When I was at school it never crossed my mind that being a woman would be any kind of an issue in my career, and from the age of around 15 or 16 I started to become aware that the number of girls in class started to decrease. The lack of role models may have been partly the reason, which is why it’s so important to celebrate women in engineering and we make sure we’re visible to girls and young women making their subject and career choices. It’s hard to be what you can’t see.
I try to make sure I do my bit to represent women at HR Wallingford. I’ve recently got involved in our Women’s Network, and I’m also part of our Staff Council. It’s amazing to be able to have that impact and see change happening. My message to all organisations is that they need to encourage women to express their views, positive and negative, and most importantly they need to listen. Often things that appear to be quite small on paper can have great impact. We’re not there yet, but I’m optimistic that things will change dramatically in the industry over the next decade.
I think INWED is really important. A lot of girls may see themselves as scientists but not necessarily engineers, so raising awareness of the diversity of career opportunities available is vital. In terms of my own heroes? Generally I think engineers deserve more recognitions, and for me any woman who makes it to the top of any corporation is a hero!