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Empowering the Next Generation of Women in Engineering

We’re celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2023 by recognizing some of the outstanding people in the engineering space, sharing how they have been influenced into a career in STEM, and highlighting the types of roles available.

Historically, STEM fields have been male-dominated. Progress has been made to expand the opportunities within STEM for women, although there are still societal challenges that remain including equal opportunities, gender pay gaps, discrimination, and workplace attitudes.

Efforts to propel women into engineering and other STEM fields are transforming the careers of today, with the latest statistics outlining the current climate of women in engineering jobs:

  • Women make up 16.5% of all engineers, compared to 10.5% reported in 2010. This represents a 6 percentage point increase in the proportion of women in the engineering workforce.
  • The actual number of women working in engineering roles also increased from 562,000 in 2010 to 936,000 in 2021.
  • The increase in number of women in engineering roles continued to rise when the total number of people working in engineering fell in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Young women should be empowered and encouraged to pursue any interests they have in engineering and be a part of these numbers rising even more in the future. Through education, mentorship, great examples & role models, and inclusive opportunities, women can pave larger paths into the future of engineering.

As a technology company that develops for engineers, employs engineers of all genders, and is co-founded by a female, it’s important we can inspire young women and be part of the development for females in the industry.

“I’m proud to be a female co-founder and leader of an award-winning tech business today. Our business thrives on having a unique blend of people, personalities, and talents. We believe there should be no barriers to achievement and the more we can all raise awareness of opportunities and equality, the better.”

Maria Sarkar

Co Founder & VP, DriveWorks

Celebrating Some of the Inspiring Women in Our Community 

We have interviewed many inspiring women in the engineering space in recent years, with many talking about where their initial interest in STEM ‘stems’ from, and how it has influenced their career. Here’s a look at just some of the amazing individuals who have a story to tell. They have also shared some advice on what they would tell young women who are considering pursuing a career in STEM.

A photo of Tracy Wettig.

Tracey Wettig

Mid-Atlantic Technical Manager, TriMech

“In fourth grade, during math lessons, my teacher would send me and three other boys out into the hallway to work on that day’s math homework.  Contrary to how it initially sounds, this wasn’t a punishment. My teacher identified us four nine-year-olds as being so strong in the current math lessons, that we were rewarded with unsupervised hallway study as she conducted her lessons with the rest of the students inside the classroom.”

“This small action was the most impactful to me because it indirectly said ‘You’re good at this, I trust you’. In subsequent years, I found myself gravitating towards any subject with an equation in hopes there was a secret similar hallway policy with other teachers. Sadly there wasn’t, but the outcome was a young woman who ended up strong, comfortable, and curious in STEM.”

“As each year passes, the STEM culture continues to grow more aware and welcoming of the increase of women in the ranks. Your value and contributions are wanted and needed now more than ever.”

A photo of Christine Miska.

Christine Miska

CEMA Business Area Engineering Director, BAE Systems 

“I had the opportunity to help my dad with his work as an electrician when I was a kid. He is the best problem-solver I know. Spending time with him inspired my curiosity and passion for finding solutions to complex problems, which led me to become an electrical engineer. I love working on challenging advanced technologies with a very important purpose.”

“My job is never boring. It is inspiring to know that the systems I work on keep our war fighters safe.”

“Not only is STEM a lot of fun, it is a high paying career where women are in high demand. An engineering career gives me the job flexibility to balance my work, my family and my volunteer work.”

“If you don’t know much about STEM careers, reach out to an engineer like me and learn more about the opportunities that are waiting for you. It is important to get out of your comfort zone to grow and achieve great things.”

“Be bold and try new things!”

A photo of Julie Stears.

Julie Stears

Chief Engineer- Engineering Quality, Jaguar Land Rover

“My Dad was always working on cars and building things and I was lucky enough that we would spend weekends on projects. My favourite was converting a single-decker bus into our family camper van! Anything that needed building, we built together!”

“STEM careers have never been so exciting, technology is moving on exponentially and there is no shortage of opportunities. Technology is never out of fashion and the opportunity to innovate always exists. STEM careers consisting of dirty hands & overalls are long gone.”

