21 June, 2019

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2019

Here, at M&S, gender does not play a factor in the development or growth of individuals. We enable colleagues to meet their full potential in whatever they do, be that engineering-related or otherwise.

Numbers show engineering has traditionally been a field dominated by men. A 2017 survey found the number of professional women engineers in the UK has increased from 9% to 11%. But despite this progress the Women Engineering Society (WES) identify it as the lowest percentage in the whole of Europe.

In celebration of ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ we’re sharing the stories of two women pursuing a career in engineering with us. Meet Aleksandra and Kirsty.

Aleksandra started her journey at Castle Donington working as a packer with Staffline. When a family member shared a Junior Inspection Technician (previously known as a First Time Fixer) job vacancy, Aleksandra jumped at the opportunity to put her technical mind, one of her greatest strengths, to use.

Now, 18 months on she’s enjoying her job more than ever. “It’s hands on,” she says, “I work across the whole warehouse - wherever a fix is required regarding any issues with the automation, I can see what I need to do to put things right and make it work again.”

Kirsty, now also a Junior Inspection Technician has been part of the M&S team for about 12 months. She was introduced to the vacancy by her daughter, who recommended that she applied as it was “right up her street”.

Prior to this role, Kirsty was working in an office, longing for days gone by when she had enjoyed roles in geology and in computing. Her drive to return to something more technical pushed her to start a degree in Electronics and Engineering, and to take up an engineering role at M&S.

Kirsty does not regret the change at all. Her new role puts her at the core of what she enjoys doing – “fixing things, being allowed to get on with it but at the same time learning new things constantly.”

For some people, the word ‘engineering’ has traditionally carried masculine connotations. The industry has historically been accused of isolating women from employment opportunities, regardless of the level of capability demonstrated by an individual. At M&S, we are focused on providing equal opportunities, and do not shy away from playing our part in increasing the percentage of women in engineering in the UK. We hope stories like Aleksandra’s and Kirsty’s inspire others to pursue their dream roles in any specialist area, as we continue to provide an environment where everyone can achieve their full potential.

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