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Leicestershire MD listed among most inspirational people in UK manufacturing

She is named among 20 exemplars who are leading change in their industry.

Business leader Emily Smith in a green dress, holding her Manufacturer Top 100 award alongside four business men in grey suits also holding their awards
Business leader Emily Smith awarded in Manufacturer 100

Business leader Emily Smith has been named as one of the most inspirational people working in UK manufacturing.


She is listed among 20 ‘exemplars’ in The Manufacturer’s Top 100, which recognises the most dynamic leaders and innovators in manufacturing.


Emily is Operations and Finance Director at multi award-winning Michael Smith Switchgear, and Managing Director of AVW Fabrications.


The Manufacturer’s Top 100 list launched 10 years ago after academic and parliamentary studies identified a clear lack of visible role models within manufacturing. It captures 100 inspirational people in manufacturing each year.


Emily, who also chairs the ICAEW’s Manufacturing Advisory Group, was joined by other leaders as they came together for an event to launch the 2023 list.


“At Michael Smith Switchgear and AVW Fabrications we are working to change the way our industries operate,” said Emily.


“We want to show how UK manufacturing is providing world-class quality, sustainable manufacturing, and modern working environments built around our teams’ physical and mental wellbeing.”


MSSL started its journey towards carbon neutrality in 2018 and achieved its goal in 2022. It is now working to align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.


Emily, who was named Businesswoman of the Year at last year’s East Midlands Chambers Enterprising Women Awards, is committed to making her industry more sustainable.


Earlier this year, she joined Michael Smith Switchgear managing director Sean Smith in collecting one of only six global prizes in its category of Schneider’s Electric Sustainability Impact Awards.


It comes after the firm achieved carbon neutrality after implementing a string of sustainability measures around its site in Braunstone Frith.


Emily also chairs Hopeful Futures, working in association with local research charity Hope Against Cancer, and is an Enterprise Adviser for the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), going into local schools to talk with young people about skills, apprenticeships, and careers in manufacturing.


Awardees are drawn from every walk of UK industry, and at any stage of their career. They range from Young Pioneers to Inspiring Leaders and Drivers of Change.


Listees are selected from hundreds of nominations for the examples they set in drawing young people into the manufacturing sector.


The judging panel features senior figures from a host of industries and major brands including Cranfield University, Rolls-Royce, and the Royal Aeronautical Society.


Joe Bush, Editor of The Manufacturer and The Manufacturer Top 100 publication commented, “They say that if you find something you love doing, you’ll never work another day in your life and it’s clear that for so many, a career in manufacturing means so much more than a job.”


The Manufacturer Top 100 gala event was part of the Manufacturing and Engineering Week series of events that took place at the NEC in Birmingham.

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