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At Sutcliffe, we recognise how significant the contribution of women is in our sector.

International Women in Engineering Day is a campaign dedicated to raising the profile of women in engineering and showcasing the variety of career opportunities that are available for them in the industry. 

In light of International Women in Engineering Day and this year’s theme of #EngineeringHeroes, Sutcliffe is celebrating all female engineers and acknowledging their hard work, particularly by those who have worked so tirelessly throughout the pandemic. 

We sat down with our Structural Design Engineer, Louise Westhoff, to discuss her thoughts and experiences in engineering. 

Louise first became aware of the possibility of a career in engineering after attending a careers open day at The University of Liverpool, where she discovered a Civil and Structural Engineering course.

Before starting the course, she completed work experience at Sutcliffe, which allowed her to learn about the vast nature of the industry. 

Louise said: “I really enjoyed both maths and physics whilst doing my A levels and this seemed like a good way to combine both subjects. 

“I liked the fact that this degree would lead directly into a career at the end and felt more vocational than doing a straight maths degree.”  

Louise believes that a balanced workplace is the key to creating the perfect working environment, and this reiterates the importance of promoting gender diversity, not just within the engineering industry, but across all sectors: 

“It’s very important to promote gender diversity because having a balanced workplace means having a variety of skills at your disposal, creating the best team.” 

When queried about her hopes for the future of engineering, Louise said that she would love to see more female leadership within the industry, stating that, “as a member of the Institute of Civil Engineering Merseyside Committee, I can see through my network of contacts that this is likely to be achieved.

“I believe the openness to flexible working post-Covid will also enable women to stay in the industry.” 

Lastly, we asked Louise to impart some wisdom for young women who may be considering building a career in engineering. 

Louise advised: “It’s best to get as much varied work experience as you can early on in your career, as there are so many paths within engineering to choose from. 

“Also, as an engineer, it is important to build up relationships and networks to progress your career.”  

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