Black Country Entrepreneur Proves Women Can Succeed in Manufacturing

Women are perfectly capable of business success in the manufacturing sector, they just need more opportunities and more confidence to succeed, according to a female entrepreneur of a successful Midlands manufacturer.

Val Gardner, Managing Director of Wolverhampton based Winster Ltd (, took over the running of the company a few years ago and has no regrets stepping up to the job.

The male owner of the industrial hose business wanted to step aside and offered Val the chance to take the company forward. As Business Development Manager for the best part of a decade, Val jumped at the chance to run the business – and has since been steering Winster to success.

“I was trusted with Winster by the owner and asked to run it for him,” Val said. “I love the challenge of driving the business forward as a profitable concern and I’ve been given complete autonomy to do that.”

Val admitted she found the financial aspect a struggle initially, so to hone her financial skills she worked closely with a financial wizard who helped her develop her understanding in order for her to turn around the business within a few years.

“I took over when the market was difficult and we were struggling for a few years,” she added. “But I understood what had to be done and I worked closely with the team to turn things around.”

One of Val’s first tasks was to join the local chamber of commerce, where she learned about driving the business through best practice.

“At the chamber of commerce I became a platinum member. I realised that business is largely about best practice – get that in place and you can start achieving the results you’re after. I found it really helpful.”

And it doesn’t stop there.

Val has been given the green light to grow Winster and is currently working with her team on new exciting projects for the company’s future.

“Yes, I’m very eager to grow the business and see Winster develop into new sectors. It’s very exciting!”

Winster was set up in 1948 selling industrial hose for the deep mining industry. Later the company diversified into other sectors and has since added its own manufacturing hub and production department, “which really differentiates us”, Val said.

For further information contact me (Mike Raybone) on 0870 062 8760.

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