A senior highway engineer from Hertfordshire County Council has highlighted why more women should choose a career in engineering ahead of National Women in Engineering Day.
Next Tuesday (23 June) is National Women in Engineering Day; a day dedicated to raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering, as well as showcasing the engineering careers which are available.
Victoria Leggett (pictured), 31, is a senior engineer for the highways department. She is a resurfacing manager and has worked for the local authority for over eight years.
She said: “I started off as an admin assistant and then worked my way up to the position I am in today, a senior engineer. I was lucky enough to be able to earn while I learnt, and managed to gain my national and higher certificate in civil engineering and keep a monthly wage coming in from Hertfordshire County Council.
“Every day brings a different challenge and no two days are the same. There is something very satisfying in resurfacing a once shabby looking road and seeing the smooth end result. I project manage and plan the resurfacing programme across the whole of Hertfordshire. This involves producing temporary traffic regulation orders to deciding which type of material will be used for each resurfacing job. Half of my time is spent in the office planning, but the other half I’m out on site which is really rewarding as I actually get to see the work that I’ve planned.”
According to the Women’s Engineering Society, the group behind National Women in Engineering Day, the profession still needs to attract more women. In the UK, only 7% of professional engineers are women.
Leggett goes on to explain why more women should choose a career in engineering: “At present, there are not enough women coming into the profession. It is a really rewarding sector to be in and can lead to many things, whether that’s technical, managerial or specialist engineering. It can be challenging, but the rewards once the job is done far outweigh these. It also isn’t a boring office job, nor the usual 9-5; you’re out in the community and physically engineering the county’s roads.”