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Celebrating Women in Engineering 2024 - Discussion with Stephanie Gray

Celebrating Women in Engineering 2024 - A discussion with Stephanie Gray

As we begin our Women in Engineering week, I sat down with Stephanie Gray, a pivotal member of our technical and engineering recruitment team at FPR Group. Recently promoted to Principal Recruitment Consultant, Stephanie is a leading female figure within the division. Since joining FPR Group in 2019, she has witnessed significant changes in the market, particularly regarding the role of women in engineering.

Alongside myself, Stephanie has been actively campaigning for more women to pursue careers in this field. Did you know that 50% of female engineering graduates do not end up in engineering careers? In our conversation I explored the steps FPR Group is taking to support Women in Engineering through a series of insightful questions.

How does it feel working within technical and engineering recruitment, which is predominantly male-biased?

Stephanie: Working in technical and engineering recruitment as a woman can be incredibly empowering and rewarding. Whilst Engineering has traditionally been male dominated, it is inspiring to see more women breaking barriers and making their mark. The progress and achievements of women in these engineering demonstrates their resilience and a positive shift toward a more inclusive environment. I enjoy and take pride in being the conduit between talented female engineers and my clients.

What benefits does gender diversity bring to the engineering field?

Stephanie: There our six key benefits I believe are worth highlighting.

  1. Increased Innovation: Diverse teams bring a variety of perspectives, experiences, and problem-solving approaches, sparking creativity and leading to more effective solutions to complex engineering challenges.
  2. Broader Talent Pool: Actively recruiting and retaining women in engineering roles allows companies to tap into a larger talent pool, strengthening teams with diverse skills and backgrounds.
  3. Improved Decision-Making: Gender-diverse teams are shown to make better decisions. Multiple viewpoints lead to thorough discussions and well-rounded decisions, enhancing problem-solving and project outcomes.
  4. Enhanced Workplace Culture: A culture valuing gender diversity fosters inclusivity, respect, and collaboration, leading to higher job satisfaction and employee retention rates.
  5. Better Understanding of Customer Needs: Female engineers can provide valuable insights into the needs and preferences of diverse customer demographics, leading to products and services that better meet market demands.
  6. Positive Brand Reputation: Companies prioritising gender diversity often have a stronger reputation as progressive and socially responsible organisations, attracting top talent and enhancing brand perception.

How do you handle gender-related challenges or biases in your work?

Stephanie: Handling gender-related challenges or biases requires a proactive and resilient approach, I tend to focus on

  1. Educating Others: Promoting awareness and understanding about gender-related issues and the importance of diversity and inclusion through discussions, articles, and training sessions.
  2. Seeking Support: Building a strong support network of mentors, allies, and supportive colleagues who can offer guidance and encouragement.
  3. Leading by Example: Demonstrating inclusive behaviours and championing diversity in all aspects of my work, supporting and promoting the advancement of women in the workplace.
  4. Building Confidence: Enhancing my own confidence and resilience through professional development, self-care and recognising my worth and capabilities.

Kirsty’s closing thoughts

As we close, I want to highlight the significance of women’s contributions to the engineering field. Women bring unique viewpoints, creativity and problem-solving skills that enrich teams and drive innovation. By actively supporting and empowering women in engineering, we create a more vibrant and dynamic industry.

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