Looking to speak to a recruitment expert?

International Women in Engineering Day 2020

Today is International Women in Engineering Day! National Women in Engineering Day was launched for the first time in the UK on 23 June 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Since that launch in 2014 the day has grown enormously over the subsequent years to the point where it received UNESCO patronage in 2016.  

In 2017, National Women in Engineering Day became international for the first time due to the interest and enthusiasm developed by the international audience and participants in the previous years. International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) was born to enable the celebration of women in engineering to become global.  

About INWED

International Women in Engineering Day is now in its seventh year, the 2020 campaign will be a year that is very different to the norm and we're asking for your help to achieve this! INWED is an international awareness campaign which raises the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry.

In recognition of INWED 2020, we spoke to Yasmin Ali who is the Service Manager at Lift & Engineering Services Ltd. to find out more about her thoughts on Women in Engineering

How did you get into the engineering sector?

I’ve always been interested in engineering, mainly because I enjoyed maths, physics and chemistry. I studied Law at University and after leaving University, I worked in the finance sector however had become quite bored in what I was doing, plus at the time there were a lot of redundancies being made and it didn’t feel stable. Looked at lift engineering as it’s quite a niche industry, plus my husband is a lift engineer which is how I found out about it. Working in this industry opens up opportunities all over the world.

Do you feel the attitude towards women in engineering has changed since you joined the industry?

Yes, there’s definitely been a change. I was the only woman in the room when I worked in finance so was used to it by the time I had moved into engineering. I started working with a female manager who has worked in the industry longer then I had and she shared some of her stories - that’s when I really started to notice it. Over recent years it’s been great to see more and more women joining this industry and working at a more senior level. 

Since I started working in the lift industry, I’ve felt it was my responsibility to pass the baton on to other women. I’ve held recruitment days, speaking with colleges to proactively recruit women looking to get into the sector. The women we have recruited in all areas of the business have been encouraged to learn about engineering. We give our office based teams the opportunities to go out with our engineers and develop their knowledge.

Do you feel there is now equality between men and women in the workplace?

No. I don’t think women do, or will for a long time but it is encouraging to see some employers are allowing more people to work flexibly around their other commitments. It’s all heading in the right direction but we just need to keep the momentum going.  As a woman, if you want to have a family, you have to put your career on hold. You fall behind with your career and have to work extra hard to keep up with and almost relearn the job you put “on hold” to be on maternity leave.

I remember my first two weeks back from maternity leave, were really difficult and it took me a month or so to fully rebuild my confidence in being a new mum and having a career. It takes resilience to know that the little person in your life will be okay without mum in the day. My employers were really supportive in helping me during this transitional period.  I really am very lucky to work for a company who put a lot of time and emphasis on employee well-being.

Do you have any advice for women today looking to get in to engineering?

Don’t be afraid. I’ve said yes more than I’ve said no in my career. Don’t let the fear stop you from saying yes and taking on new challenges.

Our company has three branches, two of the three branches are run by female managers. Our head of H & S is female as well as our Head of Finance. That’s really rare in our industry. I think something we do really well as a business is looking at people as individuals, not just gender.

 

If you are a female who is interested in entering the world of engineering, you can speak to one of our recruitment specialists on 01530 440303 to find out more about the opportunities that we available. 

To find out more about INWED and the Womens Engineering Society, please visit http://www.inwed.org.uk/