A picture of Simone van Kempen

Simone van Kempen

Owner & Engineer, ConfiCreate

“In high school, I really liked science, physics, and especially maths. Solving equations was my favorite thing to do. I wasn’t exactly sure what I liked, so I went to some trial study days. Mechanical engineering appealed to me the most, as I could also design custom products.”

“To young girls considering STEM careers, I would say: go for it!
I think that the campaigns for young girls getting involved in STEM are a good effort to make sure girls know that a career in STEM is an option for them to explore.”

DriveWorks Champions Education in STEM

The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership joins with employers to inspire, inform and communicate with the next generation of employees in Cheshire and Warrington. Businesses work together with educators to provide young people in the area with everything they need to succeed in the world of work.

Employers work directly with young people, teachers, parents, carers, and youth workers to provide employability-related skills and highlight the employment opportunities available.

We’ve been working with the Pledge since the very beginning. Maria Sarkar, VP & Co-Founder at DriveWorks explains why supporting the Cheshire & Warrington Pledge is important to us.

“Supporting young people and nurturing talent in the community is a core value of our business. We’ve made Bridie from the DriveWorks team responsible for supporting the Pledge and have set aside time in her role to get involved in a variety of events and initiatives to help inspire the next generation. We are also delighted to be employer contributors to the Cheshire & Warrington Digital Skills Board.”

The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge logo.
A photo of Bridie with her award.

We’re extremely proud that DriveWorks’ Community Engagement & Onboarding Manager, Bridie, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Pledge Celebration Event last year. Bridie works closely with the Pledge, our local Pledge Facilitator and local education to support young people in Cheshire & Warrington.

“Bridie has been an outstanding Enterprise Advisor and advocate of the Pledge since it began, originally working with Kings Leadership Academy, Warrington. Bridie has created opportunities for schools across Cheshire and Warrington and a multitude of students have benefited from this. Examples of this include VWEX, 5 days of Digital, the Digital Expo, languages in the workplace workshop plus a host of online events. In fact, it is difficult to think of a project or initiative that Bridie hasn’t supported us with! Bridie is now also the Chair of the Warrington Management Group where she continues to drive careers development opportunities through employers. Her infectious positivity and drive to make every experience the best it can possibly be is the reason for this nomination.”

– Trevor Langston, Pledge Lead.

Speaking about the importance of encouraging young women into STEM, especially from an education standpoint, Bridie explains:

“The workplace thrives on diversity and balance and encouraging young women to pursue careers in engineering is a cause close to our hearts at DriveWorks. We’re proud to support local schools with initiatives, such as ‘Girls in Computing’ to ensure that the future of the workforce is filled with diverse talent. Over the past 10 years, we have already seen an increase in the number of women in engineering roles in the UK and we look forward to seeing this grow even further over the next 10 years and beyond!”

Supporting Students in STEM

We have such an inspiring mix of talent at DriveWorks, with women taking their places across all teams. We have a record number of women working at the company currently, and we are committed to supporting the learning and development of everyone in our team.

We encourage graduates and students seeking placements to reach out to us regarding internships and job opportunities at DriveWorks. Chloe joined us last year as an intern and has told us about her experience since joining the company.

“DriveWorks has allowed me to nurture my skills and explore my passion for technology. From day one I’ve had the ability to earn certifications in areas I am passionate about, as well as tailored projects to develop my engineering and problem solving skills.”

“DriveWorks really cares about my passions and my development as an Engineer – I have the freedom to explore my interests whilst developing my technical skills required for my Applications Engineer role.”

“My time at DriveWorks has allowed me to develop my passion for programming further as well as hone in on my technical and problem-solving skills.”

“DriveWorks is a fantastic company that really cares about the growth and development of its people.”

Chloe has also accompanied Bridie to a careers event at a local high school, speaking with young people about her role as an engineer, encouraging and highlighting the types of roles available at a fast-growing technology company.

DriveWorks Placement Student Application Engineer, Chloe at a careers fayre with a 'join us' sign.

Are you interested in a career at DriveWorks? Join us!

We’re always on the lookout for talented people to join our team.

Check out our career opportunities page to learn more about careers at DriveWorks.