The engineering skills gap is a growing problem for the industry and one that does not seem to be slowing down. There have been many initiatives designed to try and reduce this gap and inspire the next generation to pursue engineering careers. The 23rd of June marks one of these initiatives: National Women in Engineering Day.
Set up by the Women's Engineering Society (WES) in 2014, its aim is to celebrate the work women do in engineering and to showcase great engineering careers available for girls. To support this, metrology software products ltd (MSP), have asked two of their female engineers about their roles within the company and why engineering is such an important career for students to get involved in.
Laura Mclean, is a Senior Software Developer and has been with the company for eight years. “When I was at school I had no idea what I wanted to do and there wasn't much careers advice tailored to engineering careers. It is great to have days like this to promote and raise awareness of the excellence opportunities available to young women.
“When I started at university it was very male dominated, there were only about ten girls across the entire computing school and every year this declined to the point where there were just four of us. Girls shouldn't let this put them off, if you enjoy problem solving, being analytical and seeing a product go through the full development cycle, embrace your inner engineer and take up a career in this field.
“As a software developer within MSP, my role is to write code to add new features to our products, fix bugs and test the end result. I am involved in every stage of the development cycle, from initial concept to design, all the way through to implementation and testing. Currently, I am working on the user interface aspect of one of our products.”
“When I tell someone my profession, I often receive responses along the lines of 'so you fix cars?' or 'you don't look strong enough to handle spanners', “ says Amanda Tait, an Applications Engineer, who has been with MSP for just over a year, “I find it surprising there is still a lack of knowledge surrounding engineering as it is a great career to be in.
“I actually started on a completely different career path, studying Art and Design at university, before realising the lack of intellectual study left me deflated and I left within one term. After some time out travelling, I studied part time at the Open University and completed a degree in General Engineering within four years. For the majority of my time there, I was the only female in my study groups, however I was always encouraged by my tutors and it was nice to bring a different dimension to the groups.
“I would strongly recommend females with a love of maths and problem solving to explore a career within engineering. There are so many areas to be involved in and so many great opportunities. I hope all the spotlight on engineering will inspire students to consider an engineering-based career and keep the UK industry thriving”.
To read Laura and Amanda's full stories go to: http://www.metsoftpro.com/National-Woman- Engineering-Day-NWED-2015.html