A female storekeeper is encouraging North East women to consider a career in engineering after becoming the first person to be promoted into a new stores coordinator role at the region’s biggest bus company, Go North East.
Originally hailing from Poland, where she obtained a degree in Economics, Emilia Fengriffin fell in love with the North East and all it has to offer while holidaying in Newcastle in 2005.
During the two-week trip to visit her brother, Emilia was quickly convinced by the local culture, environment and people that she wanted to stay, and successfully applied for a position to work in the region.
Emilia says that this decision, combined with the support of Go North East has allowed her to pursue opportunities unheard of in her home country. She said: “I wouldn’t have been able to get where I am today in Poland - career opportunities for women are still very limited and I realise how lucky I am to be in a position where I can follow my dreams, fully supported in every way by my colleagues at Go North East.”
Before joining the company’s Chester-le-Street depot as its only female storekeeper in 2015, 35-year-old Emilia gained a decade of relevant experience working in various support roles for an electrical-engineering company.
It is this collective experience, alongside Emilia’s passion and drive which led to her recent promotion.
In her new role as stores coordinator– a position which has been especially created to oversee the management of all Go North East’s engineering stores, Emilia will streamline operations to improve efficiency across seven depots.
The married mum-of-one added: “One of the first things I did when joining Go North East was to completely reorganise the engineering stores to make it fit for purpose; freeing up storage space, relocating parts and introducing new ways of working – it really helped to take the pressure off a lot of jobs and meant the team can work safely, quickly and easily.
“This is exactly what I’ll be looking to achieve across each of our engineering stores. It’s going to be a massive project but I’m looking forward to working with all the teams to combine our knowledge and create new practices that work smarter for everyone.
“I hope other women will take inspiration from this and take advantage of the engineering career opportunities available to them at Go North East. It’s such an interesting and varied position.”
Head of engineering at Go North East Colin Barnes, said: “Emilia has impressed us since she started at Go North East two years ago and we know that she is the woman for the job – she’s always on the go and looking for ways to make improvements and the teams respect her greatly. She’s a perfect fit and we look forward to seeing the transformations she is sure to make.”