Siemens has appointed Sarah Black-Smith as General Manager of its Motion Control business in the UK.

She takes on the role after a successful run as Head of Factory Operations at Siemens’ Congleton factory where she was responsible for all production, lean operations and the Engineering teams.

The appointment further underlines Siemens’ commitment to strengthening gender equality across the organisation and its drive to increase the number of women in engineering. In 2021, half of graduates and 42 per cent of intern recruits were women.

Brian Holliday, Managing Director, Siemens Digital Industries UK and Ireland, said: “We are proud to announce Sarah as Head of Motion Control, a key business in our holistic offering to industry and manufacturing. She brings immense experience to this role and a manufacturer’s knowledge that will hold her in good stead to work with our customers.

“Women are certainly making a mark in engineering and we at Siemens are continuously working toward employing females in this sector. Whilst there are many challenges including gender parity, our strong foundations to mitigate these hurdles will in the long term show the results.”

Ms Black-Smith’s career with Siemens spans almost 20 years. She was in a placement at Alstom Power when it was sold to Siemens in 2003; the company then sponsored her final year, taking her on as a young graduate joining as a Lean Implementer in Lincoln in 2004, progressing to Manufacturing Manager in 2010.

When a new opportunity was presented to her, Ms Black-Smith moved to the Northwest to work as a Production Manager at Siemens’ Congleton factory. Sarah subsequently became Head of Manufacturing in 2014 and Head of Factory Operations in 2016, a post she held until now.

In September, she was made Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Commenting on her appointment, she said: “In my new role I will be responsible for growing the business and increase our strategic positioning in the UK industry. Most importantly I’m looking forward to working as a team with other General Managers of Siemens’ businesses and our Sales teams to promote digital industries. At the end of the day, we need to work together to deliver value for our Customers.”

Ms Black-Smith continues to inspire not just young female apprentices and recruits but also her male counterparts and new joiners.

“It’s great to be able to offer advice, to coach where they want coaching and sometimes just to chat about something where they’re having a challenge,” she said. “I’ve been approachable to both male and female mentees over the years, and I will continue doing this in my new role. It brings me great satisfaction.”