Life through a lens - Putting women in engineering in focus

SSE is using this year’s International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) to launch a new film which aims to bust some of the myths associated with women in engineering.

Recorded over a number of weeks at our sites across the country, the film allows SSE’s female engineers to debunk some of the myths that exist about women in engineering and hopefully inspire the next generation of young girls to take up a career in STEM.

Rosie MacRae, Head of Inclusion and Diversity for SSE said: “Some of the myths that still exist in 2017 about women in engineering are just not true. Our film explores some of them and hopefully puts them to bed so the next generation of girls can feel confident engineering is a real career choice for them.

“The energy industry is currently facing two significant employment challenges; a skills shortage and a stark lack of diversity. If it wants to be in a position to compete in the future it needs to take action now and we hope this film can play a small part in inspiring future young females to consider a career in engineering. Through our inclusion and diversity programme we’re aiming to contribute not only to change in our own organisation but across the energy industry and society as a whole.

“It’s a traditionally male dominated industry but the type of work men and women do for us needs to change. All the research suggests a diverse company functions better. More diversity means better debate, leading to better decisions, resulting in better delivery.”

Benita Mehra, President of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) says: “To make societal change, we need to ensure we have a mix of people from all backgrounds and ages whose combined creativity will enable us to come up with the best possible solutions to tackle the problems we face in this ever-demanding world. WES is here to provide a voice for women wanting to take an equal part in today’s technical and engineered world. We are delighted to support SSE in this activity to promote women in engineering.”

SSE’s policy to tackle it’s gender pay gap is called “In, On and Up” and involves getting as many qualified women into the organisation as possible and making sure they don’t face any barriers to progression. Its apprenticeship and graduate programme continues to improve when it comes to gender diversity and although there is more to do, the female numbers are going up which is pleasing.

It was also proud last year to be one of the first companies to publish its gender pay gap, two years ahead of schedule. It helped SSE identify the challenges, especially in STEM, which need to be made to create a fairer society.