Wiltshire engineers share insights for international day
Wiltshire Council engineers are sharing their experiences of the workplace to encourage more women to take up the role.
International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June is a moment to focus and celebrate the achievements of outstanding female engineers.
Nationally, just 8% of engineers are female. Of Wiltshire Council's 48 engineers 17 are female.
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children, education and skills said: "Engineering can be a key part of so many interesting and varied careers. Wiltshire Council is a great example of the wide range of engineering opportunities available. I'm proud we have good numbers of female engineers but we need more. This national day is one way to raise the profile and encourage more to consider engineering as a career."
Katy Harrington has worked at the council since December 2015. She originally started in planning but is now part of the highways team, doing a level 3 qualification in civil engineering which will lead on to HNC and HND qualifications.
Her work involves investigating and reporting on vehicle status and highways issues including public reports of potholes or blocked gulleys.
She said: "I'm really enjoying this job. It was quite a big jump from working in an office but everyone is friendly and the team were very welcoming. When I started everyone was really friendly and I was pretty much going out straightaway with other members of staff and steadily learning. I've had training for what I need to do and I'm building up my skills. I go out and do it myself and make my own decisions.
"When I tell people they say ‘Oh that's interesting how does it feel being a female?' it doesn't bother me I don't think there should be a stereotype around it and it shouldn't matter if you're male or female. I would say if you think you might enjoy it, go for it and forget the stigma around it.
"I've always had an interest in it but I wanted something to stretch me and give me a challenge and this is challenging and the end result will be worth it."
Diane Ware, highways principal technical officer at Wiltshire Council and incorporated engineer with the institute of highway engineers, explains why she enjoys her work.
She said: "Personally, I wouldn't want to be doing anything else, even when it's raining outside I would rather be out fixing things than sitting in the office. So, if you have good people skills, like to problem solve, can react well to unexpected situations then engineering would be a good choice for you. There is no right answer either, so you get to work together with others and express your technical viewpoint to solve problems!"
You can find more engineer stories and career opportunities on the Work Wiltshire website https://workwiltshire.co.uk/