Accu Celebrates International Women In Engineering Day 2021
What Is International Women In Engineering Day And Why Is It Important?
International Women in Engineering Day 2021 (INWED21) is the 8th annual event hosted by WES, the Women’s Engineering Society - a charity and professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists. WES’ goal is to offer support, facilitate professional development and help inspire women worldwide to achieve success as leaders in engineering and science.
INWED21 offers people and companies the chance to share their successes, championing gender diversity and inclusion, with an emphasis on encouraging the continued growth in engineering education. As an international awareness campaign, it’s not bound by borders or designed to be exclusive, as WES encourages all those who participate in the campaign to celebrate the amazing achievements of women engineers throughout the world.
Steps Accu Is Taking Towards Gender Diversity And Inclusion
We recently launched a Sports and Social Committee here at Accu, with the aim of ensuring that we give opportunities to all our employees that are inclusive, diverse and engaging for all. The team has been formed by colleagues from different areas of the business to come together and plan a range of events and activities that cater for different interests/ hobbies and passions.
The sports and social representatives recently came together for the first committee meeting and we will be sharing news and updates from them over the coming months across our social media platforms (links can be found at the bottom of this article). We’re really excited to soon share more on our plans for supporting our local communities and helping to promote a healthy work/ life balance for our team, especially after all their efforts over the past year.
Accu’s Women In Engineering Heroes
Our Community Manager, Matt Ogden, invited all of the people at Accu to get involved in celebrating International Women In Engineering Day 2021 by sharing their #EngineeringHeroes along with a little bit about themselves, their hobbies and interests outside of work and how they contribute to Accu’s shared goals.
Let’s take a look at the highlights from some of the women of Accu (and Patrick!) who shared a little bit about themselves, the great work they do at Accu and their #EngineeringHeroes in celebration of INWED21.
Dannica - Customer Credit Control Specialist
“My hobbies and interests are cooking and music, preferably anything from the 80's! And of course, spending as much time as I can with my daughter, Ellie. Other than that, I enjoy the outdoors and spending time with friends and family.
When I went on maternity leave for 8 months, it was during the peak of the pandemic so it was hard to isolate away from everyone with a newborn baby. Plans I had made as a new, first time mum were unfortunately taken from me, like most new mums during the pandemic.
Thankfully, Accu supported me incredibly through this time and I managed to complete all of my 'keeping in touch days' which helped the transition going back to work. It did take a few weeks to get back into the swing of things but I soon found my feet again.
Finding the balance of being a single parent and having a full-time job has been difficult, but Accu have taken that on board and really understood that who I was before maternity leave is completely different from who I am now. Taking sick days when my daughter wasn’t well, being 100% more tired than what I used to be, and maybe not being my usual bubbly self all the time has been fully supported by my manager and colleagues.
As the first woman to work in the office at Accu, I have seen the company grow into this massively successful engineering component supplier with a growing team from all types of backgrounds. It's been an incredible journey for Accu and I can only hope that I can continue to see us grow and develop. Everyone at Accu is incredibly diverse and, speaking from the heart, I am so proud of our people and proud to work here.
One of my heroes, or someone I look up to, is Hedy Lamarr. Hedy shattered stereotypes as an actress and proved that she wasn't just a 'pretty face'. She invented a remote-controlled communications system for the US military. Her work on frequency-hopping theory essentially serves as the basis for today’s communication technology. Working in engineering, as a woman, I do get that there are many stereotypes and that engineering has been traditionally seen as more of a 'man's job', but thinking about Hedy reminds me every day that we as women, can do anything and everything we put our minds to!”
Patrick - Application Engineer
“When I was younger I wanted to be an Inventor. Growing up I was always gifted in technical based subjects, so ended up leaning more towards a science based career, although I always held a passion for making things. My passions include Hand Tool Woodworking, Model Engineering, Programming, Reading, Cooking and Painting.
I stumbled by accident into product design when I applied to college, as I had to fill up a subject choice for my AS Levels - but with its blend of Art and Science, the subject captivated me and quickly became my favourite.
I later went on to study BSc Product Design at Bangor University, before following my medical based interests and Studying MSc Design: Products and Technology, with a focus on prosthetics. After University, I worked at a number of local firms as a Design Engineer, before joining Accu as an Application Engineer.
My typical responsibilities at Accu involve creating and approving 3D models and drawings, particularly for our Made By Accu (custom manufacture) service. I also act as the engineering liaison, working closely with the New Product Integration (NPI) team and help our Customer Satisfaction team with technical advice.
For me, International Women In Engineering Day, and other events like it, are important because so few people know anything about women in engineering unless they specifically look it up. I would imagine all of us would have had to look on google to find our heroes, at least to some degree. I can list off female product/ graphic design icons, but engineers?
Historically, most of the achievements by women in engineering weren’t talked about and/ or are miscredited.
