Taking place annually on 23rd June, International Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign started by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to young women in this exciting industry. It celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world.

Global awareness is vital to help advance gender balance in the engineering industry. Despite progress, the World Economic Forum reported that global female enrolment onto engineering, manufacturing and construction courses in 2020 was no more than 8% worldwide. Figures as of June 2021 show that 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. As the only platform of its kind, it plays a vital role in encouraging more women of all ages to take up engineering careers.

This year, we will be celebrating INWED22 by highlighting some of the many talented female Penspen employees across the globe, the ones who dare to be part of the solution and are helping to build towards a brighter future.

Meet Some of Penspen’s International Women in Engineering

Louise O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Digital Services, UK

How can the energy industry innovate to encourage more young women to take up engineering careers?
I think the movement that is happening around energy transition is analogous to when the Telecoms industry made the adjustment from fixed lines to mobile and saw the rise of the internet. It required new thinking, new skills and a modernisation that hadn’t been conceived of prior to that. I think this is a wonderful time in the industries cycle to encourage women to be part of that transition either as an engineer or a business leader.

I think it is beholden on industry leaders who believe in the importance of this transition, to sponsor women through initiatives, to step forward and be a part of moving the energy industry into a new and cleaner era and support women already in the industry to rise into leadership roles and be a part of the strategic thinking and planning.

Margerie Hernandez, Industrial Engineer/Office Manager, UAE

How can the energy industry innovate to encourage more young women to take up engineering careers?
As a start, allowing more women to take on a lead role which will give them the authority and the ability to work independently with their team. The industry can also commend and highlight the success a women engineer has attained in a certain discipline and promote women even in a top-level position when she is qualified to challenge any gender stereotype practices.

In addition, the industry can also encourage more job opportunities for women and provide professional mentorship to motivate more women to pursue engineering careers. Investing in female employees for certain pieces of training will then be beneficial not just for the individual, but for organisations as well thanks to the added knowledge that will be gained from it. The energy industry should be committed to implementing these actions, and if done right, I am confident that it will not just encourage women but will empower them to take up engineering careers.

 

Juliet Joseph, Junior Electrical Engineer, UAE

What made you pursue a career in engineering, and what do you most enjoy with your work?
The electrical segment of engineering gave me a sense of freedom to open new horizons and possibilities that will help me grow my ideas, nurture my knowledge, and give me an intriguing space for development. The concept of a workspace where we can maintain a decorum and still be able to connect personally is a privilege for many, as work gives us a tight competition and work schedule that keeps us on our most efficient self, and that is something I enjoy about my work.

The point when new ideas are pitched, and those concepts being debated and invigilated by my peers and seniors promote more efficient propositions from my part. As engineering is a field which is always evolving, I think continuous learning is paramount to keep you ahead of the challenges that lies ahead – always making us thrive for more efficiency and contemporary ideas.

Yoly Marina Briceño Pabon, Monitoring & Control, Colombia

What made you pursue a career in engineering, and what do you most enjoy with your work?
As a kid, I loved to take apart and reassemble my toys to see how they worked, a curiosity that led me to choose to become a Mechanical Engineer – a decision I never regret. I started working as a Design Engineer, with training I became a Project Engineer that made me grow as a professional. I wanted to continue growing professionally and thought that I could have a job and family with kids at the same time, something that proved to be on of the hardest part of being a working woman.

Despite difficult situations, combining all the knowledge I have gained from so many different areas, has made me a better professional and engineer. My favorite thing to do at work is to solve any problem. I look to learn something new every day and I believe you can always make the best of every moment.

Alice Thompson, Integrity Engineer, UK

How can the energy industry innovate to encourage more young women to take up engineering careers?
The energy industry is changing and evolving as of COP26, with a younger generation growing to be more environmentally aware, and I believe this transition will prove to be appealing to younger women. I think many people don’t have a lot of information available about what engineers do, so it’s important for companies to display the kind of work they do, especially any innovative project work that will help encourage more women to pursue a career in engineering.

 

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