Vacancy Spotlight: Senior Data Analyst – Engineering Distribution | Invesco

Invesco logo

Invesco is driven by a pure focus on investment. It’s all we do.

We focus on doing work that matters and being a firm that gives a voice to every employee. In fact, we make a promise to our clients and each other to create greater possibilities together. We’re looking for people who have fresh perspectives. Who can come together to share ideas, listen and challenge each other to achieve better solutions for our clients.

Your role 

Invesco Technology is seeking a Senior Data Analyst Engineer to be part of a new team that is standing up Client and Transaction Data Management capabilities to support our European and Asia-Pacific business. This position will partner closely with Technology colleagues and the Product Owners in our business units.

The ideal candidate is passionate about data and has solid understanding of fund management distribution data in EMEA and APAC. The successful candidate will focus on analysing and mapping the data to our systems, supporting operational reports and analytics. The ability to effectively communicate with both business partners and technology professionals is essential.

The position offers a unique opportunity to work in a global role and leverage your skills to collaborate and deliver alongside a talented team of technology professionals.

Sound interesting? You will be working with the business to understand their data needs with a focus on EMEA and APAC Distribution and Marketing data which will include internal and external Sales teams, Management and Marketing teams as well as Client Servicing and Operations. As well as delivering data requirements you will work on data sourcing research, data mapping and data validation.

The Senior Engineer will build trusted relationships to be able to solve problems and be the point of contact for making recommendations and technology suggestions.

Bring a strong understanding of the financial services/asset management industry and show case your experience in business data analysis and process flows. We will look for solid understanding of Alteryx and SQL and the experience working with report tools such as Cognos and Tableau.

If you enjoy challenging and thought-provoking work and have a strong desire to learn and progress this could be the role for you.

The good stuff

We have an outstanding benefits package, which includes

  • Competitive salary and bonus
  • Company-provided healthcare
  • 26 days annual leave + bank holidays
  • Generous pension provisions
  • Income protection
  • Health and wellness benefits
  • Volunteering days
  • Enhanced parental leave
  • Life insurance

Our commitment to you

We recognise that everyone is different and that the way in which people want to work and deliver at their best is different for everyone.  As part of Invesco’s commitment to ensuring our teams have the broad range of experiences and backgrounds required to promote diversity of thought, and to maintaining a positive, engaging work environment, we champion flexible working.

Please feel free to discuss flexible working options with us.

Our commitment to the community and environmental, social and governance investing

We partner with charitable organisations globally to make an impact in the communities where we live and work. Our people are encouraged to support the charities they feel most passionate about.  We are also committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. We serve our clients in this space as a trusted partner both on specific responsible investment product strategies as well as part of our commitment to deliver a superior investment experience.

Join Us

We’re proud to be a firm that achieves more together. One that is focused on doing work that matters. One that gives a voice to every employee. One that genuinely cares. By coming together to share our ideas, listen, and challenge each other’s perspectives, we get to better solutions for our clients.

Our ambition is high. By working smart and supporting one another, we can continuously push ourselves to grow. We all have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our business, our industry and our clients’ lives.

Let’s create greater possibilities together!

FIND OUT MORE & APPLY

Vacancy Spotlight: Advanced Support Analyst | Invesco

Invesco logo

Invesco is driven by a pure focus on investment.

It’s all we do. We focus on doing work that matters and being a firm that gives a voice to every employee. In fact, we make a promise to our clients and each other to create greater possibilities together. We’re looking for people who have fresh perspectives. Who can come together to share ideas, listen and challenge each other to achieve better solutions for our clients.

Your role 

To provide support for business application/systems in specified business areas related to the investment management industry.

Sound interesting?  You will monitor system integrity through daily system checks and capture any system bugs, enhancements or new busines requirements. As the Support Analyst we will look for you to resolve application issues on a day-to-day basis and develop relationships with key business partners. You will be responsible for maintaining system support documentation and assisting with regular system upgrades as well as having the opportunity to work on projects.

We are looking for you to bring CRD or front office support experience with SQL database query skills. You will show your investment industry knowledge and bring a business or Tech related degree. Your team player attitude will shine through along with your strong desire to learn and progress. Our environment can be fast paced and we will ask you to remain customer focused and reliable with an ability to communicate with all levels.

