jo latham tnOn Thursday 17th March, we were very lucky to welcome Jo Latham, owner of Ebeni Limited, to deliver a Lunchtime Careers Talk to our pupils interested in STEM and Entrepreneurship

Jo was due to join us for the Inspiring Futures Conference but was unfortunately unable to attend due to Covid. It was great to finally welcome her to school to share her journey with us.

Having founded Ebeni in 2004, Jo has gone on to oversee the success of a thriving engineering consultancy, employing over 80 professional engineers with an annual turnover in excess of £11M.

A career engineer with over 20 years’ experience, Jo is passionate about People, Leadership, STEM and Women in Engineering. A Member of the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) and the Institute of Directors (IOD), Jo is actively involved in Ebeni’s Talent, Wellbeing and Diversity & Inclusion agendas, leading multiple initiatives across the organisation.

Jo spoke to us about her own A Level choices, and her experiences at university whilst studying her degree in Computer Science. She has worked very hard to overcome the stigma attached to her position, one that is seen too often still in business as a man’s role. She recounted an experience where she joined a male colleague (also her mentor and now business partner) at a meeting and a gentleman from another company at the meeting presumed she was there as a secretary. At the meetings the following day, she assumed the role of lead speaker for her company in place of her male counterpart and easily proved that she was there as their equal. She set up her company when she spotted a gap in the market. She is constantly striving to develop her business as the world around us changes, explaining that some things cannot move at the same pace as current technological advances due to the risks of cyber attacks.

Jo also gave insights into what she looks for when hiring employees, both as graduates and professionals. It was interesting to hear about her interview techniques, which generally follow a more relaxed approach and include an office, sofa and cup of coffee, instead of a more formal boardroom. She expressed the importance of extra-curricular activities in helping you to become a well-rounded and experienced individual – she was once a rower and competed for England at an international level. Her most important point was to follow your own journey, make decisions that are going to benefit you and that make you happy. Choose a degree which you enjoy and where you will thrive, and it does not matter if you do not know now what you want to do later in life, as long as you do the things that make you happy.

It was a pleasure to meet with Jo, and we hope that she will come back to visit us again in the future.