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  • Writer's pictureRichard Kadri-Langford

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2023

In the space of just three short years, which have seen a global pandemic amongst global supply chain issues and numerous other challenges, Occuity has grown from our two founders to a team of over 40 people. Central to our work is of course, engineering. So perhaps it is no surprise that today we are proud to support International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2023.


INWED is a global initiative that aims to raise awareness about the significant contributions of women in the engineering field, promote gender equality, and inspire future generations of female engineers. As we celebrate INWED 2023, we shine a spotlight on the valuable role women play in engineering, focusing on the efforts of our own business and how we champion diversity and aim to not only attract female engineers to want to work for us, but to encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering.


The company (Occuity) firmly believes in hiring the best talent, regardless of gender, and actively supports initiatives that encourage women to pursue engineering careers.


Nupur Bhattacharya, HR & Recruitment Co-ordinator

The Need for Gender Diversity in Engineering:


Gender diversity in engineering is not only a matter of fairness and equality but also a strategic advantage. Research has consistently shown that diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones in terms of creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. By encouraging more women to enter the field, companies like Occuity can tap into a broader talent pool and foster an environment that in turn increases our ability to come up with ideas that break new ground.


Recent statistics from Engineering UK highlight the positive trend in female representation in the engineering workforce:


  • Women make up 16.5% of all engineers, marking a significant increase from the 10.5% reported in 2010. This represents a 6 percentage point increase in the proportion of women in the engineering workforce.

  • The actual number of women working in engineering roles has risen from 562,000 in 2010 to 936,000 in 2021, showcasing the growing presence and influence of women in the field.

  • Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in the number of women in engineering roles continued, even when the total number of people working in engineering fell in 2020 and 2021.

  • Despite these positive steps, it is clear that barriers still remain, and still need to be overcome.


Encouraging Women in Engineering at Occuity:


Nupur Bhattacharya, HR & Recruitment Co-ordinator commented: "At Occuity, our dedication to gender equality extends from our recruitment practices to our workplace culture. The company firmly believes in hiring the best talent, regardless of gender, and actively supports initiatives that encourage women to pursue engineering careers.


Our efforts to promote gender diversity include mentorship programs and internships. By providing support, resources, and equal opportunities we’re aiming to create an environment where women can thrive, contribute their unique perspectives, and make significant contributions to the company's success."

 

A view from the front: Jala Abousaif



Development Engineer - Jala Abousaif

To support this article for International Women in Engineering Day, we of course spoke to one of Occuity's talented development engineers, Jala Abousaif, who joined Occuity in 2022, to get her perspective on she chose to pursue a career in engineering and why she believes more women should not be put of following their dreams.


"Engineering, to me, represents the perfect marriage between creativity and problem-solving. From an early age, I was fascinated by the intricate interplay of scientific principles and the opportunity to apply them in practical ways.


Growing up in the Egyptian community, I witnessed a society grappling with deep-rooted misconceptions and resistance to change. Pursuing a career in engineering allowed me to not only indulge my passion for scientific exploration but also become a catalyst for positive transformation. Many dismissed my ambitions as unrealistic or inappropriate for a woman and this combined with the challenge of navigating the academic landscape and developing independence, at the age of 17, demanded resilience and a commitment to my goals. Despite these hurdles, I remained undeterred and maintained a strong work ethic, consistently striving for excellence in all my pursuits.


Jala concluded by focusing on why choosing a career in engineering is rewarding regardless of your background or gender: "By choosing a career in engineering, you have the power to shape the future, challenge conventions, and leave a lasting legacy."


 

Deciding if Engineering is Right for You:


For young individuals considering a career in engineering, several factors can help guide their decision:


  1. Passion for Problem-Solving: Engineering involves using scientific and mathematical principles to solve real-world problems. If you enjoy analytical thinking, curiosity, and the desire to make a difference, engineering might be an ideal path.

  2. Exploring STEM Subjects: Taking courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics during high school can provide a glimpse into the world of engineering and help gauge interest and aptitude in these subjects.

  3. Seeking Guidance and Mentorship: Connecting with professionals and mentors in the engineering field can provide valuable insights and advice to aspiring engineers.

  4. Exploring Engineering Disciplines: Engineering encompasses various disciplines, including mechanical, electrical, civil, biomedical, and more. Researching and exploring different fields within engineering can help individuals identify their areas of interest and align their passion with a specific engineering path.

  5. Hands-On Experience: Engaging in hands-on projects, internships, or participating in engineering competitions can provide practical experience and insight into the day-to-day work of engineers. This firsthand exposure can help individuals determine if engineering aligns with their skills and interests.


As Nupur summarises: “In short, we need to start changing pre-conceived perceptions associated with engineering, and despite the fact that it is currently still a male-dominated discipline, this shouldn't stop young women, from pursuing a career in this exciting and rewarding field. ”


Looking to the future:


As International Women in Engineering Day 2023 celebrates the accomplishments of female engineers worldwide, Occuity sets an inspiring example by actively promoting gender diversity and inclusion in engineering. The statistics from Engineering UK demonstrate the encouraging upward trend in the number and proportion of women in engineering roles.


For young individuals considering a career in engineering, passion for problem-solving, exploration of STEM subjects, seeking guidance and mentorship, exploring different engineering disciplines, and gaining hands-on experience are essential factors to consider. By embracing these opportunities and nurturing their interests, young people can discover the exciting and rewarding path of engineering and make a lasting impact in the world.


On International Women in Engineering Day 2023 and beyond, let us celebrate the achievements of women in engineering, inspire future generations, and work together to create a future where gender diversity and equality are the norm, fuelling innovation, progress, and a better tomorrow.

 

If you're looking for an exciting, rewarding career, look no further. Visit our careers page for more information and existing vacancies.

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