International Women in Engineering Day by Women’s Engineering Society (WES) will celebrate its 9th year in 2022. Figures as of June 2021 have shown that only 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 young women and girls to take up engineering careers.
We sat down with Isabel Lamb who is an Engineering Apprentice, Bella Robbins and Fatimah Alsabyani who are our ROC Technicians and asked them a few questions about their careers in the engineering industry.
Q – Describe your role
Isabel – Hi, I’m Isabel Lamb. I’m an apprentice engineer, and I have the opportunity to work with engineers that are very knowledgeable and in different types of plant rooms. In addition, I have the ability to meet and speak with a variety of customers.
Bella – Hi. My name is Bella Robbins. I’m currently a ROC technician, but I’m moving on to become a junior software engineer. I help out day to day with engineers onsite and and with any other software queries.
Fatimah – Hey. My name is Fatimah Alsabyani. I work as a ROC technician. I work with engineers on site and I work with other clients from different companies with their BMS that we control and that they have on site. What made me choose engineering is my educational background and what I did as a bachelor degree and master’s. And then my previous work experiences as well.
Q – What made you choose a career in engineering?
Isabel – So as I finished school back in 2020, I liked the idea of problem solving and finding out what’s wrong with any faults. But I didn’t know back then what type of field of engineering I wanted to go into. So I got the opportunity to do some work experience with Aimteq for a few weeks, which then encouraged me to go to college to start a technical level two diploma in engineering.
Bella – For me, I have a very logical mindset, I like problem solving, I like logic puzzles. So engineering was always, always a field where if you have a problem then you’re going to solve that problem. Engineering, was a perfect fit going through education and so when I graduated, it was it was the best place for me. It was where I felt most, happy.
Fatimah – My educational background and what I did for a Bachelor and Masters degree and my previous work experiences as well. I worked in roles that mainly focused on problem solving. It did help in this in this job when I started it. So it only makes sense with all my skill sets and educational background that I had.
Engineering, was a perfect fit going through education and so when I graduated, it was it was the best place for me. It was where I felt most, happy.Bella Robins
Q – What advice would you give to women wanting to go into the engineering career?
Isabel – I would recommend anyone that is interested in the engineering industry go consider it if they enjoy problem solving or fault finding on site.
Bella – That the engineering career is incredibly fulfilling. And if you have that logical mindset, that problem solving mindset, when you see a problem in the wider world and you’re like, I want to fix that, it is the perfect field for you. Because components, electronic components, they don’t care who’s fixing them. They just care whether or not they’re being fixed or not. So it’s a perfect field.
Fatimah – It’s just like any other field. If you really find yourself that you’re really into problem solving, but the only thing that is stopping you is that there is not many women in the industry. That’s not really something that should stop you in doing it. It’s rewarding. Very rewarding. And if you’re really interested in it, just go for it.
Q – What are the challenges within your role / working in the engineering industry as a woman?
Isabel – They don’t really expect female engineers to work. So I see it as an opportunity to prove females are as good as everyone else on site.
Bella – So being a female engineer, there’s not many of us in the field and as such, it does mean that sometimes when you when you take phone calls, when you do speak to other engineers, they are ever so slightly taken back. But for me, it’s always been my professionalism and again, the problem solved and always maintaining that higher level. And once you start proving yourself, people stop seeing you as a female in engineering, but as just an engineer.
Fatimah – For me personally, there are not many challenges being an engineer in this field. The only challenge I find is that there are not many of us working in this field. It’s it’s mainly male dominated. That’s the only challenge because a lot of the times you’re the only woman in the room or the only woman in the team, so you would just get underestimated just because you’re you’re being the minority.
They don’t really expect female engineers to work. So I see it as an opportunity to prove females are as good as everyone else on site.Isabel Lamb
Q – Where do you see yourself in the future within your role in the industry?
Isabel – I would like to see myself in five years time completing my apprenticeship with the aim of being either a projects manager or a product engineer.
Bella – I’m moving into the software side of things, and I would eventually like to with both the experience that I have learned here, and with my software experience, go on to project management and design these sites that we’re working on from scratch.
Fatimah – I only started this role recently, I do not know what I have more passion for and in which part of the sector. But I can see myself doing a senior role as an engineer.
Q – What one what’s one tip you would give to a woman in your role?
Isabel – I will say, well, if you like it, go for it. Don’t let what’s holding you back from completing what you were aiming for.
Bella – It’s a fulfilling role. And if you’ve worked hard enough to get there, then you just have to be there and it’s fun. So I just enjoy it.
Fatimah – If any woman or young girl is interested in this field and the only thing that’s stopping them is the fact that not many women they know in their lives who are in this field. That shouldn’t be a reason to stop them from going for it. They shouldn’t be intimidated by the fact that they’re the minority in this field. That’s not an issue. We just need more women in engineering.
They shouldn’t be intimidated by the fact that they’re the minority in this field. That’s not an issue. We just need more women in engineering.Fatimah Alsabyani