Women in Engineering Day 2014
The Thameslink Programme is proud to support the first ever National Women in Engineering Day by celebrating the women who are helping transform north-south travel through London.
The UK has the lowest number of female engineers working within this sector throughout the whole of Europe. Statistics show that only 9 per cent of UK engineering professionals are women but on the Thameslink Programme that figure is around 15 per cent with 13 of our 87 engineers being women.
Our crop of engineers represents some of the industry’s most experienced and newest talent. Among them is Di who was one of the first female engineers working on the railway in London. When she joined the industry 30 years ago they didn’t have a job title for her so created the role ‘Railwoman’. At the other end is Erin who is just starting her career and in her second week on the Thameslink Programme. Erin’s just completed a year at HMS Sultan, a unique apprentice scheme Network Rail runs in partnership with the Royal Navy.
The Thameslink Programme recognises how key our people are to meeting the challenges of improving one of the busiest rail routes in Europe. Thameslink Programme head of engineering Chris Binns said: “Rail investment is at record levels but we cannot keep improving the network without also investing in people. The Thameslink Programme is designed to transform rail travel through London and we need a diverse and skilled workforce to deliver that.
When I was at University there was only one female in the whole year group. Over the past 30 years the industry has made huge improvements and I am proud the Thameslink Programme is above the national average. However there is still a long way to go and I welcome any initiative like Women in Engineering Day which will encourage more people into the industry.”
Here’s a taster of Di, Erin and their colleague’s stories, to read more click on the pdf at the bottom of the page.
Di, senior design engineer
“I was inspired to become an engineer because I wanted to fix problems. I enjoy working in a team and trying to make a difference to the railway.”
“To any woman considering taking up engineering I would say ‘go for it!’. I think some women are put off taking engineering as a career as they think they will be discriminated against and that they will struggle in a largely male dominated workplace. Personally I have had no problems with discrimination.”
Amita, senior programme engineer
“Initially pursuing engineering was a bit daunting for me in the early 1980s as in a batch of 60 students there were only 3 girls including me but the opportunity was worth it and now the scenario has changed for the good and many successful women engineers are emerging and making valuable contributions to the world”
Tina, CAD manager
“There is a great sense of pride in seeing your project evolve and take its place in society and seeing and truly impacting on the lives of people around it.”
- National Women in Engineering Day 2014 case studies (PDF Document)