Operating out of Stockport since 1996, EHL is an importer, blender and packer of food ingredients from around the world. The business boasts a strong senior leadership team with women in many key roles, from heads of technical compliance and NPD, to the chair and operations managers.
During my visit to the site, I spoke with technical manager Michelle Slater, who talked about her own career progression with the company.
“I was a chef for 20-odd years – I left straight from school and went to be a chef, so I’ve been involved in using these kinds of products,” Slater explained. “I decided ‘that’s not going to be the job I retire in’ but I wanted to use food somehow, use my knowledge – I did a nutritional science degree at Manchester Metropolitan.
“I was lucky enough to get a part time role here in 2018 before I left to finish my degree. Then a couple of years later, I get the call from the owners asking if I want to come back as technical manager?”
The business is full of similar stories of members of staff given the opportunity to advance through the ranks, supported with the training the need to do their jobs effectively.
“My number two Elena started as an order picker and our previous technical manager saw some potential in her,” Slater added. “She was offered the chance to join technical and from there she flourished.
Moving up the ranks
“Our warehouse manager originally started in dispatch. He’s moved from just sending the goods out to concerning himself with the entire warehouse.”
Commenting on the large number of women in prominent positions throughout the business, Slater said it was wonderful to see their potential recognised in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men.
“They’re flexible with it as well,” she continued. “I’m a mother and they allow me to finish early if I need to do childcare. It’s hard being a female in a male dominated industry anyway, but its just shows that we are more than capable of meeting the men at their level.”
Meanwhile, from finance director to head of one of the largest poultry processing sites in the UK, Gurpa Singh spoke about his time at 2 Sisters Scunthorpe, the impact of COVID and Brexit and the turnaround of the business he helped bring about.