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  • Supporting women in engineering

    We're proud to showcase the vital roles played by female staff across the business ahead of International Women in Engineering Day, which takes place on Friday 23 June.

    Now in its fourth year, the day of celebration is organised by the Women's Engineering Society and aims to highlight the achievements of current engineers and inspire future generations.

    Almost a quarter of our employees are women, and among them are four engineers at different stages of their varied careers.

    Courtney Hardingham is an electrical, mechanical and instrumentation (EM&I) apprentice, spending three days per week with the company and two at college.

    She said: "I'm taking things apart in the workshop, finding out what's wrong with them, and in college I'm doing practical and theory work. 

    "When I was younger I got brought up by my dad, who inspired me to do what I do and taught me everything I know.

    "Women have so many more opportunities now, and year by year we're seeing more of us in engineering.

    "I would encourage anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship to go for it, because you get paid for work and training. If you work hard there are great opportunities to progress." 

    Assistant project manager Lucy George joined us after working in Nepal and spending nearly three years in Christchurch, New Zealand on the earthquake recovery mission.

    "Those experiences proved how transferrable engineering skills are," said Lucy, who is responsible for small and large schemes.

    "It's really important to celebrate women in engineering and any diversity. The more personalities and perspectives you get the better this industry is going to be.

    Process design engineer Lorraine Puzey studied chemistry at undergraduate and PhD level, joining us as a scientist before moving to the engineering and construction department.

    She explained: "I'm mainly office based and look at calculations to see how our sewage treatment works are performing.

    "Engineering has historically been a very male-dominated industry and I think women have a lot to offer, bringing a different perspective."

    Meanwhile, critical sewers engineer Helen Isaacs has pioneered the use of new technology in Wessex Water's sewer rehabilitation team.

    She said: "I went to a girls' school for my GCSEs and A-Levels and engineering was not a career choice I heard much about, despite loving science and maths.

    "I feel it is really important to promote the great roles and opportunities that are out there in engineering, in order to draw more women into the profession."

    For more information about International Women in Engineering Day visit www.inwed.org.uk

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