Shortlisted for the WISE Man of the Year Award
Don Johnson, Operations Director, Laleham Health and Beauty
Don began his career as an engineering apprentice with Gillette UK Ltd. During 19 years service, he progressed through managerial positions of increasing responsibility and also worked in USA and Iran. Don joined Laleham Health and Beauty in 2006 and has transformed the site to a best in class manufacturing operation. In addition to starting an apprenticeship program, he engaged with Bath University to enable M.Eng undergraduates to gain valuable work experience at Laleham. For the last 8 years all the undergraduates have been female as in addition to being the best candidates. Alton Convent is a co-educational to 11 and girls only to 18. Don has been working with them for the past three years and has been instrumental in the cultural transformation of their school, across leadership, teachers, parents and pupils. From previously being an Arts focused school, engineering is now clearly on the table as an exciting, aspirational and rewarding career. Don recognises that more women need to be encouraged to pursue a career in Engineering and he influences and inspires thousands of students each year through direct sessions in individual schools and by participation in key outreach organisations such as TeenTech and the Basingstoke Consortium. It is rewarding to see how his students grow and develop under his leadership, keen to give back and inspire others often sharing their passion for engineering with younger pupils. It would be easy to think that Don’s full time job is to promote gender diversity in STEM, however this is something he does over and above his day job and both his output and impact are remarkable.
Don’s People Like Me types: Regulator, Entrepreneur and Service Provider