24 June 2024

Women in Engineering

International Women in Engineering Day, organised by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), celebrates its 11th year in 2024 and promotes the amazing work women engineers are doing across multiple industries. As the only platform of its kind, it plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers. This year’s theme is #Enhancedbyengineering.

Engineers shape our world and have a continual impact on many aspects of our day to day lives. However, the variation of opportunities available for engineers is broader than you might think, with not all positions fitting into the mould of a ‘traditional engineer’.

At Stork, we have a variety of 65 different engineering roles across our UK business. From proposals and software engineers, who are based within our office facilities, to mechanical and field engineers who can be located on client sites to offshore platforms, the engineering possibilities are endless.

Hear our stories first-hand:

Women play a crucial role in shaping the future of engineering and while more continue to enter the field, the outdated portrayal of ‘it’s a man’s job’ remains across many industries. To change this narrative, strong female representation is needed to encourage the breaking of gender role stereotypes, while ensuring diversity continues to improve across sectors.

To play our part in shouting about female engineering success, we caught up with Emma Stephen, Project Engineer and Christie Marriott, Inspection Engineer to learn more about their career paths, roles within Stork and gain their advice for women considering a career in engineering.

Let’s take it back to the beginning, what did you do when you left school?

Emma: My career path after school wasn’t linear. I initially studied graphic design, before deciding I didn’t want to work in an office and took some time out to work as a competition groom. After which, I decided to keep horses as a hobby and headed to university to study Psychology and Sociology which I absolutely loved, however it was very hard to get any sort of job afterwards.

Christie: After 6 years at school, I went to university to study business management and marketing. I didn’t have a clear idea on what I wanted to do but I enjoyed management, so I thought a degree was a good place to start. 

Before joining Stork, had you ever considered a role in engineering?

Emma: When I was at school, you were very much directed into either college or university, we weren’t told about the opportunities available regarding joining companies and working your way up, while gaining experience and knowledge along the way.

Christie: Engineering and a role like the one I have now, had never crossed my mind. I was totally unaware of what jobs lay within the world of oil and gas. 

Tell us a bit about your day-to-day role:

Emma: As a Project Engineer, my role is different every day. I could be creating work instructions for scopes offshore one minute and then raising Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) and materials orders the next.

As part of my position, I have a heavy people element too. This includes liaising with our recruitment team for manning workscopes, to supporting HR with investigations / disciplinaries. An additional part of my role includes briefing the teams heading offshore, which I enjoy as it allows me to meet the workforce and, in the past, has supported my growth of knowledge within the offshore sector. I am not very technical and feel the best way to learn is from those executing the work.  These guys have many years’ experiences and are happy to share advice.

Christie: Before starting a job, I carry out various elements of research for the equipment I am going to inspect. This can range from looking into the strategy or previous reports, even talking to the onsite engineer about the job to find out if there is any specific information I should be aware of. From there, I check-in with the process control unit to ensure all safety measures are in place and then begin the inspection. A key part of inspections consists of looking for anything that doesn’t appear right on the external state of the equipment.

What training, qualifications and/or experience have you gained?

Emma: I have been fortunate to be put on a variety of courses to expand my knowledge, some of which include Association for Project Management (APM), HR and Finance. However, passing my NACE Coating Inspector Level 1 was a highlight, as I was the only female on the course and had very little coatings experience at that stage of my career.

Christie: Since joining Stork, I have been on a steep learning curve. Having now been in my role for 2 years, gaining industry first-hand experience, I have gone on to further my education. This has included completing an EMMUA Mechanical Integrity course and now working my way through an HNC in engineering. 

What advice would you give to girls and women considering a career in engineering?

Emma: There are so many different roles within this industry, if you are unsure what you would like to specialise in, a role such as a Project Engineer gives you exposure to many different areas. Don’t be scared to enter a job and work your way up. I started as a Technical Assistant 13 years ago and have worked towards Project Engineer, with the goal to progress to a Project Manager in the near future.

Christie: For anyone who is considering taking the leap into an engineering career, I would say go for it.  You don’t know what it will be like until you try. Always ask questions, get involved and explore all opportunities. There is such a variety of roles within engineering that aren’t heavily advertised, it’s all about getting a foot in the door. 

But what more can be done to create awareness?

We know a key element of raising awareness is about engaging with young people at an early stage and by working with schools and organisations such as Career Ready and Prince’s Trust we’re educating the next generation about STEM subjects. In conjunction with Developing the Young Workforce and working alongside our local school partnerships, Meldrum Academy and Bramble Brae Primary in Aberdeen, we aim to show career opportunities involving science, technology, engineering and maths are endless and not limited by gender.

By shining a spotlight on the incredible work our women engineers do across Stork, in a variety of roles and locations, we hope to inspire both current and future generations to consider a career in engineering. The opportunities are endless.

To find out more about the positions currently on offer at Stork, please visit our careers website.