International Women in Engineering Day, brought to you by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is celebrating its 10th year and figures as of June 2021 show that only 16.5% of engineers are women.
INWED gives women engineers around the world a profile when they are still hugely under-represented in their professions. INWED also plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.
At ESP, we promote gender diversity and equality within engineering. We asked female members of our team what inspired them to choose a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their engineering roles and what advice they would give to young females looking to begin a career in the industry.
Emma Kirk, Senior Engineering Geologist:
”Engineering geology was not a discipline I was aware of until I had begun my university career and it is a specialty I fell into by lucky coincidence. My job has provided an opportunity to work in a variety of environments and with colleagues across a range of disciplines. Every day brings a new experience and challenge, be that within the office environment or whilst at the centre of construction projects. My advice to anyone pursuing a career in engineering would be to ensure you have confidence in yourself but also an understanding of your weaknesses and that sometimes it is OK to not know the right answer.”
Rebecca Cross, Business Operations Coordinator:
”I would say that the most enjoyable aspects of working in Engineering Geology are the challenges that are presented every day – whether it be out on site, or researching and reporting in the office, we constantly encounter new conditions that challenge our perceptions and require innovative solutions. It’s also great engaging with clients and developers who are changing the way in which we approach development, to promote a more sustainable future in construction.
My advice to anyone pursuing a career in Engineering Geology would be to gain as much experience as possible but also to not let a lack of experience put you off – I didn’t originally train to follow a career in Engineering Geology but there are plenty of companies out there, including ESP, that offer fantastic opportunities to train on the job and make a worthwhile career path for yourself.”
Susan Glendinning, Graduate Geologist
“I followed my interests in Geography and Biology that led to Geology, and ultimately into Engineering Geology. When I was younger I wanted to be an Archaeologist, so I guess it was inevitable I’d end up playing in the dirt for a living. What I enjoy the most about my role is the diversity. Whether working in the office, or out on site, on various projects, no two days are the same. The exposure to a multitude of disciplines, ground conditions, and construction projects is invaluable. It’s also pretty fun playing in the dirt.
My advice to anyone pursuing a role in engineering is to be versatile, stay curious, don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you can’t do anything you want to, and it probably helps if you like dirt.”
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