Working with CIGRE WNUK to improve the gender balance in engineering

On 7th November, Huxley supported the latest event held by CIGRE UK Women’s Network, ‘Standing out with Confidence’. The network’s vision is to ensure all female engineers are equipped with the tools to fulfil their potential and are given equal opportunities throughout their career. We were asked to share our knowledge as to how these goals can be achieved. We spoke with Lindsay Hartland, Associate Partner at Huxley, to find out more.

Achieving career goals

At the event, Lindsay and Natasha Clarke, Chief People Officer at SThree, discussed how practical outcomes can be realised. Lindsay, who has over 14 years of recruitment experience, talked with delegates about the importance of negotiating desired outcomes along with the value of self-promotion.

“It’s important to fully understand your strengths and then utilise these to influence an outcome that’s in line with your goals”, explained Lindsay. This is something Huxley is passionate about; we listen to our candidates’ motivations and respond with relevant solutions.

Issues to overcome

Chair of Women’s Network CIGRE UK, Biljana Stojkovska is exceptionally passionate about ensuring that women in engineering are given the same opportunities as male engineers, saying “We need to make sure that our female engineers have access to all the exciting opportunities that are emerging in the industry, and support them to be strong enough to stand up and grab the momentum”.

This was a key focus of the event, with topics such as the gender pay gap and career progression obstacles being discussed. This resonated with Lindsay, as these are issues that the team at Huxley work hard to help companies overcome. He feels it’s important to support the network, which is why his team are focussed on ensuring that women are aware of all opportunities within the industry.

Improving the engineering gender balance

One of the main issues raised at the event was the lack of females applying for jobs, something that isn’t exclusive to the engineering industry. Content Writer, Grania Shankley, who writes job adverts for consultants at Huxley, is aware this is a problem across a range of industries.

“Generally speaking, female candidates are less likely to apply for jobs if they aren’t fully confident that they meet all requirements,” stated Grania. “This is something we have to consider when writing job adverts. We want to make sure the adverts we write will encourage a variety of talented people to apply.”

While this is a significant challenge to overcome, events such as this will hopefully encourage more women to apply for engineering roles. This has the potential to profoundly impact the skills gap within the industry. “Demand is outstripping supply”, explained Lindsay. “It’s of paramount importance that women grasp the opportunities that are on offer so that we can see as many female applications as male. If we alter this, we’ll see a wind of change”.

Embracing engineering opportunities

There is a wealth of opportunity within the engineering industry and networks, such as CIGRE, are helping to spread this message to a wider audience. We spoke to a number of women at the event who said their eyes had been opened to the range of opportunities in front of them.

At Huxley, we work closely with organisations on the lookout for skilled engineers to fit a variety roles. If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity within the sector, then contact us today.

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