Lets Talk Women in Engineering

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in the world. The bridge features in everyday culture from pictures in peoples living rooms to adverts and films. The 486-metres long New York icon opened in 1883, linking Brooklyn to Manhattan. Seen as a true structural masterpiece when first built, being the first roadway connecting the two cities. However, one sizeable inspirational piece of history that goes a miss when people talk about the Brooklyn Bridge is that it was project managed by a woman!

A woman named Emily Warren Roebling oversaw the development of the bridge. She was never officially labelled as the ‘Chief Engineer’ as that was her husband, Washington Augustus Roebling, due to the period of history. However, Emily took on the role when her husband’s father died, leaving her husband bedridden. She acted as the mediator between her husband and the construction site at the bridge. Still, as Emily also had a vast knowledge of construction and materials and methods, it meant she assumed the role of ‘Chief Engineer’, ensuring completion of one of the most remarkable architectural feats of the 19th Century.

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23/06/21
Brooklyn Bride at sunset

Our women in engineering

Only recently has Emily Warren Roebling overlooked role started to be recognised by the world, with recent features in the New York Times and other publications. After hearing this story, it made us think about the female engineers we have working for us, and how much they offer our company. We touched base with a couple of our engineers at Protec Camerfield Ltd (a Protec Group brand) and spoke to them about their time with us and how their day to day working life is in engineering. First, we have Adriarna-Lei, currently training to be a design engineer in our fire suppression team.


Name:
Adriarna-Lei

Role:
3D Design Engineer
How long have you worked for the Protec Group?
Just under two years

What was your job before working for the Protec Group?
I had multiple jobs before coming to Protec. I worked in a care home pot washing and worked as a waitress at Weatherspoon’s in Burnley.

Why did you want to become an engineer? 
Ever since being a little girl, I have wanted to be an engineer; I’ve always been interested in everything to do with the engineering world.

What do you enjoy about your role at Protec?
I love my role at Protec as I constantly learn new and vital things to do with my job role. Also, all my colleagues are always willing to help me improve my workability within my role.

What aspirations do you have within the engineering industry?
I would like to proceed with my role at Protec and continue to develop in the company once qualified; hopefully, one day build myself up to be some form of manager/director within the company

 

Next, we have Rachel, a project manager overlooking the installations of the fire suppression systems.


Name:
Rachel

Role:
Project Manager

How long have you worked for the Protec Group?
2 Years

What was your job before working for the Protec Group? 
Field Service Leader working for Tyco, so I was responsible for a team of service engineers.

Why did you want to become an engineer?
I didn’t!  Or at least I didn’t know what an engineer was to even think about wanting to become one.
I fell into the role by getting a placement whilst studying at university, which led to a permanent job after graduation.  I started as a Graduate Engineer, then moved to Project Engineer and Project Manager.

What do you enjoy about your role at Protec?
I enjoy the fact that every day is different, and it involves going to other places and meeting different people.  There are many challenges, but I find it rewarding to see a project through to completion.

Is there anything you find beneficial about being a woman in what is seen to be a male-dominated industry?
There is usually only one “Rachel” on-site, so everyone knows who I am!
I see a project manager role as a job that can be done by anyone who has the right attitude.  It is essential to be able to talk and understand people to get the correct information for any part of a project and support people to do their best for any task – which could be done by either a man or woman.  Some technical knowledge helps, which I have gained through experience, but it is not essential, so long as you are not afraid to ask questions.

What aspirations do you have within the engineering industry?
I aspire to manage the projects we currently have to the best of my ability and help to expand the water mist suppression side of the business for Protec.

 

As an equal opportunities employer, we celebrate our staff regardless of gender, race, or other defining factors. We want to encourage anyone to come and be our next Emily Warren Roebling or Steve Jobs. We are always looking for new talent to join the team; we encourage you to head over to our company vacancies page and see if any roles fit you.