International Women’s Day: Alison Fletcher Speaks on #EachForEqual

International Women’s Day is an annual day to ‘celebrate women’s achievements and call for greater equality’. As part of this celebration, CampbellReith wants to celebrate the women who make up our company. We asked the female team members to put together their inspirational stories which we hope inspire others.

While women tend to perform better than men in STEM subjects, according to Engineering UK just 12% of people working in engineering are female. At CampbellReith, we want to share the stories of our female employees to see what made them decide to take up engineering as a full-time career and what keeps them inspired on a day to day basis.

Who inspired you to take up your career and why?

“Both my grandad and my dad. My grandad used to study art. I remember when I was 8, he showed me how to draw in perspective with vanishing points. I have always been so fascinated drawing and modelling in 3D since that day. My dad was, and still is, a great structural engineer. I used to find his constant building watching annoying growing up, especially when those family photographs were actually zooming into an ‘interesting’ bridge connection. But, his passion for maths, engineering and art became quite infectious in my late teens.”

When and how did you decide on your current career, were there any other options that you considered before your current position?

“I started off in CampbellReith as a junior CAD technician in 2005 before I was meant to go to university to study architecture. It turns out that CampbellReith captured more of my interest than I was anticipating. The industry was moving from 2D CAD drawings to 3D at an incredibly fast pace and I just had to stay along for the ride. I have been here ever since and seen the compete change from 2D to full digital twins in the BIM environment and been exposed to some very geometrically challenging projects.”

“Things may not go the way you expect but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way. Re-focus and drive this new path to make it the best for you.” 

Who inspires you most days and why?

“Cringe alert but I have to say my two girls are my biggest inspiration. They inspire me to be the best person I can be. Also, my dad, he is probably one of the most interesting and intelligent people I know. Even coming up to retirement he inspires me to push my learning, think outside the box and to never give up.” 

What advice would you give to someone just starting off on their career path to engineering?

“Things may not go the way you expect but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way. Re-focus and drive this new path to make it the best for you.”

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EachForEqual, collectively, how can we fight bias and broaden perceptions of women within engineering?

“If an individual is passionate, curious and pro-active, gender does not make a difference.

I have been in the engineering industry for 15 years, the last seven of which I have been a mother to two wonderful girls. Motherhood has not stopped me; in fact, it has pushed me to do more. I am the most efficient I have ever been because I have built up the stamina to do more with less time.”

As an engineering practice that works with a broad range of clients and sectors our diversity has always resulted in new ideas, unique experiences and better ways of solving problems.  Long may this continue.

Keep an eye out for more International Women’s Day interviews on our website, and make sure you are following us on Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date.