Today marks National Women in Engineering Day - a day dedicated to changing perceptions, raising the profile of women in the industry and this year celebrates the 95th anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society.
Despite being a male dominated profession, there are many women across the UK flying the flag for engineering and technology and NT CADCAM has been highlighting just some of those ladies that make up the 10% of the UK’s engineering workforce, with Solidworks’ Women In Engineering programme.
Élise Béraud, quality assurance engineer at Solidworks, world leader in CAD design and solutions for the 3D industry, says that engineering is definitely not just a job for the boys.
“As a child, I enjoyed playing with Scalextric and trains and fixing things,” Élise explained. “My parents encouraged me and my two sisters to pursue our interests in engineering and not to be constrained by gender stereotypes. All three of us are now engineers!”
Discovering her passion for engineering early on, Élise went on to study science based subjects and took a master’s degree at the French Institute for Advanced Mechanics which led to an internship at Airbus working on the A380.
“In my current role, I’m responsible for testing new software innovations,” Élise commented. “I really enjoy problem solving and trying to find bugs! My job involves lots of investigative work and trying to find the root cause of a particular bug. Every day brings new challenges. I get to work with software developers across the world, in places like India, and we’re really encouraged to push our ideas and think creatively. Every day, there is something new to learn.”
Universities, such as the University of Liverpool with its Liverpool Women in Science and Engineering society, are actively encouraging young women to take up science, technology, engineering and maths courses to equip them with the right skills and training for the jobs of the future. But right now, the workforce is still primarily male orientated and the WIE programme is about creating awareness and reaching out to the female population to show that this doesn’t have to be the case.
“I’ve always worked in a male-dominated environment so it’s never been a big deal. There were only eight female engineers out of a class of 160 in my graduating year!”
The goal behind National Women In Engineering Day should be that we no longer need a day to highlight the ratio of women to men in this industry. As the UK strives to retain its competitive edge in industrial sectors, particularly with the accelerated focus on additive manufacturing, the opportunities for women to tackle the STEM skills shortage and work with world leaders in the engineering sector, are being loudly sung through initiatives such as National Women in Engineering Day. Fellow UK engineer and director of SolidWorks education portfolio, Marie Planchard sums this up quite nicely: “These recipients are not rock stars, just women doing their jobs and helping others achieve their goals.”
Élise, added: “If you have the talent and enthusiasm, then go for it. We definitely need more women in engineering. You develop so many skills in this type of career – from problem solving through to creative thinking. The possibilities are endless.”
For more inspiring profiles from Solidworks’ Women in Engineering programme visit www.ntcadcam.co.uk