Women in Fencing


The fencing industry has lots of women working across all roles and we’re championing the work they do! The AFI supports equality and the industry needs more women so we can continue to make a change to the workplace. Celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality, is key.

Read below for just a few of the inspiring women the fencing industry has!


Sandra Simpson


Sandra embarked on her remarkable journey with Jacksons 23 years ago, inspired by her father’s legacy within the company. Today, she stands at the helm of our timber assembly production department as Assembly Supervisor, wielding her extensive experience with finesse and precision.


Even amidst her managerial duties, Sandra’s hands-on approach to production remains unwavering. Her commitment to crafting the finest fencing products is palpable, as she tirelessly imparts her expertise to her team, ensuring that every detail meets the highest standards.


Sandra’s influence extends far beyond our company walls; she commands respect not only from her team and peers but also from within the fencing industry itself. Her dedication and passion serve as a beacon of excellence, helping shape the future of fencing manufacturing and setting a standard of quality that is second to none.

Megan Tattam, Quality Assurance Assistant


Joining the team at Littlewood as HSEQ Administrator was my first full time job after finishing university, but I instantly felt included and appreciated within the team, even though I had no experience or training in the role. I enjoyed learning new things and witnessing the great knowledge of others around me. I loved meeting new people, whether I was issuing out PPE to our employees or talking to suppliers.

I continued in this role for around 4 years, gradually building up knowledge and practical understanding of HSEQ and compliance.  This also coincided with rapid growth in company turnover.

At this point, the Directors and Compliance Manager decided that a new, full-time role was needed to keep up with increasing HSEQ demands of our Clients and other stakeholders.

I was told I was offered the role due to my knowledge and experience in the department and because I was seen as a diligent and hard-working member of the team.  Despite reservations about the increased amount of responsibility and added pressure the role would entail, I decided to accept it in order to challenge myself and increase my self-confidence.  I have now been the Quality Assurance Assistant for eighteen months.  In that time, I have worked with our Compliance Manager to prepare for external ISO and other audits, investigated non-conformances, carried out internal audits and created a carbon reduction plan for the company.

In addition to my main role, I have also worked very closely with our Chairman on the introduction and development of our internal portal which has helped the company move many of our processes to a digital platform.  As part of this role I train all new employees on how to use the portal and have become the first point of contact for any queries and problem solving.

I also have responsibility for training and mentoring my replacement in the HSEQ Administrator role.

As well as increasing my knowledge and understanding of business processes I feel that my time at Littlewood Group has increased confidence in myself and given me the desire to keep pushing myself to greater success.

It’s been great seeing the increasing numbers of women within our industry, not only in our company, but around the country.  When I first started at the company there were very few women in the office, but now there are women in every department and at all levels of seniority.  I think this is amazing and proves that all women have the potential to succeed in the construction industry.

Amy Edwards

Amy, an important cog within our Industrial wheel, loves the variety that working within the fencing industry brings to her day-to-day job. Within her role, she has a great opportunity to build new and existing customer relationships and has been doing so as part of the Sales team since November 2021. The work she completes is invaluable to the business and for any of our customers who are lucky enough to liaise with Amy, they can expect only the best customer service.

Jessica Burns, Learning & Development Co-Ordinator/HR admin.


Route into Construction Industry

Before this Jess was working at a teleradiology company, working an irregular shift pattern that meant she worked nights shifts and on weekends on a regular basis. Although she had some shifts as work from home, she always felt distant from her life at home – increased tiredness meant that she wasn’t always as available to the needs of her young children (13 and 8), which was not something she felt she could keep up long term. Her husband is a fencer, and through a workplace acquaintance, was told of an interesting opportunity as LD Coordinator and HR Admin that would enable her to work a more regular work schedule.

Work / Life Balance

Littlewood Fencing has helped Jess’s transition into this role through enabling her to start later two days of the week; this means she is able to take her children to school, allowing her to spend more time with her family, and allows her to separate her work from her home life, which is something she could never really do before. Her relationship with her children has improved as a result of this; she is able to dedicate her Tuesday evenings to spend quality time with her daughter with their ‘mother daughter activity days’, something she was unable to do before without the established routine provided to her with her new job flexibility.

Alongside the increased family time, Jess’ personal time has also increased. She routinely makes use of her local gym on a Monday.


