Blog by Grace Atkinson, Project Engineer
As a child, I was always curious to know why things were made the way they were and my parents were really encouraging. At 16, I attended a ‘Women into Science and Engineering’ taster course and found that I was really interested in materials science. Then, while at the University of Manchester on my placement year, I realised I wanted to work in the composites industry. As a result, I followed my MEng in Materials Science and Engineering with a PhD in the Microwave Heating of Composites.
There was an element of concern that I might experience some discrimination, but everywhere I have worked there have been female engineers and scientists and I have been fortunate to have worked with some unbelievably talented and knowledgeable people throughout my career so far.
There have, however, been far fewer female senior managers in technical roles, which is disappointing and the reason that I’m committed to supporting International Women in Engineering Day. I’m lucky that at Pentaxia, I have great colleagues and Directors, who are keen to support me and help me progress. In fact, I’ve already attended external training to further develop my skill set and the company is very supportive of all working parents, allowing us to have flexibility in our start and finish times.
By sharing my experiences I hope to inspire other women to consider a career in engineering, so our industry can attract the very best talent in the future.