Wales-based Sony engineer recognised among Top 50 influential women in manufacturing

An ambitious engineer working at the Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed has been recognised among the most influential women in British manufacturing.

Jessica Leigh Jones has been included in the Telegraph’s prestigious Top 50 Women in Engineering list as a result of her innovative work at the Welsh facility.

The Newport resident, who works in the centre’s manufacturing research and operations department, was recognised at a special event held in London’s Banking Hall.

Supported by the Women’s Engineering Society, the initiative aims to promote the contribution women are making in the STEM sector – particularly manufacturing.

On her recognition, Jones said: “I am honoured to be recognised among these inspirational women who are leading the way in the UK’s engineering sector, and paving the way for generations of women to come.

“This initiative promotes the rich contribution of women in STEM, and I hope to use this as a platform to demonstrate the variety of opportunities available to young people in engineering.”

Jess said that she decided to pursue a career in engineering after being inspired by her father, who worked as an aircraft electrician at Ministry of Defence St Athan.

After studying a degree in astrophysics, she joined the award-winning Welsh facility. It’s renowned for a range of projects, including manufacturing the latest 4K broadcast and professional cameras.

Because she was raised in an engineering-focused family, gender stereotyping in the STEM sector was never a considering for Jones. But she still feels that educating people on their career opportunities could narrow the gender gap.

“Currently just nine per cent of engineers and only one per cent of electricians are female. This is very low, although I do not personally think that the percentage matters,” she said.

“What is important is that all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background, are given the opportunity to pursue careers in engineering if they want to.

“There is undoubtedly conscious and unconscious bias that still exists that prevents this from happening, but the way to tackle this is through informing and educating.”

She believes that the support of her colleagues and the skillet she’s acquired over the years led to her being recognised. “It is so inspiring to be part of an organisation whose rate of innovation is unparalleled across industry and throughout Wales,” she added.

“It is very rewarding to see technologies that we have developed at Pencoed being used globally throughout the brand. Sony is a dynamic organisation with innovation hard-coded into their DNA. I am unduly grateful for the opportunities I have received since joining.

“I was very fortunate to be supported throughout the nomination and awards process, and would like to extend my thanks to Kevin Edwards, Gerald Kelly and Naomi Climer for their support.

“I would like to thank Alton Convent School, Hampshire for my nomination. I am a Patron of Science & Engineering at Alton and donate an award to the school for Engineering & Entrepreneurship annually.”