Myth-busting in support of International Women in Engineering Day 2018
This year’s International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is all about raising the bar to create a more diverse industry. Having a team from a variety of experiences and backgrounds is something we strive for at Rolton Group, as we believe the cross-pollination of knowledge and learning from each other’s previous project involvements results in better working relationships and more innovative project designs. As such we are supporting INWED 2018 with the aim of encouraging more women to consider engineering as a profession, to help create a more diverse industry.
At Rolton Group, we do our utmost to help get the right individuals into the engineering profession as easily as possible. Over the last 18 months, we saw a record number of colleagues join our team, including 13 graduates - four of which are women. As always, we are working hard with numerous colleges, universities and schools to find a pool of suitable candidates to join our diverse team, and provide a number of routes for individuals to join Rolton Group, including:
- Graduate Schemes
- Placement Years
- Modern Apprenticeships
- Work Experience
Over the years we have hosted and attended a number of events to introduce the idea of engineering to GCSE and A Level students, to increase their understanding of what it is like to be an engineer as well as improve the popularity of the profession as a whole. Such events include Kimbolton School’s Careers and Higher Education Fair, Peterborough Regional College’s Apprenticeship Fair and we have also invited local schools into our offices to discuss the opportunities the engineering industry has to offer and provide advice to aspiring new engineers.
These opportunities also allow us to dispel some of the myths that surround women in engineering, as highlighted by the likes of SSE, The Guardian and Engineering and Technology.
“You will be the only girl in the office.”
We have 22 full time female members of staff, both in engineering and support roles. All of these women have their own responsibilities within their respective roles and six are senior team members who have their own teams to manage.
“Women are not supported by their employers.”
This presumption is something we are particularly trying to dismiss. From apprenticeships to achieving chartered status and everything in between, we do our best to support the career aspirations of all of our team. One team member who has first-hand experience of this support is Grace Wright, who joined Rolton Group after a summer placement having completed her first year at university. Following a successful placement with us and as a direct result of her great work ethic and strong capabilities, Grace was sponsored for the remainder of her undergraduate degree and last summer, having graduated with a 2:1 in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, joined the team on a full time basis. Grace is now receiving further sponsorship as she completes her Master’s degree in Structural Engineering.
“Women cannot get good enough grades”
Yet another myth we absolutely reject is the preposition that “Women cannot get good enough grades” to get into engineering and other STEM based roles, dispelled by the hard evidence of the fantastic grades and professional achievements accomplished by so many women in the industry. Just one recent example from our team disproving this impression entirely is Laura Barker who has just completed the final year of her Extended Diploma in Electronic/Electrical Engineering having achieved distinctions in the vast majority of her modules. Throughout her time at college, Laura has been one of only a handful of women in the engineering department. This academic achievement, along with her attitude and determination resulted in her being nominated for the college’s Excellence in Skills Award.
Laura said of the occasion,
“I don’t feel that there are any differences between myself and my peers in college or at work academically and I have never been treated as such. Going back to education and putting your time and energy into something in order to achieve the best possible outcome is a difficult thing to do regardless of gender. I’m really pleased that I have earned the Skills in Engineering Excellence Award at Peterborough Regional College this year and I hope it helps to dispel myths about women in STEM subjects. It is with effort and hard work that anyone can get the grades they want. Female or not.”
Managing Director Allan Rose said,
“Rolton Group have a long established attitude and reputation as an equal opportunities employer and promote and recruit a diverse and highly trained workforce. We understand the importance of attending local events to discuss the opportunities the industry has to offer and encourage the next generation of engineers!”
INWED is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls and women of all ages in this exciting industry. It celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world.