Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

22 Jun 2020

International Women In Engineering Day #INWED20

To celebrate #INWED20 (23rd June 2020) some fantastic companies have shared profiles from women working in engineering to help raise the profile of this amazing sector. Take a look below at just a handful of these stories: 

The ECITB have shared an insightful Panel Discussion for #INWED20, where Corhyn Parr, Chair of the NSSG joined Gwen Parry-Jones, Chris Claydon and Jane Cooper for a Q&A session. This can be viewed on their YouTube Channel

Molly Cooke, Engineering Apprentice at Direct Rail Services 

"From a young age, I had always shown a great interest in the work my dad did for the RAF as a technician. He would heavily encourage my enthusiasm for repairing household equipment and would always show me how when I asked (he even put me my own little tool kit together). I have been incredibly lucky in that I always received support and encouragement in all of my interests, particularly in that which might influence a career. Seeing now, that level of support mirrored for young girls with similar interests throughout schools is amazing.

While in University I always found myself more interested in what was going on behind the scenes. I wanted to know how to light a show and set rigs; how everything worked. I was keen to steer my learning toward technical theatre during my second year but, sadly, the University dropped the option altogether. While touring, my biggest pride was the set-up and installation of the set. The fact these were more interesting to me solidified that I had taken the wrong path and I decided, not without apprehension, to step away in search of new opportunity. Thankfully, during this time, Direct Rail Services were advertising mechanical and electrical engineering apprenticeships. I was a couple of days too late with my application but was offered an opportunity to come and shadow in the Kingmoor Depot which I immediately accepted. This took place over the course of 10 weeks, overseeing professionals in their careers, and I only became more eager to apply. I was so grateful to be given this insight as I knew, for sure, this is exactly where I wanted to be.

I was introduced to a myriad of repair and maintenance jobs while shadowing which require such high level of knowledge and skill. I found this inspiring. With supervision, I was able to aid in small repairs and exams on a number of 68’s and 88’s. I was taught appropriate acronyms for jobs and their meaning, tools to use and the rigorous health and safety procedures Direct Rail Services proudly adopts. I was able to gain insight into the appropriate documentation required for the next steps in my apprenticeship, should I have been successful. Thankfully, I was. Now, as a fledgling, my day to day tasks take place in college to prepare me with foundation skills to bring to the depot in July. In just six short months, I was taught how to independently operate a plethora of machine tools to create my own hand tools to specific specifications and tolerance. I designed and installed my own working domestic electrical installation in a booth and use this for various methods of testing and fault finding. I was given the opportunity to repair gear boxes and pumps and offered courses in pneumatics, hydraulics, and PAT testing. I am also required to study the theory and produce assessments. This type of study and independent learning is where my time in university has really aided me.

 I am so excited by this opportunity and keen to see what the upcoming years bring. Telling friends and family what my role is now fills me with pride and the level of encouragement and support from Direct Rail Services has been incomparable. It has taken me a while to ‘figure it out’ and it is a pleasure to wake up and want to go to work. Hopefully the supportive platforms and communities available (such as STEM) teaching all young people the value of what’s on offer, will mean they are aware of the opportunities in front of them sooner." 

Anne McGonagle, Control Systems at Sellafield

Take a look at Anne's profile pulled together by Women in Control







Clare Peers, Deputy HSSEQ Director at Direct Rail Services 

"I began my career as an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer In Construction at the tender age of 18. 20 years later I still look back with really fond memories of my apprenticeship. The idea of University had seemed unachievable to me due to costs and I’d felt disillusioned at where and how my future would progress. Many at the time had warned me that an apprenticeship really wasn’t a great career path for a girl, I’m glad to say I think those perceptions are slowly changing. As a Mechanical Design Engineer apprentice I had the opportunity to work across all departments in the business, where I really fell in love with working on site. The dynamic nature and pace meant you could really innovate and my friendly style and nature leant itself to getting issues quickly resolved without them becoming contractual. This grounding lead me to then become a Project Manager where I managed some significant hospital construction projects.

I now work in HSEQ for DRS, however, my career has seen me work in several industries such as High Hazard COMAH and Utility Supply, each with significant engineering hazards, this grounding I have in Engineering means I can quickly and easily communicate about challenges and solutions with people in a language they understand.

When people look back and ask about achievements and pride etc., my beginnings really give me pride. Any young person should never be discouraged from finding a life path in the things which they enjoy."

Amy Mcgregor, CSG Security & Resilience at Sellafield 

Take a look at Amy's profile pulled together by Women in Control.