INWED: The role women play in engineering
Women have played a key role in shaping the engineering industry we know today with some significant scientific developments – however they make up less than 22% of the UK’s engineering sector.
This calls for a change in work dynamics and improved opportunities that will enable companies to thrive in diversity.
Working for a business challenging the disparity and providing a platform for change, electrical design engineer at CPW, Kamila Wiatr, opens up about her experience on International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2022.
Hailing from Poland, where nearly half of the employees working in the science field are female, Kamila joined CPW as a graduate engineer and moved to the firm’s London office the following year as she broadened her understanding of the UK industry.
Being a woman in the industry
Kamila said: “As the world faces numerous challenges like climate change, there has been an increased demand in engineering jobs associated with energy systems and understanding of our built environment. Today, companies are looking at individuals who have the ability to deliver technical solutions, that assist in our shared challenges and aspirations for the future, and I believe women have a fundamental role to play.
“As I have always had strong mathematical skills, it was natural for me to pursue a career in engineering and construction where fine margins matter. However, when I began working in London it took me a while to grow accustomed to the wide disparity. During the first few months, I was nervous at the thought of speaking in meetings, but that took a turn when I familiarised myself with my team and better understood the nature of the clients and design teams that I worked with.
“I believe the company you work for adds significant value in shaping the individual you are, both as an engineer as well as an empowered woman. CPW, unlike other male-driven businesses, prides itself in working as a diverse community with a collaborative approach that is advancing the construction sector in the present and long into the future too.”
Beyond excelling in electrical design and project management, Kamila harbours a strong desire to increase the number of women in engineering and runs an Instagram account documenting her life as a female engineer, which has garnered a significant following in recent months.
Kamila continued: “With women taking up an increased number of engineering positions, it has become crucial to leverage valuable aid and resources. In my experience, I have witnessed a marked improvement in atmosphere, thereby making a difference to the job satisfaction for both male and female employees. The environment is conducive for all kinds of engineers and other professions, which enables us to rank diversity as one of our strongest suits.
“At CPW, I have worked with engineers from all over the world. From the UK, Poland, Hungary to Cyprus, Nepal, and Jamaica. It is all about being true to our profession, embracing backgrounds and cultures that allow us to bring something new to the table.
“I believe women are a fantastic addition to the industry dynamics as we provide an alternative perspective to the engineering and construction world that is sometimes still seen as old-fashioned.”