To mark International Women in Engineering Day 2021 on 23 June, West Yorkshire employer calls on women to achieve their potential as engineers
Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the North of England’s gas distributor and a major employer of engineers in West Yorkshire, wants women to explore the amazing career opportunities available in this exciting industry.
As well as being an employer, NGN also trains the engineers of the future and runs a successful apprenticeship programme. The most recent intake of NGN gas engineer apprentices saw a significant increase in the number of women being shortlisted for interview and a 20 percent rise in the offers made to female applicants; quadrupling our female engineering workforce.
But NGN believes that it can do more and is supporting International Women in Engineering Day 2021 on 23 June by calling for more girls and women in West Yorkshire to explore a rewarding career in the industry.
Annie Thomson (pictured) (29) from Otley is one of NGN’s success stories. Annie began her career at NGN supporting engineers at the Pontefract depot but wanted to push her career forwards and was interested in working in an engineering environment.
After signing up for the Women in Utilities course run by training provider Develop, Annie has been promoted to a new role; the Operational Technician at the gasometer currently being taken down at the Armley Gyratory near Leeds city centre.
Annie said: “Taking down a gasometer is a long and complex process and I have a lot of responsibility.
“I’m on site every day in my hard hat and high-vis, and I make sure that everything is in place for the contractors to do their job safely: such as overseeing health and safety, asbestos awareness and environmental good practice as water and waste materials are carefully removed from the structure. I ensure that all the engineering work runs smoothly and to a high standard.
“A colleague suggested that I apply for the role when it was advertised, and his confidence in me encouraged me to just go for it. Now I’d like to progress my career in this kind of role, develop my skills through further training and go for further promotions as they come up.
“For me, International Women in Engineering Day is important because it shows people that there’s much more on offer than the stereotypes would have you believe, and that at NGN all the engineering opportunities that are open to men are also open to women.”
NGN is working to offer more opportunities to female engineers through its new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. It has also introduced a number of changes, including using a gender decoder before a job advert is posted to ensure the language is suited to all genders, and a Women’s Network Community within NGN to make sure that women’s voices are heard and listened to within the organisation.
NGN is also a business partner for Solutions for the Planet; an organisation which brings together schools and businesses to encourage all pupils to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to think about how science can provide solutions to the challenges of sustainability.
This is the eighth year that International Women in Engineering Day has been marked in the UK. It is run by the Women’s Engineering Society and its aim is to raise the profile of women working in engineering and focus attention on the many opportunities available to girls and women in the engineering sector. Find out more at www.inwed.org.uk or follow #INWED2021 on Twitter.
For more information about career opportunities at NGN, go to www.careers.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/