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.
Amanda Norman, Graduate Engineer
As a Graduate Engineer, Amanda undertakes geotechnical analytical work, from planning, execution and reporting of Geo-Environmental and Geotechnical site investigations for Strata Geotechnics, our in-house geotechnical division.
How would you best describe the construction industry to anyone thinking about joining?
Every day is an adventure when you are an engineer. The whole process can be challenging but also rewarding.
What do you think are the barriers preventing women from joining the industry?
Thinking they need to be strong or blokey to be able to get the job done or fit in.
Universities also don’t encourage enough women to take relevant geology engineering courses which would give them the knowledge they need for our industry.
I think the more people see people that look like them (women) the more they see our industry as a viable career path. This can only lead to more diversity which will bring more and more vital talent into our industry.
How can we encourage or inspire more women to join the industry?
More needs to be done with encouraging women into the industry at earlier stages, i.e., through education and showing them the benefits of a career in engineering. We also need to be promoting the more male-dominated positions to young women, such as operative roles, to show them how rewarding these jobs can be.