My #EngineeringHero would be Lillian Moller Gilbreth - forerunner to the modern science of ergonomics. Her study on time and motion lead to improvements in the working environment, from psychological improvements to physical improvements. Her work on developing the modern kitchen in 1920 set the standard for kitchen layout design, with small innovations such as the foot pedal bin and wall mounted light switch now so commonplace, they are unremarkable, As Dieter Rams said, ‘Good design is unobtrusive’.”
Chloe - Engineering Integration Specialist
“One of my favourite things to do is socialise with friends such as nights out, cocktail evenings, or BBQs and drinks. I also love being outdoors; hiking, skiing, rock climbing, swimming and just about anything adventurous!
I think the most interesting thing about engineering is that without it, virtually everything we have in the modern world wouldn’t exist and things that were thought to be impossible would still be so. One of the best examples is reaching into space; successfully putting a manned spacecraft in orbit, landing on the moon and now the next phase of pushing towards humans on Mars.
I became an Engineer because of my dad, he’s a Mechanical Design Engineer, plus the fact that Maths was my favorite subject in school was also helpful. Growing up, I got to visit my dad’s company on family open days where he would show me the mechanical bodies and vehicles he designed and would talk me through his projects. I watched how much hard work he put into gaining his Chartered Engineer (CEng) status and saw it pay off when he got his name on his own official patented design, which gave me a lot of inspiration.
Due to my interest in Engineering and a fascination with aircraft, it was a clear choice for me to study Aeronautical Engineering at university. I am happy to say I graduated with First Class Honours. My course covered a range of topics including materials and structures, which leads well to my role here at Accu. I am also about to undertake a Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering where I hope to develop my knowledge and then continue on to gain CEng status.
My role as Engineering Integration Specialist is to create 3D models and technical drawings of Accu’s components as well as researching new and innovative creations in industry, to help ensure we are up to date with demand in the market. To be successful in these tasks, time management and self-drive is key - and an interest in the field always helps.
Being an Aeronautical Engineering graduate my engineering hero is Elsie MacGill, the first female to have a Masters of Aeronautical Engineering and the first to hold the position of Chief Aeronautical Engineer. In her job she led the production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes, a key asset in World War II, earning her the nickname ‘Queen of the Hurricanes’. Fun fact about me: I once licked the nose cone of a Tornado Jet, just because I like planes.”
Beckie - Business Intelligence Manager
“I enjoy keeping fit and spend a lot of time at the gym, but balance is the key to life so I make up for this with my love of food and wine with friends! I bought my first house recently so a new found interest includes home/garden improvements and stalking other people’s houses on Pinterest.
To me, the level of thought and precision that is involved in any engineering project is one of the most fascinating facets of the industry - how people are able to develop a concept, or find a solution for a problem always amazes me.
At Accu, I’m responsible for centralising all data and reporting, in addition to managing our New Product Integration team. This involves working on several very different types of projects simultaneously. I have to be very organised and disciplined with my time in order to succeed.
I would say that Margaret Wilcox was my engineering hero - she was a mechanical engineer in the 19th century. This would have been so challenging for a woman during a time when women had to register any patents under their husbands names! She developed the idea of car heaters - an invention that I’m sure many of us couldn’t imagine living without.
I was rubbish at the Sciences at school and did a fashion degree at University, so I would never have imagined that I would have ended up working with numbers in an Engineering company. It just goes to show that you should never limit yourself based on your past experiences, and never turn down an opportunity just because it takes you out of your comfort zone.”
Elinor - Customer Satisfaction Team Manager
“I've just turned 30 and almost immediately found a love of gardening (in my advanced years) so I've been growing a lot of herbs in the last few weeks!
The most interesting thing about engineering to me is the thought process behind it. Working at Accu has given me a deeper appreciation for the detail that goes into a successful design; I never knew a screw could make such a difference! Imagine if they got that wrong on the ISS…
My role as Customer Satisfaction Team Manager here at Accu can be quite varied, from working to improve internal processes, to closing our feedback loop with our customers as well as ensuring that my team are all kept up to date with the latest developments on our component ranges and training.
My engineering hero would be Beatrice Shilling; she was a mechanical engineer who served in the RAE during World War II. She was best known for her innovation in developing a small device to help regulate fuel flow on fighter planes to prevent stalling, a problem which occurred when the planes would enter into a nosedive.
On top of this, Beatrice was also a race car driver, being one of only three women to be awarded a British Motorcycle Racing Club Gold Star - achieved for lapping the circuit at over 100 Mph. She also liked tinkering with her motorbike so I'm betting she would have bought a few parts from us!”
Learn More And Get Involved With International Women In Engineering Day
To learn more about International Women In Engineering Day and for ways to get involved, head to https://www.inwed.org.uk/ or use the social handle and hashtags below when posting your media content:
You can also check out our International Women In Engineering Day content using the links below - be sure to follow our social media channels for the latest insights and developments from Accu:
Lastly, leave a comment to let us know who your Engineering Heroes are!