Balancing your dream career

Name: Sarah Sabine
Age: 39
Qualifications: Mechanical Engineering BEng Hons, University of Nottingham
Job Title: Front Line Manager
Employer: Walkers Snack Foods Ltd, PepsiCo

Sarah Sabine - Front Line Manager at PepsiCo


Sarah always wanted to be an engineer. Growing up, her father and brother were always fixing things and from a young age she felt inspired to get involved.

After doing work-experience at a large motor company aged 14, she decided she wanted to make mechanical engineering her career.

Following two and a half years on an engineering graduate scheme she joined PepsiCo in a Front Line Managerial role. Here she headed up a team at the Bursom Road factory in Leicester which produces Walkers snacks.


You did a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Nottingham, but out of all the students on your course there were 100 men and only eight women. How was that?

It felt like some of the boys on the course had picked Mechanical Engineering because it was a ‘good’ degree to have, however the girls had really strong passion for the subject. This really bonded us – and a few of us still go on holiday together twenty years later!


Has having a family impacted on your career?

PepsiCo were really supportive of me after I had my first child – I was able to return with a job share partner which meant I could continue in a managerial capacity whilst working part-time.


Have you ever felt any stigma in being a woman working in engineering?

For me it’s never been an issue that I’m a female engineer. In fact, I would say that we’re not in the minority anymore. For a while our engineering management team consisted of 4 females and one male…

Women get things done in a different way to men, and it’s important to have this variation, as it challenges and improves the team as a whole. Ultimately, don’t think engineering is a man’s world because it’s not at all.