Closing the Gender Gap in Fashion Manufacturing
Jenny Holloway (pictured right) has taken Fashion Enter, a manufacturing and training facility in North London to new heights, securing contracts with high-profile companies including ASOS.com, Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Tesco and Finery London.
With the help of Business Growth Service, Fashion Enter improved its production cycle and efficiency to compete against international textile rivals on quality and price.
The impact of this support was immediate, with Fashion Enter securing a contract to supply a third of all garments for London’s 2012 Opening Ceremony. The company has also grown to 100 part and full-time staff and achieved a turnover increase of £2.3 million with new recent approvals expected to add another £200,000 of sales.
The company is also witnessing great success with its innovative Fashion Technology Academy, providing up to 5000 apprentices over a five-year period with specialist training on stitching, garment technology and product development to help bridge the technical skills gap and increase the number of women in manufacturing.
Jenny Holloway says:
‘It is rare to find all-female top management in British garment manufacturing but at Fashion Enter, we aim for a balance with our senior management. As a British manufacturer, we employ over 100 people – most of them women who are dynamite, strategic and forward thinking.
‘Twenty years ago, I never would have considered manufacturing as a career but now it has turned into a passion.
I love how every garment brings new and diverse challenges. Fashion manufacturing is not glitz and glamour and moody models on the catwalk. It is an engineering science that is complicated but challenging and inspiring.
‘Too often we find technical roles within manufacturing dominated by males. To drive change and close the gender gap, we need to go back to grass roots and engage with school children.
‘We want to see a new generation of young bright people who love manufacturing as much as we do. That is why the Government’s review on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) is so important so that we can encourage a nation of women who can learn and consider options that they’d never consider before.’
Business Growth Service at www.grant-thornton.co.uk