One woman's journey to becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer to mark National Women in Engineering Day
Today marks National Women in Engineering Day in the UK, to celebrate this day, Gemma Teale of Ferrovial Agroman shares with us her journey to becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer…
23 of June of 2016
My Journey to Chartership
In May this year I received confirmation from the Institution of Civil Engineers of my acceptance as a Member and a Chartered Civil Engineer. This is something that I didn’t always believe I would achieve, especially as I didn’t go directly into an engineering role after university. Eighteen months ago I decided I had gained enough experience to go for it. So I did!
The first step was to pull together examples and evidence of my knowledge, experience and abilities against the nine attributes of a Chartered Civil Engineer.
What are the nine attributes of a Chartered Civil Engineer?
1. Knowledge and Understanding of Engineering
2. Technical and Practical Application of Engineering
3. Management and Leadership
4. Independent Judgement and Responsibility
5. Commercial Ability
6. Health, Safety and Welfare
7. Sustainable Development
8. Interpersonal Skills and Communication
9. Professional Commitment
Despite taking a lot of time and effort, I found this task really interesting and rewarding, as it was a great exercise in reminding myself of my career and achievements. It was very nice to look back at all the wonderful projects that have come from bids I have worked on – but also the smaller milestones working on site and the things that I gained from this too. I also had to prepare my report and presentation for the review day. This meant writing case studies of two of the projects I had worked on, showing how I was using my Civil Engineering skills. I wrote about my work at Heathrow Airport, where I am working on the Q6 project, upgrading the northern part of the airfield. I also lead the bid and mobilisation for the Eastern Bay Link project in Cardiff. On the day of the review, I went with many other hopeful engineers to the home of the Institution of Civil Engineers in Westminster to be interviewed by two Members of the Institution, to decide if I was ready to join them. The review included an interview and a written essay session, as well as my presentation.
On results day I was more nervous than excited as I was not very confident after a tough interview. So when the email finally came through I was relieved and very, very happy! This was a great moment for me, especially when we consider that only around 10% of ICE members are women.
I know that being chartered will help me in the future, especially with some of the more traditional outlooks in this increasingly diverse industry.
Now that I am chartered, I am going to train to be a Supervising Civil Engineer (SCE) so that I can mentor some of the graduates and help other colleagues go through the process. I am really looking forward to offering this support as I believe it is vital to get advice from people who have already achieved your goal. Even if itis as simple as getting honest advice about what to expect on review day!
As well as working with engineers in Ferrovial Agroman, I am excited about becoming aSTEM Ambassador as part of the company’s efforts to train as many employees as possible to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers to young people, girls in particular. It is great to work with so many brilliant women in Ferrovial Agroman, where we have a higher percentage of female engineers than the UK average.
As we celebrate National Women in Engineering Day in the UK, this is a good way to make sure there are even more of us here in the future. There is still a lot to do though and we now need to get more women into leadership roles within the industry. This is something I hope to achieve, so that in doing so, I can help others to reach their full potential!