The good stuff

We have an outstanding benefits package, which includes

  • Competitive salary and bonus
  • Company-provided healthcare
  • 26 days annual leave + bank holidays
  • Generous pension provisions
  • Income protection
  • Health and wellness benefits
  • Volunteering days
  • Enhanced parental leave
  • Life insurance

Our commitment to you

We recognise that everyone is different and that the way in which people want to work and deliver at their best is different for everyone.  As part of Invesco’s commitment to ensuring our teams have the broad range of experiences and backgrounds required to promote diversity of thought, and to maintaining a positive, engaging work environment, we champion flexible working.

Please feel free to discuss flexible working options with us.

Our commitment to the community and environmental, social and governance investing

We partner with charitable organisations globally to make an impact in the communities where we live and work. Our people are encouraged to support the charities they feel most passionate about.  We are also committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. We serve our clients in this space as a trusted partner both on specific responsible investment product strategies as well as part of our commitment to deliver a superior investment experience.

Join Us

We’re proud to be a firm that achieves more together. One that is focused on doing work that matters. One that gives a voice to every employee. One that genuinely cares. By coming together to share our ideas, listen, and challenge each other’s perspectives, we get to better solutions for our clients.

Our ambition is high. By working smart and supporting one another, we can continuously push ourselves to grow. We all have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our business, our industry and our clients’ lives.

Let’s create greater possibilities together!

FIND OUT MORE & APPLY

Vacancy Spotlight: Senior Data Solutions Engineer – Systematic Trading | Invesco

Invesco logo

Invesco is driven by a pure focus on investment. It’s all we do.

We focus on doing work that matters and being a firm that gives a voice to every employee. In fact, we make a promise to our clients and each other to create greater possibilities together. We’re looking for people who have fresh perspectives. Who can come together to share ideas, listen and challenge each other to achieve better solutions for our clients.

The Team

The Systematic Trading Technology team works closely with Traders, Quants, Business Analysts and our global technology partners to build and support Invesco’s trading and trading analytics platform. Our goal is to deliver best in class trading solutions that empowers traders, trade management and the quantitative research teams to perform at the highest level. The team focuses on delivering innovative solutions using the latest technology, optimizing trading workflows, data modelling/analytics and building applications/interfaces that not only make our trading desks effective, but also bring new trader ideas to life!

We never give up.

Your role

As a Senior Data Solutions Engineer, Investment Technology, you will be working on a squad that builds global trading applications and global trading data platforms. The role will see you working on requirements from the business that enables the global trading organisation to automate workflows and allows for opportunities to explore the latest technology stack to improve the current business model.

Sound interesting? The Senior Engineer will liaise with business partners and the wider product owner teams. You will deliver curated data sets to the business and deliver real time data for use by traders directly into the execution management system to implement systematic trading algorithms. We will ask you to work on the buildout of robust data pipelines using modern data engineering tech stack and Cloud architecture as well as the management of application and data integration platforms.

We are looking for someone who can bring expertise as a Software Developer, Data Engineer or Data Solutions Analyst and strong experience with Oracle, SQL Server in writing T-SQL and performance tuning. You will demonstrate a working knowledge of Informatica or any ETL tool with an understanding of Python programming.

The Senior Engineer will bring solid analytical and critical thinking skills with a team player attitude. They will be self-motivated and able to collaborate and communicate well.

The good stuff

We have an outstanding benefits package, which includes

  • Competitive salary and bonus
  • Company-provided healthcare
  • 26 days annual leave + bank holidays
  • Generous pension provisions
  • Income protection
  • Health and wellness benefits
  • Volunteering days
  • Enhanced parental leave
  • Life insurance

Our commitment to you

We recognise that everyone is different and that the way in which people want to work and deliver at their best is different for everyone.  As part of Invesco’s commitment to ensuring our teams have the broad range of experiences and backgrounds required to promote diversity of thought, and to maintaining a positive, engaging work environment, we champion flexible working.

Please feel free to discuss flexible working options with us.

Our commitment to the community and environmental, social and governance investing

We partner with charitable organisations globally to make an impact in the communities where we live and work. Our people are encouraged to support the charities they feel most passionate about.  We are also committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. We serve our clients in this space as a trusted partner both on specific responsible investment product strategies as well as part of our commitment to deliver a superior investment experience.

Join Us

We’re proud to be a firm that achieves more together. One that is focused on doing work that matters. One that gives a voice to every employee. One that genuinely cares. By coming together to share our ideas, listen, and challenge each other’s perspectives, we get to better solutions for our clients.

Our ambition is high. By working smart and supporting one another, we can continuously push ourselves to grow. We all have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our business, our industry and our clients’ lives.

Let’s create greater possibilities together!

