TWO female company bosses from Keighley are helping to inspire girls into manufacturing and engineering careers.

Debbie Mellor – managing director of Keighley Laboratories – and Diana Scholefield, MD at Gesipa, are both supporting Bradford Manufacturing Weeks.

As part of the initiative, they will join several other female role models from businesses across the district for a question-and-answer session at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School on Thursday (October 14).

Mrs Mellor, who has worked in manufacturing for 35 years, said: “Through this panel event I hope to be able to show girls that there are no barriers for women in engineering and manufacturing, they just need to have the drive and passion to succeed.

“Bradford Manufacturing Weeks is giving local businesses an invaluable platform to really engage with young people from all backgrounds.

“Coming from a business which may be unseen to those outside of the sector, we appreciate the opportunity to talk about the work we do and to showcase the careers – from marketing to machining – that companies like ours offer.”

Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, which runs for a fortnight, features a range of in-person and online events.

The aim of the venture – led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce – is to introduce students to potential careers in manufacturing through question-and-answer panels, work placements, factory tours and lifeskills events.

Since 2018, the scheme has created more than 12,000 ‘manufacturing experiences’ for Bradford-district pupils aged 14 to 18.

Over 30 manufacturers and 45 secondary schools registered for this year’s programme.

Nick Garthwaite, chair of the Bradford Manufacturing Weeks steering group, said the event was evolving every year to become “more dynamic and more relevant” to the young people it’s aimed at.

He added: “With our range of activities – alongside a competition this year to create an innovative solution for waste recycling in schools, and a driver awareness event in partnership with West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and West Yorkshire Police – we believe we are delivering another educational, inspirational and invaluable careers scheme.”

For more about Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, visit