Friday 23 Jun 2017
Network Rail engineers join Minister to call on young women to pursue careers in engineering
Two senior engineers at Network Rail are encouraging girls to follow in their footsteps and pursue careers in engineering, as the organisation celebrates International Women in Engineering Day 2017 at an event at London Waterloo station alongside John Hayes MP, minister of state at the Department for Transport.
International Women in Engineering Day, organised by the Women’s Engineering Society, is intended to raise the profile and achievements of females in the industry and is held on Friday 23 June 2017. More information can be found here: http://www.nwed.org.uk/
All over the country, Network Rail’s female engineers are sharing their passion for the railway with girls and young women, and encouraging them to consider engineering as a career path, challenging the outdated perception that engineering is not a career choice for young women.
The Transport Minister met with seven engineers working across a number of Network Rail projects to find out about their experiences in the industry and what could be done across the sector to encourage more women to pursue engineering roles.
John Hayes MP, minister of state at the Department for Transport, said: “At a time when we need more skills to make our transport infrastructure the best in the world, just 12% of people in the UK engineering industry are women. This is unacceptable and means we are missing so much talent and so much potential in this crucial field.
“So to meet women who are so enthusiastic about their careers in the transport industry is as inspiring as it is meaningful. Female engineers can and will play a vital role as we deliver unprecedented investment in transport infrastructure over the coming years.
“I am determined to draw on female talent in the transport sector because it is right to attract the best and brightest people. We need more high calibre women to join, and I encourage young women to rise to this challenge; to choose an exciting career in engineering. They will build Britain’s future.”
Anne Browne, a senior asset engineer at Network Rail, originally began her career on Network Rail’s graduate scheme in 2009, and has since held a number of roles. Anne said: “I chose a career in engineering as the mixture of office and site work appealed to me. I like working outdoors and being able to see the impact of my work come to life. Civil engineering also appealed to me as it is varied, and gives me the opportunity to work in a wide variety of sectors.
“The best thing about my job is being able to improve how the railway works. We make use of new technology and continually improve our working practices to change the railway for the better, making it safer and more efficient for passengers.”
Miriam MacLennan, a route asset manager at Network Rail, won a student scholarship from the Institute of Civil Engineers and then went on to study engineering at Oxford University. Miriam said: “The best thing about engineering is that there’s always a new challenge just around the corner, and my current job is the best yet!
“I’m currently involved in planning what improvements will be made to the railway in the next seven years, looking at what our organisation needs to do to keep making the railway better.
“I chose to become an Engineer because I imagined that it would draw on my interests and give me a chance to make a difference to the world. I have great pride in working for social good, and working on the railway, our customers come first so that sense of purpose lifts me daily to do the best I can. The diversity is also wonderful. Engineers can undertake so many different roles there are always new fascinating and interesting people and experiences to learn from.”
Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “The number of people who want to use the railway to get around is continuing to grow, and that means Network Rail needs to keep looking at ways to build, enhance and upgrade the entire rail network.
“There are so many exciting opportunities for women to pursue careers in engineering at Network Rail, and Anne and Miriam are perfect examples of that. I really encourage everyone to look at what a career in engineering can do for them.”
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.