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Category: Industry News, Employer Focus
In the UK, less than 10% of the engineering sector is made up of women. Engineering also faces the same issue as the wider industry, a looming skills gap. So, what’s the answer?
Since 2014, Women in Engineering day has been working hard to encourage more women into the sector. Diversifying and widening the industry’s talent pool for the future with events, inspiring speakers, and engaging with young girls considering future career options. This year, it’s gone international!
At Lendlease, we want to give women and men the same chance to succeed, and build a varied and challenging career with us for the long-term. To celebrate the aims of International Women in Engineering Day and find out how Lendlease is approaching diversity, we sat down with two of our engineers: Chris Mills, Head of Structures in Lendlease Europe, and Vanessa Quansah, Senior Civil & Structural Engineer at Lendlease.
Is Lendlease progressive when it comes to diversity?
“Yes, since joining Lendlease my awareness about the lack of women in engineering and the industry has definitely increased,” says Chris. “I can see that achieving gender equality and a level playing field for everyone to succeed is taken very seriously and is incredibly important to us.”
“We put in the right incentives,” agrees Vanessa. “But across the industry, you still don’t see many females in leadership positions.”
Lendlease is a place for all, but how can we actively encourage more women into these fields?
“We need to make engineering far more appealing to women and encourage young people into the industry,” says Chris. “Dispel some of the stereotypes and improve awareness of how studying engineering provides transferable skills and great opportunities for a flexible and rewarding career.”
Vanessa agrees: “Physics plays an important role in civil/structural engineering, yet for the last 25 years only 20% of A-level physics students are females.
“As a STEM Ambassador, I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact early engagement has. It’s up to the industry to demonstrate to young students that engineering is more than just number-crunching, it encourages innovation, creativity and variety.”
What change would you like to see in the engineering sector?
“I’d like for young women in the industry to feel more empowered and confident to give new challenges a go, and put their hands up for opportunities,” says Vanessa. “To do that, opportunities have to be available for them.”
“I would like to see our consultants and supply chain share our vision,” says Chris. “We have a real opportunity to positively influence the industry to follow our lead.”
This year’s IWED theme is #MenAsAllies…
Chris says: “INWED is all about celebrating women as engineers and their achievements. I’ve been inspired by Vanessa in the short time I’ve known her – I recently attended the Women in Construction Awards, where Vanessa was shortlisted for Young Engineer of the Year, and she’s recently become a Chartered Member of the ICE. I’m delighted that Vanessa also wants to sit her IStructE exam and that she sees her long-term future in Engineering.”
Why is Lendlease a place for you?
“There are so many people with a wealth of knowledge that you can learn from,” says Vanessa. “You’re allowed to get stuck in and follow your own path.”
“Lendlease is different,” says Chris. “We’re encouraged to do things differently, plus you get to work on some incredible urban regeneration and construction projects.”
Are you interested in a career with Lendlease? Please click here.
Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.