By Eilidh Tannett
I’ve always considered myself to be someone with no interest in engineering. Despite being a high achiever in school in both science and maths, STEM was a world I didn’t feel comfortable in.
At the time, I never put it down to my gender. I just thought it wasn’t for me.
As Emma Roberston, Senior Design Engineer for Renishaw and STEM ambassador, began to speak about the work she does, I was struck by how interesting I found it. An area both satisfying and creative, I could see how engineering bleeds into all aspects of our modern world. Emma made it sound so fun!
Imagine how things might have been different if I’d discovered that years ago?
Emma spoke about the gender divide in engineering, and the dire need for more engineers – particularly female ones – to diversify the industry. Because when you have a diverse team of designers, you’re making products for everyone. (It’s amazing how when testing seatbelts, crash-test dummies have been based on the ‘average’ male body, to the deadly detriment of women.)
Even within the engineering world, some machinery is too big for female engineers to comfortably use. Emma is working hard as a spokesperson to raise awareness of these issues, bring together the women in her organisation and create change. She also spoke about social infrastructure – such as hybrid working – to break the cycle of female engineers feeling excluded following having children.
All in all, Emma was an engaging and encouraging speaker, who left us feeling optimistic about the changes people like her are bringing about in the industry. Not only this, but she held up the mirror to our own potential!