International Women in Engineering Day has arrived and to mark this occasion, we spoke to Chelsea Pennock, one of our first year controls system engineer apprentices here at Adbro Controls Ltd. We sat down to talk to her all about her experience of being a female in a male dominated sector and how she is finding her career in engineering so far.
How did you come about your role?
I first came across this apprenticeship whilst studying Mechanical Engineering at Plymouth University. After careful thought, I felt that a more practical route of learning would be better suited to me, so I decided to step away from my university course and pursue engineering through an apprentice role instead.
Why did you choose to enter the field of engineering?
Engineering is a field that has intrigued me from a young age. There is so much to learn and cover over a variety of disciplines. My role in particular allows me to be proactive and hands on with my job rather than only sitting at a desk in an office. This is something I believe benefits me in my ability to develop as a student/employee.
Do you find anything challenging working in a profession that is still very male dominated?
No, I have not had any issues thus far, which is great. Whilst I work within a fairly a male dominated team in-house at Adbro Controls, the whole team are all very supportive. I have not come across any disadvantages of being a woman in the engineering field. I am treated equally by my colleagues and employers. The same can be said for those I have encountered outside of the company. I believe these days individuals are more accepting of women taking on these types of roles, whereas in the past, they could have been seen as more suited for those of the opposite sex.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
I really enjoy the variety of jobs that I am involved in and that they allow me to be hands on. There is rarely a day where I am doing the same thing, which keeps things new and exciting. It also provides me the opportunity to continuously learn new skills and gain a wide range of experience, all of which will ultimately help me succeed in my chosen area of engineering.
Looking forward, what are you hoping to achieve in your career?
I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in all areas of engineering and improving on the skills I have already acquired in a short space of time. I would like to have the opportunity to revisit my degree in mechanical engineering in the years to come, as I feel that I will have a better understanding of the field thanks to my apprenticeship compared to when I initially started.
Finally, this year’s theme for Women in Engineering Day is #Engineeringheros.
Who is your engineering hero and why?
I would not say I have an engineering hero as such, but I have always been surrounded by family members i.e., grandparents and uncles who have also worked in engineering in some capacity. I could say they have been the inspiration for me to pursue this career path. It is motivating to witness women in my generation now beginning to be recognised for their skills and accomplishments alongside that of the men. One particular woman in engineering that stands out to me is Bernadette Collins. Bernadette is one of the few female engineers working within Formula 1 mechanics teams. Starting her career as a trainee for McLaren F1 Racing, she then moved onto working with the Force India team in 2015. At present she is working as a strategy engineer for the Racing Point F1 team.
Engineering is no longer deemed a “man’s world” with demographics shifting and more women finding their place within the industry. Adbro Controls are proud to be able to contribute to the women in engineering movement, offering career opportunities through existing roles within the businesses and apprenticeships.
Would you like to hear about our other apprentices here at Abdro Controls? Take a look at this introductory post