Carole Knott

Operations Improvement Manager, Ingelby Barwick

Sector: Operations

Carole started her career as a young mum and developed her career to where she is today – operations improvement manager at Industrial Technology Systems (ITS Ltd). 

Where do you call home? 

My home town is Liverpool, but home now, and for the last few years, has been Ingleby Barwick. I am proud to call the Tees Valley my home, but I am also very proud of my Scouse roots. 

Tell us about your role?  

I am currently operations improvement manager at Industrial Technology Systems (ITS Ltd). The role is a fantastic opportunity to influence positive change across all departments of the company. The people I work with are inspiring – every one of the team is hard-working and every day they amaze me with their achievements. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

How long have you got? As a young mum trying to develop a successful career, you must have tenacity and a determination to succeed. I just knew I wanted to make a difference and always felt I had a natural tendency to help others develop. I’ve had many roles throughout my career, each enabling me to grow and develop my own skills. 

I started my career as a mimic designer for North West Water, then joined ITS (first time) as a validation engineer. I then started working as a contractor for the DWP, with each role increasing responsibility within project management and the programme management office. Six years ago I returned to ITS as a customer relationships manager processing to where I am today as operations improvement manager. The journey has been a great one so far and long may it continue.  

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

I’ve had my fair share of personal challenges throughout my career/life. Rather than share them in detail, I would prefer to say the events that occurred in my life did not make me who I am today, it was how I reacted to them that shaped the person I have become. I may not have always made the right decisions but no matter what, I stood by them and learned from both the successes and the failures. 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

Achieving my long-term career goals was one aspect of success. Also, success to me is seeing others achieve their potential, and I feel that moment every time somebody I have worked with overcomes their own challenges or fears.  

Do you have any advice to aspiring young females? 

Never take no for an answer, just find another route. Every young person can achieve anything they set their mind to – set goals and aim high. Ask yourself at the end of every day, has what I achieved today added value or taken me one step closer to my goal? It will keep you on the right path to success. 

What advice would you give for your younger self?  

I would tell myself whatever you do, believe in yourself. You have untapped potential, and you will accomplish everything you have dreamed about. No one has the right to tell you that you can’t do something great in your life. Don’t allow others to destroy your dreams. Pick yourself up and dust yourself down whenever you fall at a hurdle.  

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Hunger: Always be hungry for information and knowledge, read and take inspiration from others. 

Authentic: Always be true to yourself – people buy into authenticity, and it builds trust.

Believe: Always believe you can achieve great things.

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