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Celebrating IWD with Melissa Farrell

Melissa Farrell, Ceramic Engineer at Robert Gordon.
In honour of International Women's Day this week, we wanted to share a bit about Melissa, our ceramic engineer here in the studio, and the amazing work that she does with us.
How long have you worked at Robert Gordon for?
I used to be that kid running around playing in the mud, making clay mounds and coil pots. What do I do at Robert Gordon? Pretty much the same, but now I get to be called a Ceramic Engineer; which is someone that works with the design, development and manufacturing of Ceramic Products.
Please describe a typical work day for you.
A typical day involves testing and evaluating clay, glaze R&D, production trials and supporting the team.
Do you think that you work in a male dominated industry? Are there many women working in your field?
When I started working in the Ceramic industry it was very male dominated, there were only a handful of other women I studied with. Although women have had a long and proud history in pottery, it would be great to see more women take up the science of ceramics.
What does International Women's Day mean to you?
International Women's Day for me is a time of reflection, to remember what it was like for women, what it is now and where we could be. In the company I started working 20 years ago I was the first female employed in their ceramic development lab and at the time I believe this was seen as a unique career choice. Fast forward to 2022, and I think that more women pursue fulfilling careers in science and technology.

What female(s) do you admire?

I have been lucky enough to have had strong women in my family who have instilled good values and positive female beliefs. I've had great teachers along the way that have encouraged and guided me. I think that we are here to support and learn from each other.