Gender imbalance in the workplace
Statistics show that engineering jobs, degrees and apprenticeships are predominantly dominated by men.
In Scotland alone, less than 3.2% of all apprenticeships carrying out engineering roles were taken by women.
However, bucking that trend is global gas turbines specialist Score Energy. Score takes on an average of 50-70 apprentices a year.
Through a formal interview process, Score Energy will select several candidates from, what can be, a large number of keen interviewees – both male and female, with around 30% of the final intake being women.
One young woman, who has just completed her six-year apprenticeship working with the award-winning specialist, is Laura.
The 24-year-old apprentice mechanical engineer chose to work with Score Energy because she was intrigued by gas generators and wanted to learn about the workings.
The Longside resident said: “I wanted to make a career for myself. By doing an apprenticeship I knew I would gain on-the-job experience and training while also being able to further my education with the possibility of going to university if I choose to. I prefer the hands-on approach.
“At Score Energy I am treated like one of the team, not a woman in the workshop – and I like that. I believe that times are changing and there are still more males working in the engineering sector.
However, female percentage is on its way up – certainly at Score Energy – and just because we are female does not make us any less important or able – in fact in some cases it makes us stronger as I feel I have to go that bit further to prove our worth.”
Working alongside Laura is Christine, another apprentice mechanical engineer.
The 18-year-old is in her second year of a six-year apprenticeship and said the opportunities are endless within the company.
The St Fergus resident said: “I love creating, building and manufacturing things. I love that I can do all of these things in my job and more. Growing up on a farm, I helped my dad all the time with fixing and maintaining things.
“When I first walked through the workshop, I remember thinking it was daunting. However, having spent almost two years at Score Energy, I feel like part of the team. I’m approached and spoken to like anyone else, man or woman.”
Another member of the well-integrated team is Emma. The 20-year-old apprentice engineer actually started her career in the office at Score Energy before moving into the workshop.
She said: “Having previously started my career in the Score Energy office, I had become familiar with the components coming in for overhaul and wanted to learn more about the practical side of things, in particular the industrial turbines.
“Once I started I realised I felt more comfortable working with more intricate components. It’s been an interesting journey but I really enjoy working with everyone and I hope to specialise in one of the technologies at some point.”
Bruce Buchan, operations director, said he was delighted with the progress of the apprentices in the workshop and believes that, at Score Energy, there is no gender divide.
He said: “At Score Energy we are happy to help and encourage our young apprentices to develop their skills in a controlled hands-on environment. We coach each one through a six-year period in a theoretical sense and a practical one.
“Regardless of gender, Score Energy is particularly invested in helping educate the next generation through our scheme and also in life skills. The women we employ are accepted into the Score family and are equal members of the team.”
Source: The Press and Journal
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