What should you consider if you want to build your career as a woman in engineering?
As a woman, building your career in engineering could appear to be a daunting task in a male-dominated sector. However, with a growing community of top quality female engineers within the UK and Europe, there is increasing funding and resources to encourage young female students to consider the benefits of a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). We are in the midst of an exciting time for women in engineering!
Groups such as WISE and The Women’s Engineering Society offer expertise from experienced women in the industry, as well as training, events and an annual International Women’s Engineering Day. If you’re feeling worried about venturing into the ‘male’ engineering world, you can certainly find many women in the field who you can learn from, network with and build long-standing relationships with, both in and out of the working environment.
We’ve outlined our top tips for women in looking to build their careers in engineering below.
What about Capital?
Here at Capital International Staffing, we are always looking to support women with their career in engineering. As our Director, Karen Silk says: “if you put your mind to it you can do or be anything you want” – a saying she learnt from her mother! This is something we instil in our staff and recruiters, but we also encourage our candidates to follow their dreams and “put their mind to it”. Read more from our Director here.
In this video, Karen talked with three young and inspirational female engineers about their careers:
Top tips for women in engineering looking to build their career:
Find a community
If you’re still in school or university and want to make the first steps towards a career in engineering, find a group of other like-minded women you can connect with. Search for women in engineering groups in your area, join WISE or your university engineering society. Even if the group you join isn’t exclusively for women, chances are there will be some other women just like you joining too.
Network with other engineers
Once you’ve found a community you connect with, try to meet, talk with and learn from other females in your industry as often as you can. If there is something you’re struggling with, there is almost certainly another engineer who has gone through the same challenges or faced the same dilemmas, and will be able to offer advice or guidance on how to overcome it. Seek out a mentor who has experience in your field and can help coach you when entering the working world.
Don’t forget about the men!
Ok, we’ve spoken exclusively about women up to this point, but it’s important to remember that there is just as much to learn from men in engineering as women. They often have their own unique experiences to give you a different perspective on the situation you’re in. Although many women in engineering find being part of a community of other women helpful, don’t disregard the males in your office. We’re betting 99% of them are just as keen to help women prosper in the sector as females are!
Bring your unique talents to the role
It’s common for women to feel they need to act ‘tough’ or ‘macho’ in a male-dominated sector, but this often means that what makes you you gets lost somewhere along the way. Natural talents such as being empathetic, supportive, collaborative and caring are all attributes which can create a balanced team environment, and an important perspective on any engineering project. Be authentic and true to yourself. It will be a lot easier for you to sustain in the long run.
Remember – you are a trendsetter
While being a woman in engineering can be challenging, remember that you are playing two roles. Firstly, you are doing your job as an engineer. But secondly, you are helping to pave the way for future generations of female engineers to create a world where the gender diversity in engineering is far more equal. As a female engineer, you are an inspiration to all young women who are considering a career in engineering.
Which engineering sectors do we currently support through our recruitment services?
1. Space and Satellite
This is one of the fastest-growing industries we recruit for, and as a result, there are always exciting, world-changing industry developments happening in the sector.
Aerospace technology is ever-evolving. The candidates we place play key parts in new technology developments, and you can too.
A sector that plays a key role in keeping us safe, there are often emerging new technologies to improve our security.
With driverless and electric car technology on the rise, this industry is experiencing some huge shifts that will continue to develop over the next decade.
With the advancement of smart techology and augmented reality, the phones we use on a daily basis will be changing rapidly over the coming months and years.