FIND OUT MORE & APPLY

Kerrine Bryan featured

Inspirational Woman: Kerrine Bryan | Award-winning engineer & founder of Butterfly Books

Kerrine Bryan

Kerrine Bryan – an award winning black female engineer and founder of Butterfly Books.

Kerrine has gone on to smash many glass ceilings to become respected in her field.

She was shortlisted in Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35 for notable women in business and, in 2015, she won the Precious Award for outstanding woman in STEM. Kerrine is a volunteer mentor for the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) and is an avid STEM Ambassador. It was while she was undertaking talks at various schools across the country for children about engineering and what her job entails that she became inspired to set up her independent publishing house, Butterfly Books.

In response to this, Kerrine published a series of books (My Mummy Is A Scientist, My Mummy Is An Engineer and My Mummy Is A Plumber) as a means of communicating to children a positive message about all kinds of professions, especially STEM careers, that are suffering skill gaps and diversity issues. The fourth book in the series, My Mummy Is A Farmer, launched last month – August 2018.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m a chartered electrical engineer.  I’ve worked in the oil and gas industry for 12 years in London, after which I took a two year career break to have my daughter before returning to work 4 months ago into a new role, new company and new country. I’m now a lead electrical engineer for WSP, a global engineering and professional services consultancy. Based in New York, my role is a mixture of technical, project management and business development work. I’m currently working on some exciting power generation projects including cogeneration, energy saving studies and renewable power.

Alongside my brother, Jason Bryan, I’ve also set up Butterfly Books, a children’s book publishing company. Together, we have co-authored a series of picture books targeting children aged seven and younger, which communicates positive messages about all kinds of professions, especially STEM careers that are suffering a skills gap. I think it’s important to provide diverse and positive role models for children at an early age where misconceptions about jobs can develop early. With the books we’ve created, like My Mummy Is A Scientist, My Mummy Is An Engineer, My Mummy Is A Plumber and My Mummy Is A Farmer, we want to challenge gender stereotypes and instil in children a belief that they can be anything they want to be, irrespective of sex, race and social background, if they work hard enough to make these dreams come true.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I do sometimes set myself five-year career goals, but this can be restrictive. Personally, I like to take on opportunities as they arise and try out new things. Over the years, I’ve learnt that you might discover that there are areas of work you didn’t previously know much about, but – after gaining a bit of experience – you find out that you actually enjoy it, and this in turn can then change your goals. I think it’s always good to plan, but you have to be amenable to flexibility and change because life can be unpredicatable. So long as you are heading in the right direction of your career and personal goals, the path in which you take – which may be wrought with challenges and set backs – can equally develop you with the skills you need to become a better business person.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Working in a male dominated environment brings its challenges.  My first role as a lead electrical engineer a few years ago proved to be a steep learning curve; my team comprised entirely of men, all of whom were older than me. I definitely felt like I had to prove my competency and worth more than a ‘typical’ (read ‘male’ and ‘senior’) engineering team leader would, but the experience helped me to grow professionally as a manager, team leader and person within a short space of time. Ultimately though, I received a lot of support from my male peers who respected me for succeeding in a career in which there are very few female engineers. They understood that the career journey for women like me couldn’t have been easy, and to make it through the barriers was an achievement worth acknowledging. Given that there is still a lot of work to be done to stamp out bias and prejudice in the workplace, not just in male dominated careers but also in all kinds of workplaces, I’d say I’ve been quite lucky. Of course, it shouldn’t be about ‘luck’. In order for these challenges to dissipate, society needs to reframe notions about what work equates as ‘a man’s job’ and what work equates as ‘a woman’s job’.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I think that mentoring is essential for professional development. To receive guidance and support during your professional journey – not just from the outset – but even as you become successful and more seasoned in your field is hugely valuable. I think it’s easy to buy into the idea that we’re the finished article, as there’s always room for self-improvement. Even CEOs need mentoring to a certain degree.  I’ve been a mentor to many early career professionals for over 10 years, and have also been a mentee, so I understand both sides of the dynamic. It’s important to have someone who can challenge your thinking, encourage you to self-reflect and bring out the most in you so that you can fulfil your potential. With this new stage in my career, I will now look for a mentor to guide me in achieving my new career goals.

What do you want to see happen within the next five years when it comes to diversity?

I want to see an increase in the rate of change of diversity within careers and particularly within STEM careers where there is a huge skills shortage. I hope to eventually see diversity at all levels that is proportionate to the diversity of the society. Progress is being made, but the job will be an on-going one. It starts at the grassroots – encouraging children through education to believe that the world is their oyster and that they can work to be whatever they want to be – and it ends with responsible employers doing all they can to diversify their workforce, not necessarily just for moral gain (although that’s important) but because the figures show that it makes economic sense.

