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Atlas Copco celebrate International Women in Engineering Day

To celebrate Women in Engineering Day and 100 years of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) we have been looking at the history of female engineers, and how they have influenced the present.

Whilst women had been involved in engineering since before World War I, the increasing range of industries that arose during the war created more opportunities for women to work in engineering. In 1919, the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act was passed, meaning that women could join professional organisations. However the Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act forced many women to surrender their wartime roles to the men who had returned from War.


It was following this that the Women’s Engineering Society was founded, to help the pioneering women who worked in engineering and technical roles during the War and campaigned to retain these roles when the war ended. The society aimed to support the women and help them retain their jobs.


Flash forward to present day where only 12.37% of all engineers in the UK are women, this is why it is still WES’ mission to support and influence girls and women to achieve their potential as engineers.  


Gender diversity is one of Atlas Copco’s focus points, with a target of 30% female employees by 2030. To support the campaign for International Women in Engineering and to champion our own female engineers we have taken the time to ask some of our team 3 simple questions:



  • How or why did you get into engineering?
  • What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
  • How do you see the future of engineering?

Check out their responses below:


Winnie Tang
Mechanical Design Engineer – Atlas Copco Medical

INWED2019 Winnie Tang

Winnie Tang

How or why did you get into engineering?

I grew up in a family who were passionate in arts and craft, car renovation and maths; growing up I’d developed my problem solving skills combined with my passion for creativity and exploration. I chose engineering as I find researching and developing the new techniques with technical background quite fascinating. As an engineer it is rewarding in providing the solutions and innovations to everyday lifestyle.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

16 year old me would’ve reminded me to keep driving forward no matter how long it takes, I want to thank her for that.

How do you see the future of engineering?

Engineering is a very diverse area but all areas have one in common; problem solving through innovations. I’d love to see more young and driven people to be exposed more to the engineering and use their unique creativity minds in developing new innovations and ideas for the next generation.


Georgina Beardmore
Field Service Engineer – Atlas Copco Tools

INWED19 Georgina Beardmore

Georgina Beardmore

How or why did you get into engineering?


I got into engineering by joining the army, I always knew I would be an engineer from when I was a young girl because I played with Lego and Meccano all the time.


What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?


I would tell me 16 year old self to not be scared about aiming high and have confidence to achieve anything you want.


How do you see the future of engineering?


I see a lot more young women in the future of engineering as more and more young women are seeing they can have a great career in our field.


Katarzyna Banas
Technical Support Engineer – Atlas Copco Compressors

Katarzyna Banas

Katarzyna Banas

How or why did you get into engineering?

I was always curious how things work and wanted to solve problems.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

I would say keep doing what you’re good at and keep an open mind. Not many 16 year olds are certain what they want to do in the future and I believe people often change their career path later in life.

How do you see the future of engineering?

I think Engineering will become more and more sustainable, with smarter use of new materials and clean energy.

There will be all kinds of smart robots from helping with emergency response to guarding our homes and transporting people and goods.

We will manufacture more in situ using 3D and 4D printing. Will be able to design engineer anything producing no waste at the end of the product lifecycle.


Emily Pieniak
Service Team Leader – Atlas Copco Tools

INWED19 Emily Pieniak

Emily Pieniak

How or why did you get into engineering?

Engineering wasn’t my first career option however I had a creative mind and enjoyed problem solving. I felt joining the Army as a Telecommunications Engineer would actively focus my mind.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Certain people discouraged me from joining the military as it was not a good career for a female, I would tell myself to follow my own career path and not to worry about what others thought of it.

How do you see the future of engineering?

Whether you are male or female, engineering roles stimulates the mind and focus to problem solve.; We need to encourage females that this is not a male dominated industry - we are all treated as equals.


Gayle Palmer
Business Line Manager - Atlas Copco Power Technique

Gayle Palmer - INWED2019

Gayle Palmer

How or why did you get into engineering?

I first got interested in engineering when I was at school. I went to an all-girls school with two fantastic technology teachers who really encouraged us and made learning fun and interesting. For my A Level CDT project I built a racing hovercraft in my parents garage, and went on to race it with several other girls in the school at national, European and even world championship events. I don’t think I really knew what ‘engineering’ meant when I was at school, but if you’re inquisitive and creative then it’s a great field to explore as a career – the choices are limitless, and as females are still in the minority I really believe it’s a subject that can open doors and show you the world.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

The only person that will hold you back is yourself.

How do you see the future of engineering?

Our world and technology are changing rapidly, and whilst there was a time when it was unusual to see females in engineering roles, I don’t think that’s the case anymore. Most companies are actively trying to encourage gender equality when recruiting, especially in roles which were traditionally filled by men and vice versa. So there’s never been a better time for young females to make the right choices in education and step into an exciting career in engineering.


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