International Women in Engineering Day is celebrating its ninth year today. Hosted by the Women in Engineering Society, it is a day to celebrate women in the industry who are often under-represented, as well as to encourage young girls to consider a career in this vast and exciting profession.
With that in mind we spoke to our graduate development engineer, Nour Matarid to find out more about what it is like to be a woman in the industry and asked her what more she thinks can be done to inspire the next generation of women.
Nour completed her MEng Civil Engineering programme at the University of Glasgow, but it was growing up in Egypt that sparked a natural curiosity in renewable energy.
“I am originally from Egypt and have always been curious about how much you can achieve with the amount of readily available solar energy.”
It is this inquisitiveness that inspires many young people to begin down a path of engineering, but more often than not, many young girls worry that the industry is not the place for them. Luckily, for determined Nour, her clear passion for her work and the supportive team at Banks means she has never felt out of place.
“I never really think about it. I am more immersed in the engineering aspect of the role, learning and working with the team to a achieve a common goal. Everyone is respectful and welcoming. I fit in really well!”
The number of women in engineering roles has increased from 562,000 (2010) to 936,000 (2021) and while this growth is a step in the right direction, it is crucial that even greater representation is present within the industry to ensure that engineering does not remain a male-dominated profession. Nour agrees:
“I think that showing more women working in engineering encourages more to consider a role within the sector. It can be difficult, but I try to be my own role model. There are no female engineers around me at the moment, so I tend to pick up skills from the talented team around me. I think International Women in Engineering Day is vitally important to highlight those who are breaking down the traditional stereotypes of this industry and showing that it is possible for women to succeed and flourish in these roles.”
Change does not happen overnight, and it is forward-thinking employers and the invaluable work by groups like the Women in Engineering Society that keeps the industry on its evolutionary track. The theme for IWED this year is: Imagine the Future, focusing on inventors and innovators who will change the industry for the better.
For Banks, having a passionate and dynamic team made up of a wide range of people is what ensures the longevity of its success. Nour’s natural curiosity, optimism and expertise will undoubtedly take her far and as she grows with Banks’ Graduate Development Programme and beyond, there is no question that she will be a role model for many young girls who chose to follow her lead.
Want to get involved with International Women in Engineering Day? Check out their website for a wide range of resources or get involved on Twitter, using the hashtags #IWED22 and #ImagineTheFuture.