The first in our series celebrating women in engineering features Louisa King, Project Engineer at Black & Veatch, BEng Civil Engineering graduate from LJMU and one of The Telegraph’s Top 50 Women in Engineering.
Why did you choose to study engineering?
“I chose engineering after learning about it during my HNC. I had never considered any additional element to construction other than the builder or architect before. When I learned what a civil engineer does, and how they do it – and all the different sectors within engineering, I knew (at 36) that was the path I was to follow.”
Do you think women are underrepresented in engineering?
“Statistics say that there is approximately 12% of women within engineering. I work in an office of around 25 engineers and there are four women. I don’t think we’re necessarily underrepresented, I actually think for many women it may not be the path they wish to follow. I do, however, believe that young women are (typically) not introduced to engineering as a career option and we don’t educate young people well enough as to what engineering is or how many sectors and facets there are.”
Does society and the workplace take women in engineering seriously?
“Yes, I think it does, however that doesn’t mean more can’t be done to be more inclusive, however we have to be careful that we don’t push the gender balance too hard – to me I want to be given a job because I am the best candidate and not because I tick a gender diversity box.”
How can we get more women and girls interested in the subject?
“Make sure they know about it! Don’t be like me and find out about what engineering is potentially too late in life. Engineering should become a staple part of the curriculum and the work of Alison Watson is getting closer to making that a reality.”
“I think by the fact that we have some very interesting engineering projects in the UK at the moment, with women in prominent roles, this is highlighting what a fantastic job can be done whether you’re male or female.”
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