In celebration of the UN International Day of Women & Girls in Science on Friday 11th February, we’re shining a light on some of the incredible women in our business throughout this week. Every day, women at Coveris play a pivotal role in the development of our award-winning, innovative and sustainable packaging.


Joanne Scrimshaw: Packaging Development Manager

Specialising in food-on-the-move categories, Jo Scrimshaw is a Packaging Development Manager working primarily at our three cartonboard sites in St Neots and Wisbech, UK. Discover Jo’s involvement in the development process, from concepts and trends through to launching new, sustainable packaging with customers.

What attracted you to a career working in technology?
The involvement of creating new products for our customers and the opportunity of learning new things in the world of packaging and the wider industry.


What are your key responsibilities at work?
Project managing strategic product developments and getting involved in production trials to drive the strategic developments. And the day to day involvement of coming up with new ideas on packaging concepts for the food-to-go and foodservice categories.


What do you enjoy most about your role?
Learning new packaging technologies including new packaging concepts, and about packing and packaging machinery that is out in the industry. Also the involvement across a lot of sectors that we cross over and the relationships we form with external and internal contacts within suppliers, operations and technical teams.


What is your proudest moment working at Coveris?
Launching a new product on new machinery bought into the factory – it was a successful collaborative project with our customer that brought a sustainable packaging option to the shelf for sushi products.


How does it feel to be a woman working in technology?
Within our direct team we are not the minority and shows that the diversity within the sector is ever growing. I have always had a positive experience being a woman within my role.


Do you have advice for someone considering education or a career in this field?
If you are interested in being physically as well as theoretically involved within your role then technology and science is the career worth pursuing. It is a very rewarding choice of career where you can see the achievements of your developments.

Malgorzata Lehman: Product Development & Technical Support

Based at Coveris Halle in Germany with our exciting Pack Innovation Centre facility, Malgorzata Lehman works in a Product Development & Technical Support role. Discover what inspired Malgorzata’s passion for technology and her experience as a female working in the packaging industry in this Q&A.

What attracted you to a career working in science and technology?
At school, chemistry and mathematics were among my favourite subjects and for this reason, I chose a technical education. My uncle ran a printing company and I was fascinated by this technology from the beginning, so I decided to go into this industry.


What are your key responsibilities at work?
•    Developing packaging in collaboration with customers, machine builders, suppliers and internal departments.
•    Technical support to the sales department.
•    Qualification/ introduction of the new prink systems/varnish.
•    Continuous exchange about new developments and market trends.


What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy developing new recyclable material solutions to replace non-recyclable films.


What is your proudest moment working at Coveris?
When the packaging solutions I have created are successfully implemented by the customer, I know that all the work has paid off and it gives a lot of joy.


How does it feel to be a woman working in science and technology?
I have always been respected and appreciated as a woman, I have not had a negative experience. I also notice that more and more women are working in technical professions and that the stereotype that only men have a technical profession is getting less.



Bryony Thomas-Downes: Technical Manager

Technical Manager at Coveris Louth in our Films Business Unit, Bryony Thomas-Downes responsibilities extend to involvement in blend management, extrusion, print, conversion and sustainability. With a degree in Environment Science and additional qualifications including a Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology, Bryony explains how her education choices led to a career in science and technology.

What are your key responsibilities at work?
Coordination of all technical and product development activities, focussing on continuous improvement, product enhancement, productivity, sales growth and cost down initiatives.


What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’d have to say that I thrive off challenges and enjoy looking into a huge variety of topics and coming up with possible ways to solve problems; whether that is through physical testing of products, research into topics to advise, or development of concepts through to trial phase. The variety and constantly evolving nature of science and technology means you never stand still.  


How does it feel to be a woman working in science?
It can be a challenge to be the only female in a male-dominated working environment and I certainly found this when starting my career, however I’ve faced many challenges throughout my time working in technical departments and go into any situation with a balanced approach. My approach is that facts and data are key to progression in any situation and science helps me explain and prove results, no matter the audience. 


Do you have advice for someone considering education or a career in science?
If you strive to develop and achieve variety, knowledge, skills and fulfilment in your career, then science based roles can really offer that. Science is such a broad spectrum, but if you have a tendency for an inquisitive approach, it could lead you into any number of roles covering environmental, chemical, physical and biological sciences to name a few.   


Claudia Müller: Head of Product Development & Technical Support and Legal & Regulatory Affairs

Our second spotlight of the week is on Dr Claudia Müller, Head of Product Development & Technical Support and Legal & Regulatory Affairs at Coveris Warburg in Germany. With a background in chemical engineering and a career changing PhD in packaging films, we discover what shaped Claudia’s fascination in science from a young age, to her career now in food and hygiene packaging innovation.

What attracted you to a career working in science?

In school I loved natural sciences more than other subjects. My father was a chemist and I got time to spent in his work which was always an adventure, so it was very clear from the beginning I would choose a technical profession.


What are your key responsibilities at work?

  • Steering the development of customer and market focussed new packaging films
  • Be the technical contact and expert for our sales force and customers
  • Monitor market needs and trends and translate these to innovative products

What do you enjoy most about your role?

In a fast-changing world there always new challenges about packaging to be solved. Lately the requirements have changed from multi-layer, high performance and convenient packaging concepts to the use of monomaterial solutions that are recyclable.


What is your proudest moment working at Coveris?

Seeing the successful processing of our developmental films at the customer machines.


How does it feel to be a woman working in science?

I had a good mentor in my early career years and later too, I never really felt discriminated against; with growing experience the perceived differences between men and women get less and less significant.

Mathilde Feydeau: Laboratory Manager

With a background in food industry engineering and specialist knowledge in green chemistry and biofinery, Mathilde Feydeau is the Laboratory Manager for our Films and Flexibles Business Units in France. In this interview, discover what attracted Mathilde to a career in science, her experience as a female working in this industry and what’s involved in her role at Coveris.


What attracted you to a career working in science?
What attracted me the most was the fact of understanding how things work. Science is always evolving which is a real intellectual challenge. I also love being able to be in the field to find the answers to my questions.


What are your key responsibilities at work?
My main responsibility is to develop new products that are in line with customers' expectations while understanding their needs well beforehand, in order to ask the right questions.


What do you enjoy most about your role?
What I like most about my job is to feel like one of the ‘CSI: Miami’ proganists investigating and helping to solve important problems. Every day we learn and discover new things because science is constantly evolving.


What is your proudest moment working at Coveris?
What I am most proud of to date is that I have been able to develop a test on the passage of grease on different materials that perfectly mimics what can happen at the customer's premises during filling.


How does it feel to be a woman working in science?
The first feeling is pride. I read an article the other day that less than 30% of researchers are women. I feel more like a scientist than a woman working in science.