June 23rd marks International Women in Engeering Day. Created by the Women in Engineering Society, the aim is to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry!
Some facts about women in engineering
12% of those working in engineering are women
Only 37% of girls ages 11-19 would consider a career in engineering , as opposed to 62 % of boys
18% of girls aged 11-19 said they knew what people in engineering did
To celebrate International Women in Engineering day we asked a few of our employees what they enjoyed about thier role, and what they've been up to in lockdown!
Lindsay Vickors - Service Contracts Co-ordinator, ACTIAS
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what is your biggest challenge ? I love the variety that comes with my position, everyday is different. I get to speak to various people, colleagues and customers. Working with my team, we continue to try and improve our customer experience and deliver the best service possible. This involves implementing new processes and gives us the opportunity to drive efficiencies. So far my biggest challenge has been learning about the technical side of the business, fortunately I have an excellent support team around me! What have you been doing during lockdown ? COVID-19 has thrown in new challenges which have kept me busy outside my normal day to day tasks. I've been working with my colleagues on the logistics of getting our engineers back to work safely on customer premises and ensuring that we have everything in place for them .I am proud to work for a company who makes their employees safety the number one priority. In my spare time I found myself sitting in front of the TV with a nice glass of wine at the end of the day but for the last 7 weeks I have started exercising a lot more. I have been running with 'Couch to 5K', following Joe Wicks HIIT sessions and also cycling which I have found really helps my mental wellbeing and helps me focus. The fresh air really does help! What are you most looking forward to when lock down is lifted? From a work perspective, it will be nice to get back into the field and visit customers and our onsite engineers. Although working from home is possible with my role being confined to the home office has had come challenges and it is difficult to support the teams who are on site. Microsoft Teams has been hugely beneficial and being able to turn the camera on and see people really helps.Personally, I cannot wait to be able to celebrate my daughters 18th birthday in the pub when this is over; although she enjoyed her day, sadly her celebrations were not as planned due to COVID-19. In addition, being able to see family and friends (with eased social distancing etc) is something that I look forward to like many others, plus a meal at my favourite local restaurant ‘Eileen’s by Steve Barringer’ too!
Louise Ellis – CTS Business Analyst, Multibrands UK
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what is your biggest challenge ? I enjoy the diversity of the customers and the different enquiries I deal with. The biggest challenge is when our customers are distressed when their compressors have broken down! Lots of satisfaction when we get them back up and running. What have you been doing during lock down ? I have been spending a lot of time playing my guitar , cooking and watching lots of documentaries . What are you looking forward to most when lock down is lifted ? I am looking forward to being able to have a conversation and a big hug with someone else that isn't my husband or my cat.
Kasia Banas – Technical Support Engineer, Atlas Copco Compressors
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what is your biggest challenge? I mostly enjoy technical problem solving in challenging tasks (but also the easier ones) and situations that put me outside of my comfort zone. I like to feel challenged to put my abilities to the test and be able to learn. I also get great satisfaction and inspiration from working with so many wonderful colleagues and getting results from successful collaborations.
One of my biggest challenges is accepting the fact that sometimes I can’t help everyone on the same day when the workload exceeds the time constraints. You must remember to draw a line between work and personal life for a healthy balance. What have you been doing during lockdown? It was an interesting transition from the usual routine of office working to home working, however keeping in touch with colleagues and friends with Teams made it a lot easier. The lockdown has not fully prevented site visits, as I have been able to attend a few sites and experience first-hand the social distancing and additional safety procedures other companies have put in place.
During the month of furlough, I took it upon myself (thanks to a link supplied by HR) to sign up to a few courses that interested me. I have successfully completed courses in Environmental Protection and Sustainability, and Solid Waste Management.
During the furlough, it also allowed me to focus more on my hobby of bee keeping. This year so far, I have extracted 80 litres of honey. What are you most looking forward to when lock down is lifted? I am looking forward to going back home to Poland and finally meeting, in person, my nephew who was born in January. Also seeing my parents and the rest of the family, of course, and really knowing they are all OK. I have never felt so far away from my family.
Nicole Hooton - Service Support Supervisor, Atlas Copco Medical Ltd.
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what is your biggest challenge? My work varies from day to day. I have set tasks to complete, Customer KPI’s, Work in progress, backorders, returns & invoicing but in general it depends on what emails or phone calls I receive from customers, service planners, my Manager or service engineers as to what I might have to do next.
