Mandy Ali

A Lichfield woman is encouraging others to defy “outdated gender stereotypes” after switching careers.

Mandy Ali joined city-based ROM Limited in the staff canteen in 2010.

But after seeing the work of the company, which creates reinforced steel for the construction industry, she decided to apply for a role in the mesh plant.

And after a year in her new role, she said she hoped other women would follow her lead.

Mandy Ali

“I’d been working for ROM for nine years, managing their canteen and I decided I wanted a new challenge,” she said.

“I didn’t want to leave the business or the industry and I noticed that they were hiring for operational positions, so I thought, ‘why not?’.

“It’s a very different environment from what I’m used to, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.

“I really feel part of the team and my colleagues have been extremely supportive in helping me adjust to my new role.”

ROM Limited is part of the Celsa UK group, which has supplied steel for projects including the Shard and Heathrow Terminal 2.

Antony Stumpf, general manager of Celsa Steel UK, said he was pleased to see Mandy breaking down barriers for other women who might be thinking of entering the industry.

“We’re extremely pleased with Mandy’s appointment and delighted that she’s enjoying her new role,” he said.

“She’s been a real asset to the business and we were more than happy to help her explore new career opportunities within ROM. 

“Steel has traditionally been a male dominated industry, but as an equal opportunities employer we want to buck that trend by hiring more women like Mandy.”

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.