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National Women in Engineering Day 2015

Posted on 23 June 2015 05:30 PM by wain02h

My dad said I could do anything – so I chose engineering

Today we are celebrating everything we do to support women in engineering.

It’s National Women in Engineering Day 2015 and at UK Power Networks it’s a campaign that runs all year long to make sure we attract and retain the country’s top engineering talent.

In a declining talent pool we want to throw our doors open to the best talent in our industry and that includes the 47% of our population who are women. Nothing should stand in their way except their own competency to deliver great results for one of the top 25 companies in the country.

I was really lucky in that my dad, a superstar in my world, felt that anybody could do anything regardless of their gender, race or religion. That stuck in my head and has driven me ever since. Leaving school with limited qualifications, options or guidance I was taught how to drive by my dad in a JCB and went on to spend several years working in the construction industry. 

Promoting equal access to opportunities
At UK Power Networks diversity and inclusiveness is one of our core principles. Today we launched a new Fusion network to promote equal access to opportunities. We have over 1,000 women working for us across our business and actively engage with graduates, schools, universities and businesses to give them information about the realities of the job. People do this in their own time because every one of us has daughters, sisters, nieces, neighbours we care about. It’s about giving them the information they need to make informed decisions for brighter futures.

I don’t believe girls should be looking at any career specifically – engineering or otherwise. I just want them to know they have equal access to any career they want to pursue.

As for me, I’m an engineer through and through. I gained a first class honours degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering as a mature student, then spent several years working in the construction industry. I enjoyed 20 wonderful years working in the automotive industry starting as a manufacturing and application engineer designing power steering, brake, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and fuel systems for vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, Jaguar, Toyota and BMW.

Chances for the next generation
When I left the industry, it was as international purchase director for a multi-million pound tier one global automotive business with a team of 96, working in 27 different countries! I returned to the UK primarily to support my children as they moved through their secondary education and was attracted to UK Power Networks as both an engineering organisation, but also because of their dedication to developing people and processes, alongside chances for the next generation.

My twin daughters have just completed their GCSEs, as have many 16 year olds, but my girls had the opportunity to grow up inside science, technology and engineering all their life. They have strong maths and science capabilities, with one targeting a career as a weapons and ammunitions officer in the RAF.

Anything is possible and today is about realising your full potential.


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