This week we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day.
International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the range of career opportunities available to girls in the industry.
It celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world.
INWED is also an important opportunity to raise awareness around a common problem: women engineers are desperately needed, but they are still vastly under-represented in their professions with very few women within these roles.
Now has never been more important to address the engineering skills shortage and together play our part in encouraging women to consider a career in engineering.
As a business, we are proud to play our part in cutting through conceptions of gender bias, promoting diversity and empowering women to believe there are no barriers to achieving their ambitions and goals.
We spoke to four of our female engineers working in the various divisions at Van Elle to find out about their experiences of working in engineering, how we can encourage more women to join the industry, what inspired them to join the industry and what advice they’d give to the young engineers of the future.
Jade Davison, Assistant Geotechnical Engineer
As an Assistant Geotechnical Engineer, Jade is involved in geotechnical recommendations, geo-environmental assessments, report writing and ground investigation for Strata Geotechnics, our in-house geotechnical division.
What first attracted you into the industry?
I enjoy being outdoors (mostly) and not being in the same place (office) for too long – so travelling the country dealing with various sites/clients is interesting for me.
How would you best describe the construction industry to anyone thinking about joining?
It’s ever-changing, predominantly fast-paced, and the banter is always a blast – no two sites are the same, no two clients are the same and you are constantly able to learn more as time goes on, everything is updated/changed with the times and the learning never stops so you can’t ever really get bored.
How can we encourage or inspire more women to join the industry?
By getting more female engineers to discuss and be present at events etc to showcase we are a thing and share what we are up to on social media more frequently.
What do you think are the barriers preventing women from joining the industry?
Not being able to fit in with the male-dominant environment and often hard graft that can be involved which can be quite physical – the thought that you won’t be strong enough or fit enough to fit into this world.
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
Work longer and harder when you first start to be able to absorb as much info as you can in a shorter period – work hard, play hard – I’ve often learnt most when staying a bit later with seniors in the office/yard, when they have finished what they need to for the day and can look over your stuff/reports/soil samples etc and are able to give you advice and show you why it’s X and not Y.