International Women In Engineering Day 2023: Empowering A Diverse Workforce

As the global energy transition continues to accelerate, fueled by innovative thinking and new solutions, greater diversity and inclusion are key to creating the right environment for this innovation to thrive.

As we move into a new era of clean energy, the energy industry looks very different today than it did in the past.  Engineering roles that were historically male dominated are increasingly seeing greater female representation.

At EnerMech we are committed to developing and growing a diverse and inclusive global workforce. To mark International Women in Engineering Day 2023 and its theme of ‘Making Safety Seen’, project engineer Jennie Moir shares her experiences of this evolution, and how EnerMech is looking to support a more diverse and inclusive workforce in the future.

Joining our cranes and lifting department in 2019, Jennie was at the time the only female team member. Despite this fact, she says she has never felt out of place. Having recently returned from maternity leave, she is on a mission to encourage and inspire more women into engineering and show young people starting out in their engineering journeys the value of safety in the workplace.

How did you start your career in engineering?

“While at secondary school I attended a Motor Vehicle Technology course, which was run in collaboration with the school. I was the only female taking part but was never treated differently from my male peers. During the training, I completed work experience at the Land Rover factory. This was a fantastic opportunity as it exposed me to so many different areas of engineering and manufacturing, it really opened my eyes to what a diverse career in engineering could offer. I knew I wanted to pursue it as a profession and went on to achieve my master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Aberdeen. After graduating, it was my goal to work in the energy industry as I knew there were so many opportunities to work in both onshore and offshore, which also really appealed to me.”

How do you and your team prioritise safety in the workplace?

“I’m extremely proud of the safety culture at EnerMech, which encourages continuous improvement within all of our operations everywhere in the world. Safety as a core value is emphasised in every aspect of the work we carry out. It’s important to me that all our colleagues understand their right to stop a job if they feel something is unsafe and we empower our team to speak up if they feel uncomfortable. None of our work environments are a place where you can treat safety and wellbeing lightly.”

How do you use your position as a platform to teach less experienced colleagues the value of safety in the workplace?

“We typically get new team members involved in as much of the day-to-day running of the department as early as we can to give them a strong understanding of the challenges and associated potential risks which accompany our work. We also encourage junior staff to write EnerMech Work Observation Cards. This is part of our behaviour-based safety program that uses observation reports to mitigate risk by correcting unsafe behaviour or work-place hazards. When there are multiple projects running at once, in my role, it could be easy to become complacent, but we work hard to build an environment where everyone understands the value of safety to ensure our standards never slip.”

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

“Co-founding the Women in Engineering Society during my time at university was a great accomplishment and something I can look back at and know I made a real difference. Securing university affiliation for the group allowed us to run career sessions which provided other young women with a gateway into the STEM related industry. I’m so passionate about encouraging females into engineering and highlighting the diverse career opportunities it offers, so I’m very proud to have played a role in supporting other women to achieve their goals.”

What advice do you have for other women interested in entering a career in engineering?

“I know it can be daunting as a female entering what has previously been considered a male-centric workforce, but times are changing. I’m fortunate that since starting with EnerMech, I have never been treated any differently because of my gender. The mindset around engineering is not where it was even a few years ago; we are all driven by the same goal, and I don’t believe any of my colleagues notice or care if you are male or female. What’s most important is doing a great job, working together as a team and supporting each other to get tasks completed safely and on time to meet and exceed our client’s expectations.”