To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), we’ve asked six of our women engineers a series of questions about how engineering affects their lives and careers, as well as their thoughts on future innovation.
Emma is our Construction Director for Interconnectors.
During the final year of my Environmental Geosciences degree, I was sponsored by an Environmental Consultancy, which gave me an insight into geotechnical engineering. I then graduated as a geotechnical engineer.
Typically engineering is male dominated. This has sometimes fed my imposter syndrome, however I have now identified that I can bring various strengths to those environments, including my energy and diverse thinking.
There are many different forms of engineering, for example electrical, civil, geotechnical and chemical. If you find yourself in an environment in which you are not an expert, like being a geotechnical engineer in an electrical engineering environment, surround yourself with people that enjoy providing insights into their expertise. Individuals enjoy sharing their expertise, so just ask for help.
Being a mother has made me an empathetic leader, which helps in the construction environment, which can predominately be ‘macho’ male environments.
I didn’t expect it to be so dynamic, when it is based on science and mathematics.
As Construction Director in Interconnectors, National Grid Ventures, I’m responsible for constructing key assets, which transport net zero energy between the UK and European countries.
By being structured at work, (as this is key in construction engineering environments), I am also structured in my personal life. I find the space to carve up time for my husband and son. This has been beneficial for maintaining a work life balance, which is always a challenge in this industry as typically you don’t live near to your construction portfolio.
Inspiring and developing others, and creating team environments where individuals enjoy coming to work. This is beneficial in any work environments, as it means you get the best out of individuals and this in turn results in delivering successful projects.
I wasn’t surrounded by engineering when I grew up, I was just passionate about the environment and so this led me into the industry.
I get really excited by advances that get us closer to reaching net zero targets quicker. I have a career within the renewable and sustainability industries and it’s great when advances are made within these industries, to protect the environment.
Within the construction industry, individuals are more likely to take their own life, because they are away from home and working long hours. On the current project I’m leading, we’ve provided a health hub on site, which is an industry first. This hub provides 24-hour facilities like healthy eating, gym facilities, outdoor spaces and relaxation environments for those on site. This is important as the project is 24/7 and therefore very intense. The hub will also be used as the basis for research to start to transform the construction industry.