Celebrating Women in Engineering at Imrandd

At Imrandd, we are immensely proud of the talented and dedicated women who drive innovation and excellence within our organisation. Their contributions are not only pivotal to our success but also serve as an inspiration to the next generation of female engineers.

In honour of Women in Engineering Day 2024, we are shining a spotlight on some of the journeys of the women in technical roles at Imrandd. Their stories are a testament to the power of diversity in engineering and a reminder of the importance of supporting and empowering women in STEM. Read on to hear what they had to say.

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

Ariyike Obaseki: My interest in studying engineering was inspired by my fascination with technology and how tiny parts could be put together to become equipment or machines for solving both simple and complex problems.

Angela Burnett: I have worked in various departments within the sector and enjoy the fast-moving pace and variety within engineering specifically.

Lisa Stewart: I came into the sector when I was twenty with no real idea of what to expect or where it would lead. I started off as a Technical Assistant and quickly got the hang of things and enjoyed building up my knowledge in something totally new to me. I progressed to a Senior Technical Assistant and continued expanding my knowledge and skill set which led to my current role as Project Coordinator. No two days are the same and that diversity inspires me to keep learning and progressing.

Amber Memon: I think my dad was a big inspiration for me to become an engineer. He’s a civil contractor, so I grew up looking at his drawings and with him teaching me how to design. I started as an Architect and moving into engineering was not straightforward. I never expected to pursue becoming an engineer. Still, I’ve always loved drawings, design and starting my engineering career at IMRANDD — ticked all the boxes for me.

Were you apprehensive at all about coming into a male-dominated industry?

Ariyike Obaseki: Not at all. I just felt I could thrive in whatever field I found myself in, as long as I worked hard.

Laura Kidd: I wasn’t apprehensive initially, I consider it to be the same as entering any type of profession – any gender colleague/client can make for positive or negative experiences. However, most companies were already focusing on diversity and actively trying to make the industry more appealing for females.

Angela Burnett: Initially, when I was given the opportunity to work in the Energy Sector it was daunting as historically the male/female ratio gap was very visible.

Lisa Stewart: Yes, I came into the industry young and with no experience and my previous role was in a female-dominated department, so I was very apprehensive.

Amber Memon: Not really. I had studied in male-dominant schools and universities; it really helped me excel at my studies. I was fortunate to have good friends which included all genders who encouraged me throughout my academic and professional career. When I got my first job, 98% of my colleagues were male yet I was the first one who got promoted among all my colleagues who started with me in the company. However, it would be a lie if I said everything went well throughout my career. Many times, due to the lack of representation in the field, I have faced challenges externally and internally, from making sure my ideas are heard and considered. I have had to face negative stereotypes or assumptions because of my race and gender.

If so, how quickly did it become apparent that you had nothing to worry about?

Laura Kidd: Within the office environment, I had exactly the same experiences as my male counterparts. During times offshore and on-site, I would sometimes feel colleagues would give preferential treatment to ensure I had a positive experience. However, I acknowledge certain aspects within the industry still feel like a work in progress!

Angela Burnett: I have been very fortunate to work with great individuals that quickly put me at ease regardless of gender.

Lisa Stewart: Very quickly. I have been lucky enough to work with some great male engineers over the last 13 years who have always been approachable and willing to take the time to answer any questions I have.

Amber Memon: Internally, I have had to conquer my inner critic and not let external factors chip away at my confidence. Yes, this might seem like a lot, but I would say my positive experiences far outweigh my negative ones. As I continue my career, my goal is to mentor young women engineers behind me, just like other women engineers mentored me.

How important is it that companies continue to be inclusive and diversify, to help encourage women to pursue and thrive in engineering roles?

Ariyike Obaseki: It is highly important that companies continue to provide enabling environments that encourage women to pursue and thrive in their respective engineering roles as this would inspire more women to contribute their knowledge and valuable skills in their chosen engineering fields. Also, young female engineers can also have female role models in a male-dominated industry who they can look up to as inspiration.

Angela Burnett: I feel it’s imperative that businesses continue to invest in STEM-related careers and promote their support to create a more diverse talent pool .

