Q&A: Matthew Roberts

  1. Name? Matt Roberts
  2. What is your current role and what does it involve? I am the finance director for the JD Cooling Group. My role involves me looking after the finances, accounts and cash flow of the JD group of companies. Oh….and making sure everyone’s wages are paid!
  3. Why do you think our industry is usually male orientated? Engineering is predominantly seen as a very physical job. Traditionally such roles have become very male orientated because of the incorrect belief that women are not capable of being able to carry out such a role.
  4. What different qualities do you think the females at JD Group offer as opposed to their male counterparts? The women working the JD Cooling Group bring a wide range of qualities to the business. They offer a different outlook on many aspects of the business, or indeed life in general, which makes the company more versatile. A balance of men and women within the company helps create a more welcoming family feel to the business. In my experience women can often be better organisers than men.
  5. Which woman in history (past and present) inspires you the most? Past: Marie Curie for her pioneering research, which has helped save the lives of thousands of people. She was also the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only woman to have won the Nobel Prize twice. She is also the only person to have won the award in two different fields.
    Present: P J Harvey, an outstanding singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has won multiple music prizes, including being the only artist to win the Mercury Music Prize twice. She has also been awarded as an MBE for services to music. She has her own strong, distinct style that allows her to stand out from the crowd in her own right, but also collaborate on an equal footing with distinctive performers such as Nick Cave. If you don’t already know her music, I highly recommend you have a listen to Stories from the City, Stories From The Sea.
  6. What do you think JD Cooling Group could do to improve equality here? More women in the boardroom would be a good start. Actively promoting engineering roles to women would also help massively. Increased promotion of flexible working for everyone.
  7. What is the one thing you could do personally to have a positive impact on gender equality? (#EachforEqual) I can encourage people to look beyond whether someone is male or female and to focus on the work that that person is capable of. Beyond that I can help ensure that everyone has access to the training and support they want and need to drive their career to wherever they want to take it. Gender shouldn’t have to play a negative part in such things for either men or women.