advisory Board. In 2019 Philippa featured in Insiders 42 under 42 NW list celebrating the strength of the region’s brightest business talent to form the next generation of successful business leaders and business owners. She is passionate about working closely with the broader manufacturing community to address critical challenges that will shape our future.
1. What got you interested in engineering?
Manufacturing covers a wide range of industries, and it’s difficult not to get excited about the opportunities that manufacturing and engineering presents. My career has spanned sectors, including some of the most interesting such as FMCG, food technology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and high tech industries and across a diverse range of roles. What got me interested in manufacturing and engineering is how diverse it is. No two days are the same, and likewise, for CNC Robotics, no two clients are the same. Not everyone gets excited about what you do for a living, but people genuinely want to listen when you support manufacturers to do what they do best but smarter.
2. What is the most interesting engineering project you have been involved in, and why was it interesting?
Working in manufacturing and engineering is incredibly exciting. It is fundamental to our economy, and digital technologies such as robotics and automation will play a key role in continuing to put UK manufacturing on the map driving growth and opportunities for all. Every project that I get involved in is interesting in its own right. I enjoy working strategically with the manufacturing community to help manufacturers understand the positive role robotics and automation play in building a more resilient and sustainable future, creating a blueprint for the future of UK manufacturing.
3. Why should more females take up a career in engineering?
The UK has the lowest number of female engineers in Europe; this is pretty shocking and not something we should be proud of; however, as a woman working in manufacturing and engineering, I could not think of a better sector to work in. Working in manufacturing and engineering is a great place to be, and it is essential that we showcase the fantastic opportunities available and nurture and grow future talent. Opportunities really are available to all, and you can be a force for change.
4. Why do you think sustainable mobility is such an important field?
Sustainable mobility is not just about today. It’s about making the right decisions for tomorrow. Sustainable mobility is about just that. Ensuring that we reduce our environmental impact when moving both people and goods. As a mum of two, my kids regularly encourage me not to drive places and instead walk, cycle or catch the bus. Sustainable mobility is about them and ensuring that we continue to innovate to protect our planet. A key area of focus is sustainable raw materials. These will power sustainable mobility. I see first hand some of the changes afoot as we work closely with several leading companies working within the field.

5. Do you have any advice for any young female engineers?
As a woman working in robotics, sometimes you may be the only woman in the room whilst some may see this as a challenge, there are significant opportunities for growth and mindful progression. It’s an exciting time to work in robotics, with significant opportunities for growth. For those looking to get into the sector, it is important to surround yourself with individuals who empower you to grow and reach your potential.

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