The theme for this year’s International Women in Engineering Day is ‘Enhanced by Engineering’…how do you acknowledge the role you’re playing in helping to enhance and build upon a brighter future for people?

Ariyike Obaseki: My role as an Engineer involves activities that help to uphold the safety and reliability of assets, which is very important to their lifecycle. Also, my role ensures that equipment is well-engineered and operates safely within the work environment. This guarantees a work environment that is safe and secure, where all the potential hazards have been mitigated by risk-averse measures that have been put in place. Subsequently, this gives the asset owner(s) or companies some level of confidence/assurance and consequently attracts more skilled people in the immediate or future to work within the industry, thereby promoting a bright future.

Angela Burnett: Through the Energy Institute, I actively promote careers in the Energy sector through recruitment events at Secondary Schools. I have previously visited Primary Schools, participated in open days and encouraged STEM Programmes to educate the next generation.

Amber Memon: I work in Asset Integrity Management which is quite challenging in terms of making sure that the integrity of platforms and people working on them is intact and companies running them are not only doing it safely but also making profits at the same time. This is where ‘techno-economic’ decisions are important. It really motivates me and gives me a sense of pride when I get involved in risk assessments that ensure safe operation and prevent leaks and failures that can have an adverse effect on the environment as well as cause injuries and in some cases can result in the loss of human lives.

What advice would you give to aspiring young female engineers?

Ariyike Obaseki: You can do it, nothing is impossible if you put in the hard work.

Laura Kidd: You make your own opportunities – ask for the training, ask for the exposure to new roles and experiences, take on the new responsibilities, apply for the promotions.

Angela Burnett: As the Industry is ever-evolving, I would encourage them to be enthusiastic and aware of the various initiatives and be open to exploring any career opportunities that are available to ensure you are kept up to date with current techniques and changes within the Energy sector.

Amber Memon: My advice for women pursuing a career in the engineering field would be to believe in your own abilities. Don’t be intimidated by those who seem to know more than you. Never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. It’s a great way to learn.

How do you balance your professional and personal life?

Ariyike Obaseki: I maximize my time off work to do the things I enjoy, like spending time with my family and friends, going out for dinners and reading.

Laura Kidd: Early in my career I gave up a lot of my time to gain experience on site, offshore, abroad, which was so worthwhile for me in my development as a well-rounded engineer. Now I have that experience, I can choose where and when I would like to work with greater flexibility at a place like IMRANDD.

Angela Burnett: I am very sociable and enjoy spending time with friends and family. I enjoy going shopping, to the theatre, and travelling.

Lisa Stewart: I like to make to-do lists each morning, it gives me a sense of achievement at the end of the day before I switch off. It’s important to take time for yourself and spend weekends doing the things you enjoy. This helps reset me and sets me up for a new productive working week. A walk after work really helps start your evening.

Amber Memon: I’m a mom of three kids and balancing work and family demands is key for me. Effective time management and learning to prioritize and delegate tasks are the two most important things that I’ve learned as a mother. I also try to get adequate rest and sleep, which keeps me away from stress and health-related problems.

What do you enjoy most about working at Imrandd?

Ariyike Obaseki: The flexibility in work structure; the company values and the great staff.

Angela Burnett: I have worked on various projects within the business and enjoy the variation of work scopes. Imrandd’s data initiatives are at the forefront of industry practices, and I look forward to seeing the impact these will make on current traditional methods.

Lisa Stewart: I really enjoy the company culture at Imrandd. From the moment I joined in 2021 during the Covid work-from-home restrictions, there were things in place to ensure engagement across the company remotely. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming, and the arranged company events are always good fun!

Amber Memon: One of the greatest advantages of working with Imrandd is the flexibility it offers, allowing mothers like me to tailor their schedules to meet their personal needs. Imrandd is an inclusive and diversified workplace which makes work more fun and I get to know a lot about different cultures and listen to great stories. People are exceptionally skilled here, every day I come home more knowledgeable than when I came to the office and this plays a huge role in the joy of work. Also, there is a learning culture in the company. People genuinely want to learn and this seems to be all the way through the ranks, which creates an atmosphere of empowerment and forges a great collaborative environment.