The future is looking very positive having recently become part of Italmatch Chemicals. The new Lubricants Performance Additives division offers exciting opportunities with its wide and diverse industrial product portfolio. I am looking forward to learning more about wider industrial applications and hoping to continue to travel and broaden my horizons and hope to pass this knowledge and experience on to the next generation of young (hopefully female) people entering this diverse and exciting industry.

The one piece of advice I’d give to ladies entering the industry is not to be afraid or intimidated; take all the opportunities you can and learn from them, and remember, in this industry ‘expect the unexpected’.


Kate McArdle is the Finance Director at Trent Oil Lubricants; during her time she has been the company administrator, credit controller, warehouse person and forklift driver!

My working life at Trent started in 2007. At that time there were just four of us growing the lubricants side of the business. Fast forward to today and I’m now part of a team of 3 Directors, employing 14 people, with several women in various roles, a far cry from the beginning when there was Barbara the bookkeeper and Joyce the cleaner. I am pleased to say there has been a definite shift in the male/female ratio in the 12 years I’ve been here.

My time is spent in the office, mostly sifting through all the paperwork that’s needed to run a business whilst collating spreadsheets for our Director’s meetings, enabling strategic planning and endless decision making. I wouldn’t say that I’ve experienced obstacles as a woman in this industry, just perhaps been met with an element of surprise from a few people when I’ve either driven the forklift, or when I’m still seated in a boardroom, ready to discuss business strategy and not just making the tea!

Rachel Drewitt is a Chemical Technician with Afton Chemical.

I have always been inspired by those around me to be whoever I wanted to be. As a teenager I didn’t have a firm idea of which career path to take, all I knew

for certain was that I wanted to go to university and study a subject I enjoyed... chemistry.

I started my current position at Afton Chemical in July 2017 as a Chemical Technician. My main responsibility is to provide product technical support to our customers in the EMEAI region. When I started, the immediate challenge was to establish myself within the wider team. Being in a global organisation, I was working with international colleagues and customers from all over the region.

To begin with I felt overwhelmed, thinking of the vast amounts of knowledge and experience needed to do my job well. But I soon realised I had colleagues all around me, whose experience I could draw on to help! I decided it was time to stop worrying about the future and when the next career milestone will come, or how I can reach it sooner. I now make a conscious effort to concentrate on the present and deliver the project that is needed.

Continued on page 46 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.148 DECEMBER 2018 45

As longstanding UKLA members (this was our 5th year attending the UKLA’s Annual Dinner), it’s encouraging to see that the presence of women here is also increasing. And as a working mother with a son and daughter, I would be very happy for both my children to enter our industry; the opportunities are vast and exciting and could take them all over the world.

I believe having more women in a wider variety of roles can only be a good move forward. I certainly hope that my career is an inspiration to my daughter (and son!) should they decide to move into the world of lubricants.


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