Women In Engineering – Insight Into Katy
What made you decide to pursue a career in Engineering?
Although my academic background is not in Engineering and I left school not knowing for sure what I wanted to do in my working life, I followed my interests and I have successfully spent over ten years in Engineering and experiencing many different sectors; Medical, Automotive, Aerospace, Steel, Oil & Gas and more recently Photonics.
My roles have primarily been in Operations, Supply Chain and Quality Engineering. The highlights of my career thus far have to be; having the privilege to travel across the UK and abroad on Supply Chain and Quality projects, working with so many diverse characters and memorable colleagues, whilst being continually fascinated by how much Engineering impacts everything around us.
What is your experience as a woman in Engineering?
Very good, I have been fortunate that all the companies I have worked for, from SME’s to large global OEM’s, have not perceived gender as an issue, neither have they held those old institutionalised perspectives of what is and isn’t ‘women’s work’ and ‘men’s work.’ It has been, as it should be, about application of ability, experience, and potential. It has been helpful that I have personal interests that are conducive to a career in the Engineering sector, but having a passion for understanding how things work or are made is not a necessity. Overall, my enthusiasm for my work has been met with similar enthusiasm from my employers and colleagues. It is really positive that the profile of women in Engineering has been raised in recent years, along with the profile of Engineering as a whole.
Any advice to women in Engineering?
I firmly believe it is all about attitude and how you apply yourself, not about your gender. The old institutionalised gender ideas that may be on your mind, or may be the first thing someone mentions to you when they hear you have a role or career in Engineering, well, there are very, very few places where that tradition still exists, if it is not already extinct.
As long as you are fulfilled in what you are doing, that is all that matters. So create your own path; there is a great diversity of roles, companies and sectors under that big Engineering umbrella, and if you were to ever leave for pastures new, with a background in Engineering there are many transferrable skills and always great memories or experiences to recall.
Finally, I’d probably add, if you perceive there to be barriers (gender or otherwise) you will only be holding yourself back, and the world is too interesting and life too short for you to allow that to happen, so just go for it.
How was your experience with Insight?
I worked with Danielle from Insight in the past and can honestly say they have great communication, broad knowledge of roles and industry, and are very personable. Attentive to my role and company requirements, with continued communication and support post acceptance of new role.