Jill Thompson, a director at Lavender International NDT, retired from the business on Friday after a successful career overseeing the organisation’s succession plans and promoting diversity in the workplace and engineering sector as a whole.

Jill originally joined Lavender in 2012 as an executive manager to help create a succession plan for the business. The eventual plan led to Lavender becoming an employee-owned business in 2015, a move which has helped safeguard the values of the business and also the future of its staff by making them shareholders in the business. Employee-owned businesses are known for their higher levels of productivity and staff engagement.

Jill has always had the best interests of other people at the heart of her work. Before she joined Lavender, Jill enjoyed a successful career in the healthcare sector, which involved relocating to Libya during her 20s. Jill was also a voluntary bereavement counsellor and has dedicated her professional career to promoting diversity within the workplace as a member of the Diversity working group at BINDT. Jill explains the significance of this work:

“Diversity is something I consider to be very important to me. Big businesses failing to utilise women to their full potential in the workforce is a huge waste of the talent pool but thankfully I’ve seen a real shuffle in this issue within the engineering industry in the last six years. There are a lot of government initiatives to help promote diversity in engineering including a lot of STEM activities for children.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of having strong role models within engineering and educating children about the industry from an early age to help encourage young girls to see the fantastic potential of working within the sector. Lavender has an amazing future ahead of it with good leaders and an inspiring team to help it keep moving forward.”

Jill now looks forward to enjoying a lengthy vacation in Spain to spend some time reflecting and considering her future plans. Jill will also act as a consultant for Lavender, a move which will help the business to continue offering outstanding training and service provision to new and old customers alike.

Tim Armitt, Managing Director at Lavender International NDT explains:

“Jill’s enthusiasm for her work, for her colleagues and ultimately for Lavender is inspiring and we’re delighted that she will continue to work with us as a consultant. Jill has been responsible for implementing and overseeing a succession plan that has brought about significant positive changes for Lavender. We look forward to seeing this work continue into the future as Lavender moves proudly forward with employee ownership at its heart as we continue to offer the highest possible standards of service provision in NDT training.”

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