Linda Maynard

BSc MSc CEng MIGEM FWES Photo of Linda Maynard

Linda graduated from UMIST with a BSc in Building Technology and an MSc in Building Services Engineering. She started her career in the Engineering Department of British Gas in 1976, assisting in the design of the High Pressure Gas network in the North West. Linda joined the Institution of Gas Engineers in 1987, becoming a Chartered Gas Engineer in 1981. After moving into the Property Department she held a series of appointments in project management, development and land decontamination in the North West. Her career culminated in several senior management positions including Business Manager responsible for the Group’s occupied estate nationally; Business Manager Construction and Environment responsible for remediation and construction projects in the northern half on the UK, including Scotland; Joint Head of Asset Management with added responsibility for the property issues relating to the Group’s restructuring programme.

Linda joined WES in the late 70’s and found the contrast of being at meetings surrounded by women engineers uplifting after working in a male dominated industrial environment. She joined the Manchester Branch Committee and was elected Branch Chairman in 1981, which was followed by national roles in WES of Vice President and President (1985 – 1987). Following her Presidency Linda served as the Honorary Treasurer for 5 years. The WISE campaign launch in 1984 preceded her busy Presidential term and resulted in many prestigious speaking engagements. They included a joint presentation with The Baroness Platt of Writtle to the House of Commons Parliamentary and Scientific Committee entitled ‘Women in Science and Industry’, the Harry Ferguson Memorial Lecture at the Queens University in Belfast as well as TV and radio interviews. Linda has continued to support the activities of WES and for the last 10 years has been Chairman of the judging panel for the Karen Burt Award.

The former Chairman of British Gas, Sir Denis Rooke, was a trustee of the Daphne Jackson Trust and asked Linda to become the first Trust Executive. This role involved setting up the Trust as a functioning business and charity; securing funding; preparing PR material; externalising the Trust; and establishing administration and financial procedures. This very successful fifteen month secondment included local and national TV and Radio interviews, one of which being Radio 4 Women’s Hour, as a way of contacting prospective Fellows and publicizing the Trusts activities.

Although only taking a few months maternity leave for both her children, Linda is an avid supporter of women who have taken career breaks and wish to return to their profession.

Linda has supported many women’s groups and organizations and has participated in some high profile meetings including two receptions at 10 Downing Street. She was invited to join the Cabinet Office Working Group that produced the report ‘The Rising Tide’. The report listed a series of recommendations to facilitate the education, employment and retention of women in science, engineering and technology. Linda was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour as part of the report launch.

Linda has also been active in her Institution, being awarded the IGE Bronze Medal and Society of British Gas Industries Silver Medal for one of her technical papers and the first TV Garrud Travelling Fellowship to visit Consumers Gas Company in Toronto. She was the first female President of the Manchester Gas Association. Linda also held several posts with the Council of Engineering Institutions and Engineering Council and at that time was the only female elected to represent Chartered Engineers in the first Engineering Council Assembly.

Linda has now retired to Plymouth with her husband Bill. Their daughter Anna, who also graduated from UMIST, continues to live in Manchester whilst son Benjamin has relocated to Aylesbury.