If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?

Providing flexible working arrangements for parents (and that means granting this to both the mothers and fathers) after they have had a child is so important in positively changing the opportunities for women at work. For too long, motherhood has often been a choice that professional women make to the detriment of their careers. This is reflected in the way many corporate organisations shape maternity and paternity leave arrangements; these inherently infer that it is the woman’s job to stay at home with the baby (at least for the first year anyway) while the man brings home the bacon. This ingrains further misconceptions and prejudices, which sees working mothers demonised for putting their careers ‘first’ and stay-at-home or flexibly working dads as non-committal and unambitious. Motherhood is one of the keys reasons why we don’t see as many women entering male dominated work, and that includes STEM careers. Until parental leave is seen as of equal importance and a job that requires the presence of both mother and father, and so long as employers continue to remain inflexible in supporting employees who are parents, we will never see progress in equality happening half as fast as it needs to in order to invoke meaningful social change.

For me, the ability to work flexibly was a huge factor in me deciding to go back to work after having my daughter. Creating flexible working arrangements also strengthens the respect between the employer and employee. Work is important, it can give us a sense of worth and purpose, but an individual should never be made to feel that they have to choose between success in career and paying the bills versus bringing up the family when both are so important.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

This year I became a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).  IET Fellowship recognises the high level of experience, knowledge and ability attained during an individual’s career. The appointment will now provide me with the opportunity to shape the future of the engineering profession through the IET’s expert panels, events and discussions.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I hope to be able to help shape the future of engineering in a positive way and also do all I can to encourage diversity in professions, with my children’s books being one of the resources to help make that change.


Dr Larissa Suzuki featured

Inspirational Woman: Dr Larissa Suzuki | Computer Scientist, Author, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist & Inventor

Dr Larissa SuzukiI am Dr Larissa Suzuki, I am an award-winning passionate computer scientist, authorengineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and inventor.

I am neurodivergent, and I hold the titles of Associate Professor, EUR ING, BSc, MPhil, PhD, CEng, FIET, FRSA, AFHEA, IntPE. My career includes +16 years working in engineering. I work at Google as a Data Practice Lead (AI/Machine Learning, Smart Analytics and Data Management), and I am a Google AI Principles Ethics Fellow. I work on developing and testing the Interplanetary Internet with Vint Cerf and technologists from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and JAXA. I am the Chair of the Tech London Advocates Smart Cities Group, a reviewer of grant/awards of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IET, and the ACM. I am a Council Member of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Ambassadors, a Committee member of the Grace Hopper Celebration and the ABIE Awards. Since 2003 I've actively worked towards increasing the representation of people of all kinds in Engineering and Technology.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Yes I do. I find it helpful to work on my Personal Development Plan (PDP), setting my goals for the short-, medium- and long-term goals. As you work on your PDP, you will realise that the moonshots you set for you and that seem to be too farfetched are achievable. I work with my mentor (Vint Cerf) to bring the best version of myself to the workplace and my personal life.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

I did have to face challenges that, unfortunately, are very common to other women. In 2015 my PhD work was plagiarised and published in multiple forums. I then started a battle to own the copyrights of my work and a campaign for women's history in computing to be re-written. After one year of hard work, I managed to secure the IP of my Ph.D. and published it as a book dedicated to all women who've been erased from history but paved the way for many astonishing engineering advancements. In a more severe case, I have encountered brutal racism and sexual harassment in my previous employment. To my surprise, I was told that if I reported the issues to HR my career would be over. As an employee with neurodevelopmental disabilities, I did not know what to do. A mentor advised me to resign to escape from further abuse, which is what I did. Unfortunately, these issues still prevail in organisations that do not focus on creating a safe, fair, and dignified workplaces for all female tech workers.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I believe that succeeding in technology and engineering, despite all the adversities, has been my most significant career achievement. On a project side, working on the Interplanetary Internet project with Vint Cerf and colleagues at NASA and JAXA, and making a historical feat in connecting clouds with the Interplanetary Internet. Communicating from Earth to any spacecraft is a complex challenge. When data are transmitted and received across thousands and even millions of miles, the delay and potential for disruption or data loss is significant. Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) is NASA's solution to reliable internetworking for space missions. My work on DTN helps us testing and enhancing communication protocols that will potentially be used in space missions.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?  

