National Women in Engineering Day

A woman in a hardhat to symbolise National Women in Engineering Day

To mark National Women in Engineering Day, five female engineers out to change the shape of the industry discuss their careers  

The dearth of new engineering talent has been called the “biggest skills shortage in a generation” with 64 per cent of employers saying it threatens their business. One possible solution? National Women in Engineering Day. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe at just nine per cent of the workforce. In Latvia and Bulgaria, it’s 30 per cent. Here five women making waves in the industry share their stories… 

Athena Livesey, a woman celebrated in Women in Engineering Day 2016Athena Livesey

Principal engineering geologist, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

“My career has taken me to places I could only have imagined – Australia, the Arabian Peninsula – and created a legacy of impressive projects that have helped millions of people improve their daily lives. I have made significant contributions to eight highway schemes, two ports, one railway and five tunnels.”


Elizabeth Padmos, a woman celebrated in National Women in Engineering Day 2016

Elizabeth Padmos

Senior reservoir manager, BP

“Working on the Schiehallion, Loyal and Foinaven oilfields in the North Sea has been my career highlight. It’s undergoing a huge redevelopment project and I’ve used cutting-edge technology, such as 4D seismic, which allows you to see how liquids move through a reservoir over time. I recommend engineering to anyone who is curious about how things work.”

Emily Elwood, a woman celebrated in National Women in Engineering Day 2016Emily Ellwood

Electronic engineering apprentice, PA Consulting Group

“No two days at work are the same. I work on R&D projects so it could be anything from chocolate to baby gates. The job stretches me and encourages my creativity – every day I am faced with a new challenge. There are so many opportunities. With technology advancing at the rate it is, it’s a very exciting time to be in engineering.”

Emily White, a woman celebrated in National Women in Engineering Day 2016Emily White

Managing director, Entap

“Entap is a London-based renewable energy asset management company with an annual turnover of £1.5m and I manage operation and maintenance functions for the onshore wind part of the business, including four wind farms of 120 turbines across Europe. I think if females get through maths in early school years without being disheartened and meet the right role models before choosing their degrees, there will be more female engineers.”

Natalie Desty, a woman celebrated in National Women in Engineering Day 2016

Natalie Desty

Head of maritime, Matchtech

“My team places niche engineers in maritime positions all over the world, which is exciting and rewarding, building long-lasting relationships with candidates and clients, plus working on some of the most innovative maritime projects globally.”

Learn more about National Women in Engineering Day 

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About author

Christian Koch

Christian Koch

Alongside his work for Director, Christian has written features for the Evening Standard, The Guardian, Sunday Times Style, The Independent, Q, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, ShortList and Glamour in an eclectic career which has seen him interview everybody from Mariah Carey to Michael Douglas through to Richard Branson with newspaper assignments including reporting on the Japanese tsunami and living with an Italian cult.

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