During lockdown I have helped colleagues plan the workload and supply of parts for a large London Hospital project, I have packed up PPE to send out to the service engineers, delivered chairs and equipment to the service planners to help them work remotely, attended training to become a fit2fit face mask tester and even managed to fit an internal audit in somewhere along the way. No one day is the same and that’s what I have always loved about my role.
Customers require a high level of customer care and the biggest challenge during lock down has been managing customer expectations, everything is urgent or jobs are on hold, two extremes due to COVID and dealing with the restrictions this virus brings means all of us have had to be flexible and adapt to those changes and expectations daily. What have you been doing during lockdown? Once my working day is over I find it important to try to wind down. On most evenings I have been out for a walk. I've recently moved and discovered the countryside around me. It’s been nice to chat to strangers along the way, some human contact, instantly having one thing in common, we are all living through a pandemic!
In order to be able to travel a little further I thought it would be a good idea to get a bike. I haven’t ridden one since living in Holland 18 years ago. Whoever said “ it’s just like riding a bike” was so wrong. I’d forgotten you’re supposed to go down gears when going uphill (in my defence living in Holland there were no hills) I think I’m dying… I can’t peddle anymore…… I think I’m going backwards?!! The weekend comes and there is nowhere to go, I can’t see my friends and apart from my daughter who lives with us my family all live too far away. I need to keep myself busy, so I help my husband with a spot of DIY. He doesn’t seem that grateful to be honest, I’m on a mission and won’t let him rest.
There is decking to be built don’t you know, and I want my Gin Palace! Who cares that I have had a delivery twice (both received damaged) for a garden table and chairs and they won’t collect them due to COVID, I’ll sit on the decking and drink gin! What are you most looking forward to when lock down is lifted? I’d like to say I have enjoyed working from home that it’s been a nice change, but it’s been a challenge for me. I have found it hard to log off the computer and leave work at work, being that work is only in my spare room. No drive home and unwind from my working day.
The computer is only upstairs, it’s too easy to log on just to check something and then before you know it you’re working again. When lock down is lifted I’m looking forward to being in a crowded room, hearing people chatting , laughing, catching up, the social aspect of human contact.
I miss people, I miss the office & my colleagues, the office banter, the contagious laughter that ripples through the office when someone says something funny. I miss teaching Pilates, I miss my friends & my family, I miss hugs! When all of this is over with I’m hugging everybody, get ready for long awkward hugs!
Helen Duke – Service Co-ordinator, Desoutter Tools
What do you enjoy about your role , and what is your biggest challenge ? I have worked for Desoutter for 21 years and worked in the service department predominantly dealing with service engineers and our customers. I enjoy the variety of the role that service offers. It can be a very demanding role especially if the customer's line has stopped due to tool failure but very satisfying to solve their problems. Allocating our service engineers work , engineers calendar and organising parts are just a few of the administration jobs I do . What have you been doing during lockdown? During lockdown I have been spending a lot of time in my garden pruning back some of my shrubs that have got a little too big and adding a small vegetable patch so we can enjoy some home grown produce. I have also been doing lots of crosswords and reading more James Patterson novels for relaxation.
What are you most looking forward to when lock down is lifted? When lockdown is finally lifted, I am looking forward to seeing all of my family in person rather than on zoom and having a good family get together. I will also will be very grateful for a haircut and pamper session too.
Kasia Doroba – Product Marketing Engineer, Atlas Copco Power Technique
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what is your biggest challenge? I enjoy all of my responsibilities, the assistance I give to my colleagues and customers in helping to choose the right products to their specification. I like the constant learning process – continued innovation of our products to suit ever growing demands. What have you been doing during lock down?
I am learning a lot. I am in the process of completing a 5th level Management course and I also do a lot of product training. I have also tackled a painting by numbers activity - it’s very therapeutic.
What are you most looking forward to when lock down is lifted?
I am very much looking forward to visiting my family. I cannot wait to go to a Salsa/Cuban Club and dance all night.
International Women in Engineering Day
International Women in Engineering Day is an International awareness campaign which raises the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. Launched for the first time in the UK on 23 June 2014 by the Women’s Engineering Society, the initiative has gone from strength to strength including receiving UNESCO patronage in 2016.