Angela Fumpson From hard hat to high heels. Engineer Angela Fumpson, recent winner of ‘Business Mum of 2015’, has wowed the Women’s Business Club with what one woman can do. Angela runs a successful business called White Tiger, which specialises in systems and quality management, as well as being a family woman.
When did you know that you wanted to be an engineer?
From a very young age I was fascinated about how things worked and can remember watching my nan take things apart that had broken. She would work it out, find a way of fixing it and put it back together. I also had a love of cars so that influenced me too. It wasn’t until I was older that my mum told me a story about how I went missing at a family wedding when I was little; they eventually found me outside watching the car being fixed.
What pressures do you face as a woman working in a man’s world?
Even though things have moved on there are still attitudes in industry that haven’t changed and we need to work hard on changing this culture. My biggest battle was always having to prove myself and even now I have walked into an industrial unit to sell my White Tiger business and been told everyone thought I must have been the local politician. I can remember having to take a male director to one of my biggest customers on each visit, then one day their only option was me. I solved an issue on the shop floor and was asked for every time after that, great but it shouldn’t need to be proven first.
What is the best lesson you have learned from being a woman in an man’s world?
To have a sense of humour and not take other people too seriously. There will always be situations that you do not feel comfortable with or actions you don’t like, don’t take it to heart. Accept what is happening at that moment, and then take time to choose an action to put it right for the future. It is far too easy to let emotional baggage or ego make that instant response for you. Sometimes you create your own barriers. Just be yourself, follow you own heart and intuition, but most importantly have fun while you do it.
What is the biggest mistake you have made being a woman in a man’s world?
Looking back to my very early days one of my biggest mistakes was trying too hard to fit in to a man’s world. I can even remember in my first position turning up to work some days in a shirt and tie, not my best fashion moment! You are an individual and need to shine!“Just be yourself, follow you own heart and intuition, but most importantly have fun while you do it.” Tweet This!
Give us your best tips for women in the same situation as you.
Don’t focus on the barriers or what others are doing,have confidence in your own abilities and invest in yourself. Link up with others that have experience in your field or sector, find a willing mentor. This is especially key if you are newly qualified, it’s not easy being a pioneer or having to prove yourself so always accept help and support along the way to ensure you succeed in your goals.
What dreams/goals to you have for the future?
My personal goal is to develop my spiritual side; be confident in my affirmations and always stay grateful. My aim is to continue to enjoy a great work life balance and enjoy travel and adventures with my family. From a business point of view I want to grow White Tiger and watch companies benefit as they adopt Quality principles at the heart of their strategy. My long term business goal is to see a centre of excellence in Bristol for Quality and be involved in teaching.
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