Women in Manufacturing

Although manufacturing was primarily a male dominated industry we talked to several women who had worked at the Wide Lane site, either at Cunliffe Owen or Ford. Their experiences differed depending when they joined and their role but they all faced the challenge of working in a predominantly male environment.

Wartime Working

During the WWII many women joined the war effort and worked at Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft, taking on what were previously considered male only jobs.

Marion G

We all had to do something, so I trained to be a fitter and that’s how I come to go up to Cunliffe-Owen. I worked on the Seafire. It was like a Spitfire but the…

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Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Women managers and supervisors at Ford were rare but the opportunities were available to those who wanted them.

Debbie B

I went home one day and my mum and dad were reading the paper, and it was an advert from Fords It said “Would you like to join our Production Management Team?” I said ‘ooh…

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Men’s Attitudes

In the early days some male employees found it difficult to accept women working at Ford, but as more women joined over the years attitudes changed.

Debbie B

I got made up to a senior supervisor and then I was transferred as a senior supervisor, a sideways move into the Paint Shop, which obviously involved me then working shifts and I earned a…

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Taking the Floor

The Transition Project took part in the Southampton ‘SO to Speak Festival’ 2017. Ex-Fordies, Deborah Bacon and Laurie Gresty shared their experiences.