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A Stainless Steel Polishing business in Smethwick has joined forces with a West Midlands Strong Woman from Halesowen to challenge gender stereotypes and champion the role of women in both manufacturing and sport.
Kirsty Davies-Chinnock and Naomi Hadley are showing the world that women are leading the way in fields that are often dominated by the opposite sex. Kirsty, Managing Director of Professional Polishing Services Ltd, is one of the few female company directors in the stainless steel industry. She is also a Director for the British Stainless Steel Association and is only the second ever woman to sit on the board.
“The glass ceiling for women in manufacturing is definitely something I’m determined to break” Kirsty says. “Women are more than capable of forging their way forwards in Manufacturing and Metal industries and it is great to see more women coming through to high profile roles. However there is still a long way to go to improve diversity, and with Naomi’s help we can show every girl that engineering, manufacturing and sport aren’t just for the boys.” Kirsty adds.
Kirsty’s partner in this ambitious task, Naomi, is an athlete who is no stranger to breaking gender stereotypes. She boasts an impressive CV having played American Football, Roller Derby at International Level, and being selected to compete in the Worlds Official StrongMan Games in Florida in the Women’s competition later this year. After following a strict training regime, Naomi was just a year into entering Strong Woman Competitions when she placed fourth in England.
With gyms currently closed, Naomi is training in her garden with virtual help from her coach. Her steely-eyes set firmly on her next competition, the 2021 Midlands qualifier for England’s Strongest Woman 2021.
During the last year, exercise for many has taken a different turn, but for Naomi maintaining the gains of a pre-COVID era has meant more than just keeping in shape. The demands on women in the Strong Woman world are incredible, balancing life, nutrition and family.
Exercise has a huge part to play in improving mental health for a lot of people as we cope with an ever-changing working environment and protecting loved ones from COVID.
For Naomi lifting weights is a way for her to focus her stress. “I lift because at the end I have achieved something positive”.
Kirsty says “I am hugely impressed by Naomi’s dedication to training which she fits in between her day job and her family life. Being a woman who runs a market-leading business, I can appreciate the heavy sacrifices Naomi makes to achieve her goals. But the rewards are massive – and if we can encourage all women to step up and achieve their potential, then we are winning the battle.”
Achieving a positive result in 2020 was not something Professional Polishing was afraid of, with their order book on pharmaceutical polishing doubling last year the company had to find additional capacity through the dedication and flexibility of its incredible team.
“We see demand growing through 2021 and look to continue to improve our products and service by innovating and continuing to improve productivity by using available technology. We want to work smart, and hard, but we will leave the physical heavy lifting to Naomi!!”