International Women in Engineering Day falls on June 23rd this year, encouraging women to show how they are transforming the future in the pursuit of more diversity in the industry.
This year is the sixth annual #INWED and the centenary of the organisers, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). This year’s theme is #TransformTheFuture: currently, only 12% of all UK engineers are women and this needs to change!
We spoke to Jodi Sharman, one of CAN’s Project Managers about why she chose this career in the first place.
“I did Geology as a degree and wanted something in that area, so since this is Geotechnical Engineering I thought I would apply for a job here, it was as simple as that. It never crossed my mind that this wasn’t a job for a woman and this company has certainly never made me feel like I shouldn’t be doing this work. I’ve stayed with CAN because it’s a fantastic place to work. Every day is different. Everyone works closely as a team and although your project is your own we all speak to each other about issues or lessons learnt. We share information and help each other out all the time. Historically, PPE wasn’t adequate for women. Most PPE out there is designed for men and isn’t a particularly comfortable fit on women, but that has changed a lot recently. There is some nice PPE coming out for women that is much more comfortable and well fitted. I’ve even seen maternity PPE.”
Why should women be encouraged to consider joining this industry?
“Women certainly shouldn’t be thinking that this is an industry they should avoid because it’s a “man’s world”. It really isn’t! Attitudes have advanced and are still changing. We have women in our offices and we have had a few work out on our sites. It would be nice to see more women out on site. The work isn’t for everyone, but if you like being outside, you like big machinery and you like to do work that has an end product that you can see, then maybe a job on site in this industry would be something you would enjoy.”
Demonstrate how you are transforming the future.
“I don’t think I’ve transformed the future. I don’t think I bring anything new to this role as a woman. It’s more about what you bring as an individual. Each individual has something different to offer.”