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Women in Compressor Technique: Meet Lynette Thompson

Lynette Thompson, Industrial Air, Sales Representative

“My appointment, 18 years ago, as the first female Sales Rep for Industrial Air Division opened the door for other females in this male dominated industry.”

“My ambition to work for a large reputable company where I knew opportunities would avail urged me to join Atlas Copco in July 1983. It was indeed an interesting time given that 38 years ago, females in the business industry was a novel consideration. I am extremely proud of the fact that in 2003 I was appointed as the first female sales rep for Industrial Air Division. My appointment opened the door for other females in this male dominating industry. I sincerely believe that Atlas Copco does provide equal career opportunities for women and men. But as a female in my position I still face a few challenges. A common one is stereotyping; there seems to be a prevailing assumption amongst people when a female sales rep selling air compressors steps into their office.

My career path at Atlas Copco has taken me along an interesting route with a few twists and turns, working in several different positions and divisions. Atlas Copco has without any doubt presented me with a platform that continues to give me all the experience and knowledge I need. I held my first position at Atlas Copco as Secretary to the Training Manager for four years before moving to the Buying Department when the training centre was closed. In 1988, I was appointed as Secretary to the General Manager of the Rock Tools Division. In April 1991 I moved to Ficksburg in the Free State where my husband and I managed the Atlas Copco branch for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Returning to head office five years later, I worked in the Debtors Department for Desouter.

In 2002 I worked as internal sales and tender administrator for the Industrial Air Division. I found my passion in February 2003 when I took up my current position of Sales Representative for Industrial Air Division. My sales responsibility encompasses the full Compressor Technique portfolio including compressors, dryers, filters, nitrogen/oxygen generators, air receivers and ancillary equipment. As far as my customer responsibilities go, I manage their expectations and engage and maintain customer relations, all the while cognisant of the fact that I must at all times uphold the reputation of Atlas Copco.

The best part of my job is without any doubt interacting and engaging with people. I also enjoy the ongoing learning curve of all the technical aspects behind the Industrial Air Division’s products. Over the years, Atlas Copco has arranged and encouraged me to partake in various training programmes which touched on various aspects of sales, product knowledge, managing client expectations and initiative and innovation regarding problem solving for customers.

As for my future career aspirations, my goal is to meet and exceed my target sales. It is vitally important for me to ensure that my customers are satisfied with the products they purchase from me. I always endeavour to uphold and maintain good customer relations, and I am determined to keep on disproving this stereotypical perception society has created in this male dominant industry.”

Lynette shares a special message with her colleagues:
“There will be good days and bad days, but you must ensure that it is the good days that define you and not the bad. A positive mindset will open up the door for opportunities.”


Get to know Lynette at home Lynette
has been married for 31 years and has a daughter, Angie, aged 29
Birthday: 27 February
Star sign: Pisces
Hobbies: Golf and wildlife Favourite
food: Anything Italian.
TV Program: “I don’t have a particular favourite series or TV programme; however I would say that my typical list consists of TV programmes that involve a legal aspect or people using innovative and instrumental methods and ideas in order to create new concepts such as food dishes, clothing design, etc.”


Atlas Copco Compressor Technique South Africa