Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day

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James Fisher Nuclear has a wide variety of challenging roles being taken on by hard-working, highly motivated and talented women. From electrical and mechanical engineers to project and production planning, women are represented in all areas of the business.

They have been continually supported throughout our careers and proven themselves to be equal to their male peers. As part of the ‘Shaping The Future’ theme for International Women in Engineering Day, we asked 5 of our women engineers to get together and give their take on engineering, the jobs they do and how they see their roles now and in the future.

They are:

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Catherine Anthony Mechanical Design Engineer based at our Head office near Preston

 

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Stephanie Bryan Mechanical Design Engineer at our manufacturing facility in Malton North Yorkshire.

 

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Lucy Rastenis Production Engineer also based at Malton

 

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Martine Symes an EC&I Apprentice based in Egremont West Cumbria

 

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Jordan Coulthard an EC& I Design Engineer also working at Egremont.

 

For our apprentices and graduates, like Martine, working at JFN has meant working alongside experienced engineers and being able to work on real-life projects. These opportunities have allowed her and many others to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life technical problems. Being able to see your solutions to engineering problems brought to life is such a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

From a young age, most of us were interested in maths and science. However, engineering wasn’t something we had considered as a career option. We agree this is partly because of how little information we were provided about engineering in school. The other part is that we were never introduced to women in this sector whilst we were growing up.

We all have different experiences that sparked our enthusiasm for engineering. Martine was given the opportunity to be enrolled into a Nuclear Engineering and Science course at a new Nuclear College. Jordan undertook a role as an apprentice Electrician, and this opened up further opportunities which led to her progression to Electrical Engineer. During A levels, Catherine attended an engineering seminar focused around the Nuclear Sector after advice from her dad. It turned out that there were already four generations of engineers in her family and now she is following in their footsteps as a Mechanical Engineer. Steph decided that studying Engineering would open up a world of possibilities when it came to jobs. Now as a Mechanical Engineer she has been given the opportunity to be involved in diverse and challenging work.

Working in Engineering is not limited to the technically minded. There are many other roles which are required to support engineering that are better suited to other skill sets. Our production engineer Lucy will be the first to admit she was not mathematically minded at school, but this has not stopped her being a critical part of the team with her organisation and planning skills. These skills are applicable in all aspects of life and have ensured she has a good work life balance. As well as being a crucial part of the JFN team, Lucy also has a team of her own at home in the form of her three wonderful children. Holding down a job and being a mother are difficult tasks within themselves but Lucy has shown that she has the skills and determination to do both. 

Despite coming from different backgrounds and following different education and career paths, we have all ended up in similar positions. Each of us goes to work every day to face the latest challenge which will improve our knowledge and develop our skills in Engineering and within the Nuclear Sector.

Outside of the key responsibilities of our job roles, we are all active STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassadors with a passion to pass on our enthusiasm to the next generation. Our aim is to help educate young students, apprentices and even graduates on how amazing engineering is, some of the things that they can do and show that engineers come in all shapes and sizes. We hope that instead of stumbling into their career, the next generation will be inspired into engineering, with a broader understanding of what engineering is, what engineers look like and the endless possibilities of what they can do.

Not only are we trying to address the shortage on engineers, but we are also trying to ensure more diversity in the next generation. The Nuclear Sector Deal aims to achieve a 40% female workforce in the sector by 2030.  In our opinion it’s imperative that the complex mission we face in undertaking work within the Nuclear sector is completed by both genders.  We will continue throughout our careers to inspire and promote further growth for women in engineering by providing a strong female role model.

 

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