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National Women in Engineering Day 2016 Webinar

I have just finished watching the "National Women in Engineering Day 2016 Webinar" hosted by IChemE. This was a pre-recorded webinar and contained interviews with three female engineers about their experiences within industry.

While I was able to watch without having to go anywhere else during the presentation, my internet connection did drop out the video and audio at several points. I hope that the video is published for those that could not attend and re-watch to pick up points that were previously missed.

The key points I was interested in was around what can be done to help get more females into engineering and importantly, retain those that are already in the profession.

Specific points mentioned include:

  • PPE that fits things like overalls, safety boots etc. Note this does not mean getting pink PPE!
  • Maternity leave can cause problems getting back into things after time out. A couple of things that can help:
    • Make use of 'keeping in touch' days to ensure anyone on maternity leave is kept up to date with changes within the company.
    • Offer flexible returning arrangements (such as start back part time and work up to full time again).
  • Openly advertise flexible or part-time jobs rather than requiring them to already have the job and request dropping down.

This last idea I had never heard or thought of but currently there are few (if any) technical or senior jobs that are advertised as flexible. Anyone I know doing a part-time job will have gotten the job first, then had to apply for reduced hours. Doing this sort of thing might help get skilled females back into the workforce.

Overall glad I managed to see it.

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