By Caitlin Cooper

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?

It’s a way to get more women involved within the industry as it still is a very male dominated industry to work in. This day is celebrating that  more and more women are joining the field and encouraging other women into the industry .

What is the most difficult gender related issue you have encountered in your working career?

Throughout my working career I have never encountered any issues related to my gender. This shows that the industry has changed a lot, with men being more accepting of women in the industry.

What have you done to promote women in engineering?

I was involved in a STEM activity where I presented to the girls of three different schools.  The presentation included an explanation of different engineering roles and why there should be more girls choosing a career in engineering. This was targeted at the younger generation of girls between in years 7-9 who are  choosing their GCSE topic which effects their future career path.

One piece of advice you would give to a young female starting out in a career in engineering?

I started off my career in engineering from leaving school, being 16. It was daunting at first, as you go in with the understanding of engineering is a male dominated society.   In most cases it isn’t, there are usually women engineers within the office which is very comforting. My advice would be to not let the ‘male dominated society’ get to you, it can seem scarier than it actually is, there are women around you who will help with whatever you need,  someone will always help you within the office/workshop if you need anything.

What are the top 5 positive things about being a woman in engineering?

My positives for being a female engineer are not related to my gender, however there are many positives to being within the industry:

  • A big positive for me would be working within a good environment and within a good company who are passionate about what they do and show interest in the employees! Without this then you wouldn’t enjoy the job you are doing and you will regret the career path you have chosen. Since starting Cundall there has been many opportunities for the office to get together and get to know each other which has really helped me settle in to what I was doing, this is what everyone needs within their career!
  • As I am new to the industry, I am able to contribute to pupils still at school who are interested in engineering by giving my experience and knowledge of the industry and how I got into it.
  • Not every job is the same, the work/projects vary which is more interesting and you stay more involved in what you are doing, you don’t get bored of what you are doing as each task is different from the last.
  • You become part of a team. This has really helped me within my working career as I am always aware that there are people around me who are there to help with whatever I may need, whether that be working problems or out of work problems! You develop friendships out of working relationships.
  • There are site visits to the projects that you are working on which means the work you have been carrying out in the office will be seen in real life. This is an excellent way to get an understanding of the work you are producing and it’s much more interesting to see it being built or completed.

What is the top 5 negative things about being a woman in engineering?

I’ve never encountered a negative experience within the industry and I also don’t have a negative view on the engineering industry, otherwise this wouldn’t have been my chosen career path!

Click here to view answers from others.

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Caitlin Cooper, Women in Engineering, Working at Cundall

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