The primary factor for achieving success in my career has been a combination of hard work and curiosity. A career in engineering is not a straight path, and the great thing about it is that you can become what you want. I believe this is one of the many unique perks of being a computer scientist: just following your passion and working on things that matter to you the most, no matter which field of science they fall into. My inventions and work have advanced many fields of computer science and engineering, including smart cities, data infrastructures, machine learning, emerging technology, and computing applied to medicine and operations research.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology? 

If a person is interested in computer science or engineering, I would tell them to forget about the stereotypes, bring all their previous learning with them (tech and engineering is very multidisciplinary), and not worry if they haven't got a technical degree. Everyone can become what they dream of being. I am confident that if someone dreamt about becoming a change maker, a career in engineering would enable them to create the solutions that will change the world.

For someone already working in the field, I would tell them that I've learned that the most challenging problems and the most significant engineering opportunities are not technical. They are human. You will use what you learned at UCL to create the engineering solutions that will change the world, and like the generation before us, will also solve the many problems that engineering and technology bring. You will create new jobs, give machines and the built environment the powers to think, discover cures for illnesses and save our nature. As you can see, engineering is about human survival. And the best way to solve those problems is to have more people in the room with different voices and views. Be activists for that. In the end, what matters is not what you build. It is the teams you build and the positive impact you bring to the lives of people who will make use of what you create.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I believe many companies have not yet realised that "belonging" matters more than anything else. The United States alone loses $64 Billion every year to replace employees who left due to unfairness and discrimination. Belonging is central to every aspect of our humanity. It is a universal need. When we feel like we belong somewhere, we feel we have found a home where we can group and be respected there. When we fear our differences, we then deny the connections we share. Company leaders who feel uncomfortable tackling this issue is the very own definition of privilege. For someone already working in the field, I would tell them that "to yield and not break, that is an incredible strength". I have learned that there is no such thing as failure. You will realise it was life moving you in a better direction. Fall but fall forward, as I did. Don't be afraid, be comfortable in your own skin, uphold your values, your culture that will help you when it's time to fight for the job you want, for that promotion, and for the kind of society you want to live in.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Companies should foster belonging. We move towards belonging when we celebrate and value our differences and our similarities as a group. When there is no othering of individuals of any identity, it can connect people by co-creating our world together. Belonging expresses itself in many different ways, and each one of us has a special relationship with belonging. But the imperative rule of belonging is that it can only succeed if no one is excluded. Belonging never requires anyone to sacrifice what makes them unique, different and special. Belonging is not "fitting in" or "mimicking" others. The real sense of belonging is co-creating spaces, groups and institutions and collectively designing how it will operate and help humans to thrive. Innovation, creativity, and empathy is most likely to come from parts of us that we don't all share. When we take on this journey together, we move away from the idea of myself and them to a future of a collective unity - "we". It is a long journey full of remaking. Like puzzle pieces, leaders should bring us together without trimming away of anyone's irregularities. The rules, values and expectations to bring those puzzle pieces together are made with everyone in mind so that no one needs to check parts of themselves at the door. When you design well for people of all kinds and abilities, you design well for everybody else.

There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Though women in computing have been pivotal in creating unique modern technology, their story is not one that's often told nor celebrated. Instead, great tech women pioneers have been all but erased from history, and that needs to change. If I had a magic wand I would make them all visible to inspire the generations to come. Their ground-breaking work can serve as an inspiration to both girls and boys alike.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I strongly recommend the TED talks of Dame Steve Shirley and Brene Brown. They are uplifting and full of insights. Their books are also sensational and I recommend that everyone reads "Let it Go" and "Daring Greatly". The Grace Hopper Conference is a conference that every woman technologist should experience. It is life-changing and immensely empowering. If you are neurodivergent, I recommend that you follow Autistica, LimeConnect, and my blog AUsome in Tech.


WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here.


creative engineer, architect featured

"Engineers aren't creative" and other misconceptions

creative engineer, architect

Article provided by Alison Horton, principal engineer at built environment consultancy Curtins’ Birmingham office.

I think there are still a lot of misconceptions about the engineering industry today.

These are definitely tied to it being a male dominated industry. I think many people still see engineering as a dirty, noisy industry, and a ‘geeky’ one at that.

One problem in the UK is that the title of ‘engineer’ is not protected. In other countries – like Germany – only people who hold certain qualifications can call themselves an engineer. However here, anyone can call themselves an engineer. This means that many jobs that would be called ‘mechanic’ or ‘technician’ elsewhere, become classified as an engineer – further feeding confusion over what an engineer is and does. For example, someone who comes to repair your boiler may quite happily refer to themselves as an engineer, but the main differentiation is that he fixes the boiler, he hasn’t designed the system. Engineers are the designers.

