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8 March 2024
By Gemma Redmore

Gemma Redmore's Inspiring Journey at Port Talbot Steelworks

Today marks International Women’s Day, celebrating the incredible achievements of women worldwide while advocating for a future of gender equality. This year's theme, #InspireInclusion, resonates deeply as we recognise and honor the contributions of women in all spheres of life. 

To commemorate this day, we had the privilege of speaking with Gemma Redmore, who is employed at Port Talbot Steelworks through Acorn. Gemma's journey with Acorn began during a two-week shutdown in 2018, and she has since established herself as an Environmental Operative on the Hot Mill. Join us as Gemma shares insights into her role at the steelworks and offers valuable advice to women aspiring to enter the industry.

Q: What is your job title, and how long have you been in this role?

A: I am currently serving as an Environmental Operative on the hot mill at Tata Steel PT, and I have been in this role since July 2018.

Q: Can you describe your day-to-day responsibilities in your role?

A: On a daily basis, my primary duties involve emptying all waste stations around the hot mill area and segregating the waste from my 26 stations into the appropriate disposal skips. Additionally, I manage the incoming and outgoing materials in my yard to minimize any potential cross-contamination.

Q: How did you end up applying for the role?

A: Initially, I applied for a two-week summer shutdown in 2018. During that time, I became involved with stores and driving around the plant to assist the team with various tasks. Upon the completion of my two weeks, I was offered the environmental role that I am still engaged in today.

Q: As a female working in a predominantly male sector, do you feel supported?

A: I've always received the support I needed. The management team ensured I had the right facilities, and any queries were handled professionally and promptly. Throughout my time with Acorn, I've never felt uncomfortable in my role.

Q: How was your experience working through Acorn?

A: I was introduced to the opportunity to work the two-week shutdown in 2018 by a family member already in the hot mill. They suggested that having a female on the team would be beneficial and assured me of a good (albeit dirty, lol) working environment. I was confident I would be given further work after the shutdown, and my experience with Acorn has been positive.

Q: Any advice for women considering a similar job?

A: I would encourage any woman interested to give it a try. Since my time here, several women have participated in shutdowns and secured full-time roles through Acorn, all leaving with a positive perspective. There's been a noticeable increase in women on-site from various contractors and Tata, indicating a positive shift for the future.