As LD Coordinator and HR Admin, Jess is responsible (along with the rest of the department) for the organisation of training for everyone in the company; from arranging standardised training, to ensuring all trainees are prepared for their various courses, her work is vital to the continued development of LWG’s staff. She also has a part to play in the on / offboarding of employees, as well as continued maintenance of employee profiles, and ensuring the training matrix is up to date.

Jess’ thoughts

Jess says she felt ‘welcomed right away, and part of team’, which helped her to settle into the role almost immediately. Jess has rediscovered her enjoyment for work, after a period of anguish towards her previous role. Her family have noticed this change in attitude towards her work life and are thankful to have their mummy back!

Louise Wright, Director – Front Row Fencing

“I fell into fencing through marrying a fencer! After graduating, I was an agricultural adviser across Lincolnshire however when we decided to start a family, working in Front Row gave me the flexibility to work around childcare. I do the accounts, payroll, paperwork etc and visit customers for giving quotations.

I think gender equality in fencing and agriculture in general has improved hugely since I started out twenty years ago. Customers and suppliers are a lot more accustomed to dealing with women and as a result, I haven’t experienced any blatant sexism for some years. I’m not a fierce feminist, it’s all about playing to your strengths and mine isn’t hauling heavy posts across muddy fields (although I do my bit when I can!).

I enjoy dealing with people and it’s great to see a project completed with a happy customer at the end of it. We have a great team with us which helps enormously. Through fencing competitions and online groups, we have met some fabulous fellow fencing contractors with whom we have been involved in some really rewarding projects to help others. It’s a cracking industry to be involved in with a network of genuine, supportive people.”

Roocroft Road Restraints celebrate the women in their business who make up over 40% of the Management team and give great support over a wide range of activities. Of the last 3 management appointments and new people coming into the business, 2 of them were women and this was based on their abilities and what they can contribute to Roocroft`s long term strategic goals and business objectives.

Jayne, the Office Manager has been with the company for 10 years and deals with all the company’s training needs, vehicle documentation and HR processes, she manages and often takes up additional work over and above her usual daily activities and has recently become a mental health first aider within the company.

Helen, Construction Manager is in her 10th year with the company, having completed her Construction management degree and is now the leading Construction Manager (BSc Hons) within the business – 2 of 3 Construction Managers are women. Helen is integral to the business with over 20 years highways experience, completing the SMSTS, and CITB Temp works co Ordinator courses all while managing numerous schemes and in addition she has recently become a Mental Health First Aider and Social Value Champion within the business.

DianeAccounts and Payroll Manager, she has been with the company just under 4 years and has made multiple changes backed up by her transferrable skills, knowledge and experience. Diane brings another dimension to the Accounts department, she is very thorough in all aspects of her role and has made massive strides within Roocroft, going above and beyond with her added workload, she is a valuable member of the team and looks after everyone.

Alison, Construction Administrator has been with Roocroft’s for over 2 years and has brought a wealth of knowledge over different departments within the company, and has successfully completed the Transport managers course, and updated and helped to secure the FORS accreditation last year and taking the lead on it in the current year. She has been instrumental in the roll out of a new system process within the business and is always on hand helping others with her IT skills and knowledge.

Lucy, Quantity Surveyor, has been with the company over 12 months, she liaise’s with all other departments and teams working on the numerous projects, helping it stay on track and is a welcome addition to the company. She has achieved so much over the time with Roocroft’s, as well as working she has completed a university course.

Charlotte, Trainee Construction Manager who has been in the industry for 2 years, having returned to Roocroft after completing a graduate scheme. Her work encompasses multi-disciplines, including project management and procurement. She is focused on continuous improvement and self-development and seeks to get the best results from both herself and the team. She has recently completed the SMSTS course and has been nominated to take part in the Aspiring leaders Roads academy program with one of our key clients National Highways.

“The women in our business make a real difference and deserve all the praise that is lavished upon them and as they are an integral part of the Management Team as they continue to perform to their high standards and work ethics and they genuinely look after each other continuing to inspire, lead, and make a difference.”

Shannon Willshaw

Meet Shannon! She joined IAE Industrial in September 2018 as part of the Sales team where she has continued to flourish ever since. Her day to day role entails liaising with the customers to establish and quote for their requirements, whilst ensuring that she captures key details for communicating internally with the Engineering team. Shannon particularly enjoys quoting multi use games areas (MUGAs) and play equipment- the complexity of these systems makes it an exciting challenge each time she quotes one!

