International Women’s Day: Hannah Smith 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?

“I wasn’t inspired by a particular person, I wanted to be involved in creating buildings and have always had a practical personality, so engineering seemed to fit. I was inspired by the strong women in my family, who taught me that there were no restrictions on what career path I could take.  Although, in part I think I also wanted to prove to myself that I could succeed in a male-dominated environment.”

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

“I had wanted to get into engineering, and realised quite late my love for architecture and buildings. But the practical side of my personality suited engineering over architecture, as well as allowing me to utilise my skills in maths and science.”

“I am always inspired by people who are thriving or even surviving in the face of adversity (no matter how big or small).”

Who inspires you most days and why?

“Again no one particular person, but I am always inspired by people who are thriving or even surviving in the face of adversity (no matter how big or small). There are many young women and men in our organisation who inspire me with their positive attitude and aspirations for a better world to work and live in.”

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

“That this is a rewarding and fulfilling career, where you get to collaborate with so many different people/industries. There is so much choice within the industry itself on what direction you could take. You’ll definitely not be bored! So don’t be daunted by thinking this could just be a heavily analytical career in front of a computer, whilst those opportunities certainly exist this is not all engineering has to offer.”

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

“My thoughts are that as humans we should be helping our fellow man, and woman. So by looking out for those people who may be left behind, being aware of how we can help, maybe providing a confidence boost or inspiring people, we can encourage others to do the same. Hopefully we can all endeavour to create a fairer more positive environment to work in.”

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.