Once you understand that engineers are designers, you can begin to see why creativity is such an essential element of what we do. Engineering is one hundred per cent a creative industry and we are designers in every sense of the word. People don’t realise that a lot of us spend our time in an office in front of a computer – and part of this is using the latest and most exciting technology available to make the buildings and infrastructure you see and use every day possible. If engineers weren’t creative, buildings that are both functional and beautiful would never come to life and we would never be able to solve the problems that inevitably arise when designing new infrastructure.

Some of the best all-round engineers I know have an aptitude for creativity, with an artistic eye and a love for architecture just as much as structure. Engineers explore ideas, create models, produce sketches and work iteratively, constantly adapting and working as a team. The industry is embracing the most cutting-edge technology as part of this, allowing creativity to thrive. Our designs can now be expressed through virtual and augmented reality, producing better – and these days more sustainable – buildings, for a brighter future.

For more information, please visit www.curtins.com

About the author

Alison Horton is a senior engineer at the Birmingham office of built environment consultancy, Curtins.

Horton is also a STEM ambassador and is passionate about encouraging more people - both male and female - into STEM related jobs.


encouraging girls in to tech, STEM featured

Inspiring the next generation of engineers

encouraging girls in to tech, STEM

Article provided by Alison Horton, principal engineer at built environment consultancy Curtins’ Birmingham office and STEM ambassador.

Inspiring the next generation of engineers will simply come from inspiring the next generation when it comes to career options as a whole.

Children – both girls and boys – need to be better educated on career possibilities and from an earlier age than they are at the moment.

That’s why I’m a STEM ambassador. Of course, we want more girls to be inspired to go into engineering as it is still very much male-dominated, but what we need is the next generation as a whole to be excited, enthused and passionate about their chosen career.

Many schools, teachers and parents are not able to highlight everything that every possible industry has to offer, so it’s important for representatives from all industries to step forward and do just that. From this greater knowledge, students can identify and follow their passions from a younger age to make a more informed choice on what is right for them.

I spend a lot of time encouraging other staff to get involved and giving talks to our other offices as part of a company initiative to promote the fantastic work of STEM ambassadors.

It’s easy to get involved as a STEM ambassador through a simple online application and induction. You only have to get involved with one activity a year, so you can flex your involvement based on how much time you have to spare. I applied when I started full-time work after graduation, having spent my university days helping at open days and being involved in the Women in Engineering society. Since applying, I haven’t stopped!

One particularly memorable activity was den building with students in the Lickey Hills. The students had to build dens using only a tarpaulin and whatever they could find in the woods. After an hour they had to get into their den whilst we threw water to test how waterproof their creations were. That and many of the events I get involved with through the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) are really engaging and hands on, and sometimes involve dressing up as a superhero.

It’s one of the most rewarding things about my career – realising that I could be a young person’s role model was an incredible feeling. I can’t recommend getting involved highly enough – the more we support our next generation now, the better the future of all our industries will be.

For more information, please visit www.curtins.com

About the author

Alison Horton is a senior engineer at the Birmingham office of built environment consultancy, Curtins.

Horton is also a STEM ambassador and is passionate about encouraging more people - both male and female - into STEM related jobs.


Government calls on more women in engineering, highlighting them as 'an absolute necessity'

The government has called for more women to think about a career in engineering, highlighting them as 'an absolute necessity' for the future of transport.

Women currently represent just 12 per cent of the engineering workforce and 18 per cent of the transport sector workforce. Hiring more women is essential for the delivery of major transport infrastructure projects like HS2 and Heathrow expansion.

It is estimated that by 2033 there will be a combined shortfall of around 341,000 jobs in the sector.

The call follows the convening of a roundtable on women in transport this week by the Department for Transport’s Permanent Secretary Bernadette Kelly, attended by senior female leaders in the sector. Representatives from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Ford, Heathrow Airport, Network Rail, the Women in Maritime Taskforce, and Virgin Atlantic were present.

Key points of discussion included unconscious bias, challenging perceptions, and parent policies.

To coincide with International Women in Engineering Day today, the government is also celebrating the success of the Year of Engineering campaign in increasing the awareness of opportunities in engineering. The campaign delivered an estimated 5.1 million experiences of engineering for young people in 2018 – far exceeding the one million target.

Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, Bernadette Kelly said, "We want to challenge traditional perceptions of engineering to ensure our transport industry has the skills it needs for the future."

