Earlier this March was International Women’s Day, and last week we spoke to Maria Llorens about what inspired her to choose a career in Engineering, a typically male-dominated environment. This week, we talk to Ines Adams, about how to encourage more women to consider careers and roles in areas which don’t currently employ many women.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day was ‘make it happen’, a call for equal rights and to celebrate women’s accomplishments, but many women here at Bowman Power are already making things happen!

Ines Adams joined us three months ago after she completed her education in Engineering. Having studied at INSA of Rouen in Normandy with a speciality in engines and propulsion, she went on to study an MSc at Cranfield University, before joining us in December, 2014.

We asked Ines; ‘What is it about engineering that makes it a fulfilling career for you?

“There are a lot of different opportunities and application fields in which we can work. I think I will always be able to find something that I am passionate about to work on. If I want to jump from a design office job to a role involving more production or project management, I will be able to do it. All the doors seem to stay open! I think the atmosphere in engineer teams is extremely good. Its passionate work and good fun!

Furthermore, being an engineer provides me the satisfaction of producing and designing something appealing, exciting and useful. I have always been passionate about science and since I was young I liked to understand how things were working. I think being an engineer is all about curiosity and the will to solve technical issues. I’ve never seen any reason why I cannot go after a certain job.”

What are your thoughts on the number of women pursuing engineering as a career?

“I think more and more women are following technical paths and pursuing their interest in becoming engineers. The education system and European societies are definitely ready to welcome as many women that wish to join this attractive journey. I think this is mainly due to a change in mentality from previous generations: from my point of view there is globally less and less gender differentiation. However, in UK only 6% of the engineering workforce is female and from my point of view this number needs a bit of a boost.”

What can be done to encourage more women to consider a career in engineering?

In order to encourage more women to consider a career in engineering, we have to trigger passion in young people. I think being an engineer involves a really wide variety of applications (design, production, project management, sales engineer) in a lot of different fields (chemistry, physics, environment, electricity, IT, mechanics, engines, biotechnologies). I think better links with universities and with more action with colleges would be able to promote engineering and trigger those passions; involving meeting female engineers, talks, discussions and on-site visits.”

Figures show that the number of women in engineering has doubled from 2003 to 2013, but still only make up 4.4% of professionally registered engineers. Raising awareness is a key factor in getting more women to consider a career in engineering. The National Women in Engineering day, which takes place on June 23rd, is a day dedicated to raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in Engineering.

Toby King, CEO of Bowman Power Group and also one of the Directors of EngineeringUK, said; “Encouraging more women to view engineering as a viable and rewarding career is incredibly important. The recent EngineeringUK report tells us that Engineering enterprises employ a fifth of all people employed in the UK.  However, by 2022 we will need to fill 1.82 million new vacancies for people with Engineering skills, which represents a huge skills gap.

With only 21% of A Level physics courses being undertaken by girls, and 13% of the current Engineering undergraduate population being female, it’s clear that the only way to bridge the talent gap is through increasing the number of women Engineers. Unleashing the talent that many women can bring to the industry begins with educating young women on the benefits of engineering.” (http://www.wes.org.uk/statistics)