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International Women’s Day Case Study: Nikola Lodder – Creating a positive impact in the future of construction

Nikola is a Quality Engineer working in the Quality department at Aliaxis UK.  

After moving to the UK about five years ago, Nikola joined Aliaxis UK in 2021 as an Extrusion Operator and has come on in leaps and bounds ever since. 

In a short space of time, Nikola has learnt a new language, developed her career and taken on additional roles including becoming a workplace mentor, a Fire Marshal and a Mental Health First Aider.

Before joining Aliaxis UK, Nikola was hesitant about joining a male-dominated working environment “After my interview I thought the environment was very male-dominated – I was quite shocked at the percentage of men at Aliaxis UK, it was like a man cave!”

“This was my first manufacturing job, and I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I joined but I was open-minded and wanted to try something new.”

Reflecting on her first few weeks in the industry, Nikola said “In the beginning, I felt some of my male colleagues didn’t respect me, but they soon knew I was here to work hard.”

“I’m not afraid to challenge others when something isn’t right and to get my hands dirty. The environment is better than before, there are more facilities for women, and I have more female colleagues in manufacturing.”

Nikola has reflected on the future of the industry and what she would say to anyone considering a career in manufacturing “This question is hard, but I’d say go for it! It would be good to see more women joining the manufacturing industry.”

“It takes a different kind of person to do this job, regardless of gender – it can be tough, but it’s very rewarding. Women can do it!” 

As well as technical skills, Nikola has grown in confidence, resilience, and has developed great peer relationships since joining Aliaxis. “One thing I think is you must have thick skin, but by being willing to learn and getting stuck in you can do it if this is what you want to do.”

“I really enjoy my job – I have found something I am good at, and I’m proud that my hard work has been recognised through my recent promotion to Quality Engineer.”

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