As a member of the Women in Finance Charter, signed earlier this year, Skipton Business Finance is celebrating some of the women that it works with.
October and November of 2019 have seen many events taking place with a focus on ‘Women in Business’, such as the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs 2019 and the Women in Business Expo. With this in mind, we decided to speak with some of the brilliant women that we work with.
Introducing Michelle Simpson of North Valley Supplies
Michelle is Managing Director of North Valley Supplies, an engineering supply company founded in 2014. Since establishing the business, Michelle has specialised in managing business supply chains and providing on-site solutions for businesses. Michelle is passionate about manufacturing and engineering and has experience in various roles within these industries.
Name: Michelle Simpson
Profession: Managing Director at North Valley Supplies
How did you get to where you are now?
I started out working in sales for B2B businesses before finishing college. I planned to go to University but loved sales and so decided that is where I was going to pursue my career. My journey started with ColorAll Wallpaper B2B, then to car sales for four years. I then moved into the industrial sector where I managed accounts for Velcro Industrial which was my first technical key account management role. After this, I moved to Cromwell Tools where I discovered my passion for industrial sales in the manufacturing industry where I subsequently stayed for 12 years.
Following this, I moved to a different company in a similar role but it didn’t have the same pace that I was used to so I soon got bored and frustrated. I was then offered an opportunity from a friend to set up my own business in Engineering Industrial Supplies. With financial backing, office space, phone and computer, off I went and I have never looked back. I was fortunate enough to have built up a reputation due to being very passionate about providing a high level of customer service and aiding customers in connecting with the right supply paths for their business.
What is your experience as a woman in the industry?
I was the first female salesperson in the North West for Cromwell and I had to work hard to prove myself in the industry. People would think ‘What does she know about tools?’ or ‘What’s her role?’ and I think that’s because there is still a stigma there.
I had to work hard to prove myself in the industry
Despite this, I have seen a massive shift with more women now employed in engineering and manufacturing jobs, as well as a surge in female apprentices. I worked hard to gain a good reputation in the industry, especially since it is a very male-dominated one.
My knowledge and experience got me where I am today. I think it is great that there are more women in these sorts of roles as I think we bring a great mix of skills to the industry.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in their career?
It is daunting when you first start out in your career. Trust and integrity has always been my policy and I tell myself to always be honest. There’s no point in pretending to be someone who you're not, as it won’t get you any further in your career.
I think it’s important to have confidence and to believe in yourself. So many people will tell you that you can’t, but you have to tell yourself that you will.
You can find out more information about North Valley Supplies here.