Last week we saw National Women in Engineering day. Here at Cygnet Texkimp we don’t think its about just one day – our women contribute every day to the success of our business. So we asked our Financial Director, Julie Trimble, what she thought:
Q: Could campaigns like Women in Engineering Day be inspiring more women to pursue careers in engineering?
We think so.
At Cygnet Group’s Cheshire headquarters, two of our four apprentices are women, studying and working towards mechanical and electrical engineering qualifications, and heading for successful careers in engineering.
Both developed a love of engineering from family members, during childhoods where they spent time tinkering with cars and motorbikes and dismantling electrical equipment. But both were also fortunate enough to be given the confidence and support to pursue their interests through their school and college studies, regardless of how outnumbered they were by their male classmates and colleagues.
There is no doubt that we would still like to see many more applications from budding female engineers, but we must also recognise the achievements of a campaign that is beginning to bear fruit after many years of neglect.
And of course, we must acknowledge that businesses like ours have a vital role to play in engaging with young engineers in our own communities. We need to work hard to break down boundaries and explode myths that make our industry unattractive to too many talented individuals, by showing exactly what a career in engineering can look like and providing work experience, apprenticeships and mentoring.
We have extremely talented women working throughout our business, in a variety of roles and all essential to the success of our firm. They include our Account Director Pam McEwan, who is responsible for nurturing our relationships with some of our biggest customers, our Communications Manager Kerry Fairhurst, Installation and Commissioning manager Josette Roman, and Procurement Manager Bev Hynds.
From our own school visits and open days, we can see a growing number of girls showing interest in engineering, with the support and advice of teachers and career mentors who are focused on the importance of this task.
Ultimately, unless we continue to encourage more women to bring their skills and influence into our engineering businesses, we will continue to miss out on an enormous amount of talent that we need to secure the future of UK engineering on the world stage.
But on a day like Women in Engineering day, we must take time to celebrate the steps that have already been taken by our industry and by the supporting networks around us in education and training, to mobilise more women to join us.