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?
“My family inspired me to take up a career in engineering. Everyone in my extended family (just men though) are engineers. And they seemed to be enjoying what they did. So, I just went for it.”
When and how did you decide on your current career, were there any other options that you considered before your current position?
“While completing my undergrad study in civil engineering, geotechnical engineering was my favourite subject. This helped me secure a position as a project engineer with an offshore geotechnical engineering contractor at Singapore. After a couple of years, I moved to Dubai and worked with a dewatering contractor, who was dealing mostly with the study of hydrogeology in the Middle East. During networking events and regular client/sub-contractor meetings, I had the opportunity to meet several geotechnical engineers who dealt with onshore works. I heard the UK would be the best place to learn and develop in the field so I decided to apply for masters at Imperial College London and got through. Once the course was over, I heard about the vacancy at CampbellReith through a recruiter, applied for it and got through.”
“Empathy is the way forward. Everyone’s fighting for their rights in their own way. All we need to do is respect each other, try to understand where each person is coming from.”
Who inspires you most days and why?
“My colleagues inspire me and my family provides the motivation and support.”
What advice would you give to someone just starting off on their career path to engineering?
“You have to be passionate about your career otherwise it would end up being a mundane exercise with calculations and boring reports. Be as creative as possible, and you will certainly be recognised for that. Although we need to comply to various different standards and codes, I believe that’s not the only way forward. Currently our society is facing lot of dire issues with no written solution. In such circumstances, it is our creativity and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking that will come handy.”
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EachForEqual, collectively, how can we fight bias and broaden perceptions of women within engineering?
“Empathy is the way forward. Everyone is fighting for their rights in their own way. All we need to do is respect each other, try to understand where each person is coming from, what needs to be done for the greater good, and we are halfway there. We have to completely erase the concept of prototyping people and all toxicity associated with it. This would make this field inclusive not just for women, but for everyone in the society.”
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.