"This isn't just the right thing to do, it's necessary for engineering and transport to thrive."

"We simply need more engineers and people in the industry as investment grows."

"Currently, we're not making use of a huge section of society and that can't continue."

"Building on progress and productive conversations with industry, I hope to help women across the country and of all ages see there are amazing careers in transport - from building site to boardroom."

HS2 minister Nusrat Ghani added, "In this country, we build roads, rail track, we expand airports, and we need engineers from all corners of the country to help us deliver our ambitions."

"Engineers are also at the heart of developing greener and more accesible transport, using innovation to design a better world that works for everyone."

"The engineering and transport worlds have been male for too long."

"A more diverse workforce will not only mean more opportunties for women, but will help the industry reach its potential."


Inspirational Woman: Claire Canning | Renewable energy research engineer taking a three year industrial placement at EDF Energy

 

Claire Canning graduated from the University of St Andrews with a degree in Marine and Environmental Biology. She is currently undertaking a three year industrial placement from EDF Energy.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
claire

I graduated from the University of St Andrews with a degree in Marine and Environmental Biology and then went on to do a Masters in Conservation and Biodiversity, where I developed a particular interest in marine conservation and the effects of climate change on global biodiversity.

I have always had an interest in offshore renewable energy technologies and how they interact with the marine environment, so this coupled with my Masters experience paved the way for me to embark on a three year research project with EDF Energy, working as a renewable energy research engineer.

Offshore wind research is exciting because the industry is still relatively new and everything I’m doing is supporting its future development.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I had a love of marine mammals from a young age, and taking biology and chemistry at school allowed me to pursue that passion at university. I’ve been able to combine my childhood interest in marine biology with research into offshore marine renewable energies and how they interact with the environment. The development of offshore marine technology is so interesting, and with cleaner and greener energy sources becoming so important, it’s very exciting to be part of.

Pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) can open the door to such a diverse range of careers and working environments and I never let anything stop me from pursuing those subjects myself. My advice to young girls today would be to create their own opportunities and not let the fact there may be more boys taking a subject hold them back if they have a passion for something.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

I’ve been very lucky with my career path to date and haven’t come across too many roadblocks. I have received a tremendous amount of support from EDF Energy and my university to help me success, and both have helped to build my confidence. As with my experience at school, I would say that there currently aren’t enough women working in my field – sometimes I’m the only woman in the room. But I’m passionate about what I do and so it’s not something that bothers me day to day. I can see it would be something that could put young girls off pursuing STEM subjects at school and careers in later life.

Currently only one in five people working in STEM is a woman, so I think it’s really important that women who are currently working in STEM industries do what they can to encourage young girls not to close the door on the amazing careers they could have in the future.

I’m currently a role model for EDF Energy’s Pretty Curious programme which puts a spotlight on the under-representation of women in STEM related careers. As part of the programme we have created a virtual reality video which I feature in alongside a structural engineer and a coder, showing young girls some of the most in-demand careers that will be available to them when they start working. I love that I’m able to show how exciting my job is in a really engaging way, and hope it will be inspirational to young girls currently at school.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

I mainly focus on research for my PHD, studying the effects of corrosion and marine growth on offshore wind turbines. I am always challenged to think about how the design and construction of offshore structures are affected by corrosion and marine growth and it’s my job to come up with possible solutions.

How have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?

 A piece of advice that was given to me was to always be proactive. Don’t sit and wait for somebody to offer you what you want – create your own success.

My dad was, and still is, a huge role model for me as he came from a far less privileged background and is probably the hardest working person I know.

He has worked every day of his life to make sure that me and my brothers had all the opportunities he didn’t have. I think it’s him that really inspires me to challenge myself and has encouraged me through every step of my PhD.

I am also very lucky to have two female academic supervisors working with me on my EDF Energy research project who are experts in their fields and I find hugely inspirational. They provide me with the support I need to stay motivated.

What would be your top tips for parents looking to encourage their children to continue to study STEM?
  • Encourage them to keep their options open – by studying STEM there will be endless career options available to them. There are endless opportunities to develop new skills and gain experiences in a wide range of working environments when working in STEM.
  • Encourage them to find the best career for them, not something others think they should do, but something that will suit them and allow them to explore their passions.
  • Support them in making the subject choices they need to pursue their chosen career but don’t tell them what to do.
  • There is no such thing as a “girly” subjects and engineering isn’t “just for boys” so don’t allow them to let silly stereotypes get in the way of something that they want to do.
What does the future hold for you?

