To mark Women in Engineering Day, we asked a number of our female engineers to share their stories and experiences of being a woman in this previously male dominated industry. Click here to view answers from others.
What does women in engineering day mean for you?
A means to promote the industry to women. The Industry is very male dominated, this is a way of showing that it’s a good industry for women too.
What is the most difficult gender related issue you have encountered in your working career?
Occasionally (but really not very often) I’ve come across individuals that have tried to make life difficult in my earlier career, suggesting that ‘as a woman, I don’t understand engineering’. My business card and CV usually put an end to that. That really doesn’t happen anymore, I’ve been in the industry too long!
What have you done to promote women in engineering?
- I regularly attend local careers evenings to encourage school leavers and to introduce them to the industry, we want to attract the right talent early on.
- I support the NAWIC backed mentoring programme (National Association of Women In Construction) which is set up to link up female students with mentors from the industry.
- I have joined a group of female ‘CIBSE Fellows’ (only 26 in the world!!) and we are looking to encourage more female fellows, which means encouragement & mentoring from ourselves.
One piece of advice you would give to a young female starting out in a career in engineering?
I have two.
- Find yourself a mentor to guide you through your early career, preferably another woman in the industry. It can be tough, so it’s good to have someone to turn to for advice. It can also be fun, so don’t be put off.
- Get your qualifications as soon as you can. No-one can take them away from you once you have them and they will get you noticed. Having my qualifications has helped promote me as a serious engineer early on. Life will bring various responsibilities that will get in the way of studies. Get your studies in early, then get on with ‘life’.
What are the top 5 positive things about being a woman in engineering?
Not sure it’s relative to me being a woman, but positives are :
- Interesting & varied work
- You get to see your designs being built & developed into ‘real’ projects – I love walking around the City of Birmingham knowing I’ve contributed to it
- Fantastic friendships developed out of working relationships
- Being in a position to be able to contribute to the development of younger engineers
- Cundall – I would love to have been part of its early development, but am thrilled to be part of its future
What are the top 5 negative things about being a woman in engineering?
I really don’t have a negative view on the industry and I certainly wouldn’t want to attribute anything just because I am woman.
Click here to view answers from others.