Gugu Moyo is a Quality and Planning Engineer at British UV water disinfection specialist Hanovia. With National Women in Engineering Day coming up on 23 June, she reflects on the challenges and opportunities of a profession where only 6% of professional engineers are women.

Growing up in Zimbabwe, the challenges facing girls wanting to go into engineering were much the same as in the UK, with widespread misunderstanding about what engineers do.

I came to the UK in 2007 to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Greenwich, followed by a Masters in Mechanical Manufacturing and Engineering. During my first degree I undertook a ‘Year in Industry’ with Npower CoGen in Aylesford and during my Masters I was seconded to lighting specialists Heathfield and Company.

I would advise any girls making GSCE and ‘A’ Level choices to consider engineering. If you can do some work experience in an engineering environment it will enable you to see for yourself that there are lots of silly myths about what engineers do. I would also say don’t be influenced by what your friends are choosing; your future is your own.

My present job for Hanovia is as a Quality and Planning Engineer, involving quality assurance and internal process improvement, driven from statistical monitoring. It’s as far from the boiler suit and grease image as you can possibly get. In many ways it’s more like being an engineering detective, looking at evidence and making important decisions based on that evidence.

I hope more girls will take an engineering career more seriously and more companies will start offering work experience to younger people – and to girls in particular. Providing work experience is a great investment in the future of the engineering sector.

Commenting on Gugu’s role at Hanovia, the company’s Managing Director John Ryan says: ““Ethnic and Gender diversity in our team makes us stronger and better able to respond positively to the needs of our diverse, global customer base. We’re delighted to have engineers such as Gugu in our team and I hope her story encourages more female students to consider a career in engineering.”

Tel: 01753 515300

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