1. What is your current role?
2. What route did you take into civil engineering?
A music technology degree, followed by a placement at a Ground Engineering firm.
3. What first piqued your interest in engineering?
The desire to do something with my life and the attraction of the complexity and technicality of estimating.
4. What qualities make a great civil engineer?
Attention to detail, aptitude for maths and physics, working well to deadlines, contentment in methodical and sometimes monotonous tasks, good problem solving ability, working well off your own initiative
5. Career highlights?
Working on Crossrail, winning major projects as part of a team. Great professional satisfaction.
6. What doors have been opened through civil engineering?
Being able to work anywhere in the world as an estimator.
7. What might encourage more women into civil engineering?
Encouragement to do maths and physics at A-level (the number of times I’ve heard ‘women aren’t usually good at maths’ throughout my career honestly… it makes my blood boil). I loathe how society perpetuates this ridiculous notion that things like civil engineering is for boys and teaching or being a nurse is for girls. Girls can do anything they set their minds to and this needs to be drilled into them constantly. Also- accepting women from other fields who show a talent and adeptness for the work. I went on to study Building Studies at Sheffield Hallam with BBGE as part of my training for estimating and ended up really enjoying it.
8. In order to encourage young students to get involved with STEM, influencers at a young age are critical- as they can shape the perception young people have about those careers later in life. What made you want to work in Engineering, did you have influencers? What steps did you take in order to achieve that?
This is going to sound ridiculous but seeing strong role models was certainly inspiring- Miranda Hobbs from Sex and the City was this powerful high flying lawyer and I always thought she just rocked. Also Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent Women song- “Shoes on my feet? I bought them/ The clothes I’m wearing? I bought them/ The rock I’m rocking? I bought them/ Coz I depend on me!”
Also- doing things like this- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv8VZVP5csA Can you imagine how many women, brilliant women, mathematicians, surgeons, engineers- the cure for cancer! How much lost potential there has been because such stereotypes about what a woman should or shouldn’t do have prevailed for so long? It breaks my heart and society is worse off because of it.