Dominique Stevenson, Business Development Co-ordinator – Littlewood Fencing

“I first started working for Littlewood Fencing in May 2003 as Jon Hobden’s PA, working on sales and marketing, health and safety and general compliance. At that time we had about 50 members of staff, so my role had to combine several different areas – learning a great deal about how the business operated and being part of the development as the company grew from strength to strength.

In 2005 Jon Hobden became Managing Director, which meant that I was now the PA to the Managing Director of the company. The company was growing at quite a rate now and as a result, we had to employ a compliance department in order to achieve the many accreditations that we now have in place that has enabled us to work on bigger projects and grow further.

I have witnessed some amazing changes in my 17 years with the company – when I started at Littlewood less than 5% of employees were female but this is now closer to 15% and increasing. My work and commitment to keeping ahead of industry training requirements saw a natural step to become involved with the AFI and now sitting as a Director of the association, which makes me very proud indeed.”

Agi Szymik

Despite only joining the company four months ago, Agi is an integral part of our Industrial Engineering Team, where she translates a customer brief into an approval drawing. Whilst doing this, an important part of her journey at IAE Industrial has been to ask lots of questions to help her acquire the product knowledge she needs to deliver her projects successfully.

Agi has thrown herself into the world of fencing and has been enjoying doing so since day one! Her favourite part of the job is creating drawings, especially of designs she has not done before as it is a great feeling when you turn a customer’s concept into a reality.

Wendy Lawton


Wendy, our esteemed North West Regional Manager overseeing our Chester branch, boasts an impressive tenure of 37 years with Jacksons. Beginning her journey in our admin department at the Ashford branch, Wendy’s dedication and perseverance propelled her through the ranks, culminating in her current pivotal role.


A testament to family dedication, Wendy’s sister, Caroline, serves as our production planner at the Ashford branch, contributing her own 26 years of invaluable experience to the company.


Wendy’s breadth of knowledge and expertise extends beyond mere management; she actively advises both retail and commercial clients on their fencing needs, be it timber garden fencing or metal security fencing. Her guidance not only bolsters the success of our North West branch but also ensures that customers across her region receive premium, long-lasting products tailored to their requirements. Wendy’s enduring commitment remains foundational to both her team and the communities they serve.

Sarah Tuck – Logistics Co-ordinator / Team Leader

Sarah works in the stores office and manages all the logistics and dispatching of Tornado orders across the UK, Ireland, Europe, and the USA. She has been with us for over 9 years and is a well respected and valued member of the team.

Sandra Sleep – Machine Operator

Sandra was Tornados first female machine operator. She has been with us for 20 years and has worked her way up the training grades, she is an inspiration to all her colleagues at Millom.

Lauren Fisher – Maintenance and Operations Engineering

Lauren was recently awarded a Distinction in her Level 3 Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician apprenticeship. She started with Tornado at 16 years old as an apprentice. Lauren is a key member of our engineering and maintenance team, demonstrating her skills and getting stuck in to get the job completed.

Hannah Troughton – Production and Manufacturing Apprentice

Hannah has recently joined our team as an apprentice.  She decided to start an apprenticeship in Production and Manufacturing with us as she wanted something more hands on and felt this pathway would open more opportunities for her in the future. “Being offered this apprenticeship and the chance to learn loads of different skills is an amazing experience.”

 Crina Petrea, Marketing & Business Development Executive
The fencing industry is a major part of the construction world, as multiple types of fencing are often required for each project. We work with numerous sectors and industries, including commercial warehouses, educational buildings, and domestic fencing. It’s more than just working in the fencing industry; it’s collaborating with other sectors to complete important projects.

Last year, I joined ABC Fencing; as the marketing and business development representative for ABC Fencing, I enjoy the diversity of the role. Every day is different. It’s dynamic, challenging and motivating. I manage the website, social media and branding, whilst also following up leads and new projects. I spend time in the office but also on construction sites, meeting a variety of people. Each project is different and requires a unique approach, this keeps me driven and means I’m gaining an individual experience and new challenge each day.  I’m pleased to be a part of the industry and look forward to seeing more women start their construction careers.”

Crina says “I have been in the automotive and windows and doors industry for the last 10 years, which is a male-dominated industry. I have never been made to feel overlooked or undervalued,  just purely because I am a woman”