International Women in Engineering Day
On Thursday 23 June, we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, celebrating the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day.
In NHSScotland, engineers provide a vital role in both clinical and support services. We spoke to some women engineers currently working in the NHS in Scotland, to find out their stories.
Abbie is an electrical technician working at NHSScotland. She started her journey studying an HNC in Engineering Systems, which led to an apprenticeship opportunity.
Abbie was runner-up in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Modern Apprentice of the Year award 2021 and winner of the Wully Brodie Engineering Apprentice of the Year award in 2021.
When we asked her what advice she would you give to other women thinking about becoming an engineer in NHS, she said:
Go for it! Don’t be put off by joining a male-dominant environment, they will support you, help you and have your back. Sometimes you might struggle but you will find your own ways to complete jobs. Enjoy the experience and take in as much information as you can.
Find out more about Modern Apprenticeships.
Mamata’s engineering journey started in India when she chose to do a biomedical engineering degree, inspired by her father, who is also an engineer.
She now works as clinical technologist, providing both routine maintenance and essential repair work to medical equipment. She also liaises with clinical teams to make sure the jobs are prioritised correctly.
I would say that there is a lot of scope for girls or women engineers in NHS. You will always be supported throughout your career. NHS aims for a better work-life balance for all its staff and it’s a fantastic place to work. Your little contribution will make a big difference in building a better healthcare and a better community.
Learn more about the role of clinical technologist.
Abi is a trainee clinical scientist in the field of clinical engineering. She originally wanted to be a surgeon, but when she discovered that clinical engineering combined her love of Physics at school and her desire to help people, she knew it was the career for her. After doing some work experience, she studied medical engineering at university and went from there.
Currently, she is working on a project to develop test object to allow radiotherapy machines to be checked before being used on patients. This involves working with radiographers, workshopping ideas, and using 3D printing to develop prototypes.
To aspiring women engineers, Abi says:
If you love engineering and want to use it to really directly improve peoples’ lives, then the NHS is the place. It won’t be a surprise to you that some areas of engineering have been traditionally quite male-dominated, but that is changing. There are so many networks and nationwide support groups to make friends, mentors and allies to share work experiences with. This is great for social support but also idea sharing, as you develop in your role.
Find out what it takes to become a clinical engineer.
Lesley is a technical manager at NHSScotland, a role which she came to after studying a medical physics degree. She thinks that many people would be surprised at how vital engineers are to the NHS, as they are not often thought of in regard to NHS careers. Engineers not only look after the equipment that is in the hospital but are at the forefront of innovation to ensure the best technology is there for their patients.
Lesley’s advice to other interested in pursuing an engineering career:
My advice to women interested in becoming an engineer would be to never underestimate yourself and be confident in your abilities. Speak up and don’t feel inferior if you are the only female in the room.
If you are a women working as an engineer in NHSScotland, join the conversation on social using the hashtag #INWED22.
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