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.
Eugenia Polo Pascual Estimating and Design Engineer
As an Estimating and Design Engineer for Van Elle’s Housing division, Eugenia focuses on and creates the designs for Smartfoot, Van Elle’s high-quality factory-produced precast modular foundation system.
What first attracted you into the industry?
The possibility of design – I always found it amazing how a drawing of a building can become reality, I always wanted to learn how to do it and when a project is finished you can say “I designed that”. The satisfaction of seeing your work develop in front of your eyes is one of the most fulfilling aspects of working in construction.
How would you best describe the construction industry to anyone thinking about joining?
Every day something is changing, you are constantly learning, constantly evolving, and gaining new skills. This industry is incredibly varied and is about far more than just putting up buildings.
What challenges have you faced at work because of your gender? And how did you overcome them?
Fortunately, I’ve had a very positive experience and I’ve been very lucky to have a team that values me for my work and not my gender. Often being a woman, you get questioned about your decisions and I think there should be more focus on training people in the industry to understand that women are just as capable as men. We need to empower women to have confidence in themselves.
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
Not to over-think, take things step by step and don’t try to run before you can walk. Also, knowledge is power. It’s important to keep an appetite for learning, whether it be from others around you, from courses or a mixture of the two. It keeps your perspective fresh and open-minded.
If you could give your younger self a piece of career advice, what would it be?
Be persistent – you will achieve what you want to achieve.
Visit our careers page for more information on Van Elle opportunities.