Shining the spotlight on inspiring women engineers

4 min read

In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, ten inspiring women engineers explain their pathways into engineering and what life is like in a male-dominated industry.

As reported in June 2021 by Engineering UK, only 12% of the UK’s engineering pool are women, and globally, women make up only 28% of all engineering graduates. Despite engineering being a historically “male” industry, it is promising to see an increase in women in engineering roles.

Meet the women in engineering:

Rachel Garrett, Managing Director of CMG Technologies

Rachel is CMG Technologies’ Managing Director, where she identifies and implements new growth opportunities for CMG’s work in metal injection moulding, 3D metal printing and fibre optic components. Rachel chose the engineering industry because of the significant impact it has on our lives.

"I take great pride in leading a company in this fantastic industry with an incredibly talented team of people by my side. While I have noticed more women seeking careers in engineering, it's still a very male-dominated sector. I hope, by showing what can be achieved, I can empower women to explore the wealth of opportunities this industry has to offer."

Aiza Sadirbayeva, Project Manager at Get It Made

Aiza’s role as Project Manager at the CNC manufacturing specialist, Get It Made, includes managing projects ranging from MRI scanners, robots to electric cars, from start to finish. Aiza enjoyed STEM subjects at school, and a US student exchange encouraged her to pursue medical engineering at university. Despite doubting herself due to the lack of female representation in STEM, Aiza was inspired to pursue her goals by meeting other intelligent women.

“Entering a male-dominated industry has not taken me away from my own femininity but has actually made me braver and stronger."

Lynn Siggins, Technology Consultant at Rockwell Automation

Having been at Rockwell Automation for 30 years, Lynn has gone from Commercial Engineer to Technology Consultant, where she helps customers design machines across a very broad scale. In addition to holding engineering qualifications and two awards, Lynn is also a member of the Rockwell Automation Society of Women Engineers and Professional Women’s Council (PWC). In this role, Lynn educates young girls about STEM subjects and engineering opportunities.

“The industry must continue to learn from the experience of women to make engineering environments welcoming to everyone."

Kim Diep, Engineer at Butternut Box

Kim works at Butternut Box, a subscription-based service providing fresh dog food deliveries. Kim builds the software sitting behind some of the core functionality and operations of the firm. Kickstarting Kim’s software engineering interest was Code First Girls, followed by a Software Engineering Bootcamp at Makers. Kim’s engineering efforts led her to recently winning an award at the FDM everywoman in Technology Awards 2022.

“I love to use my engineering skills to build exciting solutions that fit with my mission and values to have a positive impact on the world.”

Shweta Patil, Senior Engineer at IRIS Software Group

Shweta redirected her career path from Civil Engineer to Software Engineer and hopes her journey will help other women wishing to join the tech industry. Shweta is an instructor at Code First Girls and in the spirit of giving back to the community, Shweta is a Winner of the Women in Software 2022 Power List and has been recognised as a Rising Star in STEM by the Women Tech Global Awards.

"I’m extremely passionate about introducing the new generation of women to technology and would like to share my experiences with the community to encourage others to learn and grow and become part of the wonderful tech community.”

Kathryn Copson, Process Engineer at Zeeko

Kathryn’s role as a Process Engineer involves testing and qualifying Ultra-Precision Polishing Machines built in Zeeko’s UK factory. Some of these projects can be complex, such as X-Ray telescopes, prosthetic joints and travelling the world to train customers on how to use the machines. Having worked with machines all her working life, Kathryn has completed multiple engineering courses covering electrical application, bench fitting, CNC programming and more.

"I’ve never really seen myself as being inspirational, but I do believe anything is possible with the right attitude and self-motivation. We are stronger than we think and can achieve great things with the right mindset.”

Selma Kurzhals, Mechanical Engineering student at MariTeam Racing

Selma, a student at MariTeam Racing, is part of the Powertrain department, which involves researching the necessary constructions parts for the engine mount as well as conducting research concerning brake discs. At school, had the chance to build an electric motor on her own. This kickstarted her interest in studying something practical, leading Selma to enrol in mechanical engineering. Selma looks forward to beginning her career in mechanical engineering and exploring her fascination with the inner workings of an engine.

"Mechanical engineering is a very diverse field of study combining a multitude of exciting aspects, such as mathematics, working with CAD programs and programming. I'm looking forward to beginning my career in this field."

Alida Helling, Mechanical Engineering student at MariTeam Racing

Like Selma, Alida is a Mechanical Engineering student at MariTeam Racing, where she is a member of Marketing and Organisation, Chassis and Suspension, as well as Powertrain and Electronics. Alida’s roles range from social media to different construction and manufacturing workpieces. Growing up, maths and physics were Alida’s passion, combined with an interest in cars, engines, motorbikes and manufacturing processes - enrolling onto the Mechanical Engineering course at MariTeam Racing was an easy choice.

"The engineering industry offers so many opportunities. I enjoy being able to bring in new ideas and considering the size of the industry, learn something new."

Juliane Wloch, Business Development Manager of UPPströmRacing

Juliane, a master’s student at Uppsala University, Sweden, founded the first student racing team at Uppsala University, where she holds the position as Business Development Manager. Having few contacts in the engineering industry, Juliane was unsure of a career in engineering, until she joined her university’s MotoStudent Racing Team and got insights into the engineering career paths. After graduation, Juliane aspires to be a project engineer in the logistics or automotive sector.

"For me engineering has so many fascinating different aspects and career possibilities. It is a field which enables me to be creative, being involved in innovative development processes and being a part of our tomorrow’s technology.”

Christina Chatzigeorgiadou, Professional Engineer at BETA CAE Systems

Only one year into her career, Christina is a Professional Engineer for a company that develops CAE Software. Her main responsibility is to provide technical support to customers and to cooperate with colleagues on FEA-related projects, aiming to provide simulation solutions to many engineers. Christina studied Mechanical Engineering, where she discovered her interest in vehicle design and motorsport. Following this, Christina became a member of the award-winning Motostudent team at her university, where she worked as a Suspension Designer and then a Suspension Department Manager. Christina was then offered an internship at the CAE company, where she continues to work today.

"From a young age, I have been curious about how stuff around me worked, especially cars. My passion to discover the "secrets" of engineering grew bigger when I joined university and soon, I knew exactly what career I want to follow!"