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Engineering firm encourages a female future for the industry

23 June 2022

‘Inventors and innovators’ is the theme for this year’s International Women in Engineering Day, and although engineering is an industry typically, or rather, stereotypically, dominated by men, we’re beginning to see an increase in female engineers.

MIDLANDS-BASED engineering and construction firm adi Group is striving to lead the way for such change, promoting a female future for the industry.

Latest figures show that approximately, just 14.5% of all engineers are female and whilst the industry has seen a steady increase in the number of women within engineering roles across the UK, there is of course, more work to be done.

Recent years have seen a number of strains occur within the industry, one of which being the STEM skills gap, which has contributed to the lack of female engineers, and this is just one of the many ways adi Group aims to make a difference.

James Sopwith, group strategic account director at adi Group celebrates this year's International Women in Engineering Day, whilst also setting the tone for the industry moving forwards.

"It's great to see females within the industry being celebrated, and it’s also great that we are in a place where women are no longer restricted when it comes to their careers – and that’s no different for the world of engineering and construction," he said. 

Keen to lead the way for a more feminine future and to diminish any remaining traces of inequality, adi Group provides accessible educational programmes for young girls seeking a career in the field.

The firm offers two apprenticeship programmes, a Pre-Apprenticeship Scheme for 14-16 year olds and its Apprentice Academy for 16+ year olds, helping the younger generation and encouraging young women and men to become the engineers of tomorrow.

Female inspiration

It takes a female engineer to inspire others, and adi Group has successfully onboarded a number of inventive and innovative recruits – both as apprentices and as full-time employees.

With numerous years of experience as a test and inspection engineer, Melissa Britchford is a fine example of how the wider engineering industry can and should be looking towards a female future.

Passionate about encouraging more women to enter the workforce, "A career in engineering can be incredibly rewarding, and we shouldn’t let stigma and stereotypes hold us back," she explains. "It’s incredibly encouraging for females who want to work in engineering to watch other women thrive and have strong examples to look up to."

Alongside Britchford, adi Group has also welcomed a number of other female engineers, but Sopwith and the wider group are keen for this figure to increase further.

"We love that adi Group has become a workplace for female engineers to learn, grow and develop, but we don’t want it to stop there - there is much more to be done," he stated. "All of our female engineers and employees are an inspiration to the younger generation, and we’re incredibly proud to have them on board."

Having introduced a Responsible Business Committee to the firm, adi Group is keen to move away from a male-orientated workplace.

Leanne Antrobus, fleet and QHSE coordinator and diversity and inclusion Champion at adi Group is passionate about encouraging women into the field. "Despite fleet having the reputation as a male-dominated profession, I have never let this hold me back from doing what I enjoy," she said. "We really need to end the stigma around male-orientated jobs, especially as there is so much evidence to suggest that women are just as successful.

"We hope to inspire more females to work within the business and give them the same opportunities to flourish and progress."

Bridging the gap

Each and every year, James and the entire adi Group welcome a new wave of apprentices to both of its programmes.

With the STEM skills gap still a growing concern for the industry, Sopwith is keen to bridge this gap and encourages young women to consider a career in engineering.

"Because engineering and construction is typically seen as a job for males, this impacts the number of female recruits we see as a both a business, and as part of the wider industry.

"We’re keen to make it our mission to break down any barriers that may be preventing women and young girls from exploring the world of engineering and are doing all we can to raise awareness of the roles available within the industry."

He explains that if they can continue to make a difference within adi Group, then the firm will be in the very best position to make a difference on a much larger, industrial scale.

www.adiltd.co.uk

 
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