Women in engineering: Seizing the opportunity to lead

 

For me, events like International Women in Engineering Day (IWED) are crucial for celebrating the diversity of approach and skillsets that women bring to engineering.

Not just in engineering roles of course. Women across the industry bring a range of skills through their roles.

In the past, there were times I felt uncomfortable by the concept of a day specifically targeted at women, when we should be focusing on equality more broadly. However, a glance at recent stats shows that women make up less than one in eight of the engineering workforce (EngineeringUK State of Engineering 2017 report).

With the engineering skills shortage reaching a critical point, it’s vital that more young women are encouraged to consider careers in our industry. That means championing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) from school ages.

”Local

However the industry also needs to improve how it raises awareness of opportunities for professional roles in emerging areas including sustainability management, data analytics, stakeholders and marketing, strategic planning, or for example my field of innovation.

As a female leader managing a team, I focus on being a mentor to those I work with to support their ongoing professional development. I do this by being available, approachable and ultimately a role model for senior female leadership.

I find my job very rewarding – the important work we deliver influences the world around us. My role is also brilliantly varied. I get to meet and work alongside a talented and inspiring people from a variety of backgrounds undertaking different roles across our integrated industry delivery. From other engineers and construction professionals to architects and historians, as well as the infrastructure owners and the public. All this results in great career satisfaction.

At present I am the Innovation and Continuous Improvement lead across AECOM's portfolio of major highways schemes.

I am working on several highways major projects for clients such as Highways England, including high profile schemes such as A303 Stonehenge, M42 J6 Birmingham and A428 Black Cat. I lead Lean implementation, integrated workshop delivery and creative problem solving for a range of major infrastructure clients.

I am passionate about having a position on safety as I believe industry leaders we must champion everyday safety.

My commitment to Health and Safety for 2017 was to lead the introduction of a ‘wellness tracker’ for project teams to support each other and identify when there are wellbeing concerns. This has since been adopted by client teams as an example of best practice and was a finalist in the Highways England Health, Safety and Wellbeing Awards 2018.

I take part in as many initiatives as I can to raise awareness of women’s diverse roles in our engineering industry. I’ve recently been offered a place at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Transport Summer Reception at the House of Commons in relation to IWED, and have also been invited to give the key note at the ACE Wales Progress conference.

”Local

I believe that we should never stop learning. From formal qualifications to learning from delivery in collaboration, through to everyday feedback on performance, I see education and training as ongoing commitments that improve our industry. I champion this with the people I mentor.

For me, the big question now is how to encourage more young women into the profession so they too can experience a similarly rewarding career path. One of the most important steps is to capture the imagination of our industry’s future female engineers from an early age, ideally while they are still at school.

It’s crucial that today’s female engineers visit schools and colleges to introduce the profession to young minds. We need a wave of inspired young women to enter the profession and pave the way for future generations to do the same.

I led Engineers Without Borders sessions for The University of Sheffield Faculty of Engineering. I also designed and delivered (to c.300 school children across Derbyshire and South Yorkshire) a ‘Let’s go on a Journey’ interactive activity day to promote engineering, leading a team of AECOM graduates as role models for our industry’s diversity of people and careers.

On a practical level, my advice to young women is to choose subjects at school that give them flexibility to study engineering at college or university, and to never let stereotypes hold them back. Young women shouldn’t be put off if college or university isn’t for them. Apprenticeships are an exciting entry route into the profession, particularly in highways.

Here at AECOM, we plan to take on over 90 apprentices and higher apprentices in the UK by the end of 2018, with 55 working in the transport sector. The opportunities are there – now is the time to grasp them.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Fire Safety Contract Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£40,028 to £46,431
We are currently seeking an experienced Fire Safety Contract Manager to lead and co-ordinate activities and to ensure that the service is managed Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Pest Control Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£27,093 to £29,188
As a Pest Control Officer within Environmental Health, Business and Consumer Services your focus will be to deliver pest control treatments Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Waste Prevention Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£35,913 - £41,657
We now have an exciting opportunity for a talented and enthusiastic individual to join us and be part of a team tottenham
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Waste Prevention Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£35,913 - £41,657
We now have an exciting opportunity for a talented and enthusiastic individual to join us and be part of a team developing a new vision Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Operations Manager – Waste and Recycling

Bath & North East Somerset Council
£38,052- £40,858.
This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced waste management professional Bath, Somerset
Recuriter: Bath & North East Somerset Council

HGV Driver/Loader

Torridge District Council
£18,070 - £20,138
DRIVER/LOADER (HGV) Driving and loading a refuse/recycling collection vehicle up to 26 tonne gross weight, you will collect recycling or household ... Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Principal Transport Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£37,320 to £40,198
The role will require close dialogue with developers and their agents and necessitate strong partnership working with District Councils... Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Senior Engineer – Traffic and Road Safety

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
Redbridge Council is an outer Borough, working to improve the environment and its services for residents and businesses. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Trainee Technician – Active and Sustainable Travel

Redbridge London Borough Council
£20,667 - £22,424 per annum
Redbridge Council is an outer Borough, working to improve the environment and its services for residents and businesses. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Parking

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To be responsible for the delivery of parking engineering design and implementation of schemes across the borough Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Highway Maintenance/Asset Management

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To be responsible for highway asset management, reactive and planned highway maintenance, highway safety and structural surveys and inspections. Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Trainee Technician – Projects

Redbridge London Borough Council
£20,667 - £22,424 per annum
Redbridge Council is an outer Borough, working to improve the environment and its services for residents and businesses. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Flood Management/Civil Engineering

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To provide expert advice on highway and land drainage, flood risk management, sustainable drainage, highway structures and bridges... Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Engineer – Development Control

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 - £38,994 per annum
To be responsible for assisting and supporting the operational delivery of the Council’s highways development control function and to assist the lead Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Engineer – Projects

Redbridge London Borough Council
£30,930 - £32,638 per annum
To assist with the delivery of highway and land drainage, flood risk management, sustainable drainage, highway structures and bridges... Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Engineer – Parking

Redbridge London Borough Council
£30,930 - £32,638 per annum
To assist with the delivery of parking engineering design and implementation of schemes across the borough Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Engineer (Bridges)

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
You will have experience in the development, planning, design and implementation of transport infrastructure and related projects Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Pest Control Officer

Brent Council
£25,746 - £27,342 p.a. inc.
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Streetworks Officer

Westminster City Council
£32,592 - £41,601
As Streetworks Officer you will be a member of the permitting and streetworks team City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Vehicle Mechanic

Rugby Borough Council
£23,866 - £28,221 (£28,703 - £33,941 pro rata for 44.5 hours per week)
The post holder will ideally be qualified to undertake taxi compliance testing, preparation for MOT testing from Class 4 and 7. Rugby, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Rugby Borough Council