The best part of my job is the research, the travelling and the fact that I know that what I’m researching, is going to make a difference in the future. Having the opportunity to travel the world and present my research, working with like-minded people, is something that I have loved since starting at EDF Energy. Working collaboratively towards a future with cleaner energy is something I feel passionately about.

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Inspirational Woman: Claire Mitchell | Software developer and computer programmer

 

Claire Mitchell is a software developer and computer programmer for a range of clients.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
Software

I’m a developer creating software for a range of clients in a fun, central London office environment. Since I started coding two years ago I’ve become very involved in startups, which has fueled my passion for the industry. I love putting new products together and have found that working in technology has brought out my creativity. It’s great to be part of a community of people who love doing the same thing.

Outside of my day job, I am also involved in several initiatives including Node Girls, a series of workshops which teach women how to do back-end coding, with events taking place regularly across London. I’m also working on a fashion start-up project called Mode For Me which is a crowdfunding platform for emerging fashion designers.

We realised that people graduate from fashion courses all the time and don’t have the money to produce full collections, so the idea is that they can post products on the website and then third parties can offer funding against collections they like. It’s a great way to offer opportunities to new designers.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I’ve had an interest in computers for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t really something I thought I would do for a living until about two years ago.

I had originally planned to be a civil engineer following university, but after moving to London I found the startup community full of people who loved their jobs, with many of them working as developers.

I knew I wanted to work in startups so it sounded really appealing to me, but the only jobs going were for developers or people in marketing. I started learning to code on my own using various online resources, and was accepted onto Founders & Coders, a free coding boot-camp in London, and that launched me into my career..

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

I loved studying science and maths when I was at school, but they were definitely male dominated subjects. There were maybe 30 girls on my degree course in a year of around 170 students. But I never let that put me off. I’ve been lucky enough to combine that passion with the science skills I learnt through my degree in engineering. It’s led me to where I am now, working with really exciting startups to bring new digital products to life and I find myself being inspired every single day by what I’m creating.

The challenges I faced have also meant I’m now committed to encouraging girls to continue studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at school, and not be discouraged by thinking science isn’t for girls. There are so many interesting and fulfilling careers they can pursue with a STEM background, including software development like me, which will be the most in-demand in 2023. That’s why I am a role model for EDF Energy’s Pretty Curious programme, to show girls in an engaging way what a career in STEM could be like for them.

I would love for the tech industry to be as diverse as the UK population and for it to become more accessible for minority groups.

Free coding education is something very close to my heart, so it would be great to see more teaching initiatives and tech meetups being organised across the UK.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

I always start the day with a coffee at my desk and I have a ‘stand up’ with the rest of my team at about 10am, where we discuss what we achieved the previous day and what we’re planning to tackle over the course of the day. I work for most of the day at my computer, coding. My job mostly involves breaking down big problems into smaller, easy to solve issues and then solving them with code. In web development, there’s a good mix of different skills required, from design and styling, through to creating and applying logical solutions to problems, so there’s always something varied to do.

How have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?

Some advice that was given to me was ‘always continue learning.’ As a developer, it’s a particularly relevant piece of advice because everything moves at such a fast pace. If you’re not learning, you’ll be left behind. I use this as a measure for myself – if I’m still learning then I know I’m making progress.

What would be your top tips for women looking to pursue a career in tech?
  • Find a community that will help you. I would not be in this position if I was always trying to do things on my own. I made friends and found other like-minded people and we have since worked through problems together and encouraged each other along the way.
  • Keep learning. Set yourself a list of things that you want to know. It doesn’t matter how fast you tick the boxes, just take the steps (however big or small) to crossing them off your list.
  • Look online. There are ways of learning how to code without having to pay a fortune. There are many paid courses that are beneficial but if you are strapped for cash, there are plenty of free options too.
  • Give it a try! I have friends who studied languages at school and gave up maths as soon as they could, but now they’re excellent developers.
For girls who feel STEM subjects aren’t for them, what would your advice be?
  • Stick with them. Having STEM qualifications can help open doors to interesting and stimulating career opportunities in future and you can learn lots of transferrable skills, too.
  • Learn to code at school. Coding is a powerful skill in this increasingly digital world and will only become more important as we come to use more and more technology in our working and personal lives.
  • STEM is creative. You don’t need to work in the arts to enhance your artistic sensibilities – coding can be really creative too, and the same can be said for many STEM careers.
  • Think about the bigger picture. Look beyond the language and the syntax and think about the overall picture of what you can achieve with coding. The possibilities are almost endless.