Mersey Gateway team shows support for International Women in Engineering Day
To mark International Women in Engineering Day 2017 (Friday 23 June), women from all disciplines helping to build the prestigious Mersey Gateway Project have gathered for photos on the iconic cable stay bridge – the centrepiece at the heart of the project.
International Women in Engineering Day focuses attention on the amazing careers in engineering and technical roles, and celebrates the achievements of outstanding women engineers.
It is organised by the Women’s Engineering Society, which was first established in 1919 to champion the role of women in the profession and is today focused on making it more attractive to young women in particular when considering their career options.
Today the number of engineering degrees available has increased dramatically. There are now six major branches of engineering: Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Management, and Geotechnical, and literally hundreds of different subcategories of engineering under each branch.
Over the past three years, women from around the world have been involved in helping construct the Mersey Gateway bridge and re-designing and rebuilding the approach roads to connect it to the regional road network.
The international nature of the consortium of companies delivering the project has meant specialists from the other side of the world have rubbed shoulders with local trainees getting their first taste of the civil engineering profession.
Victoria Pollard, Environmental Manager with Merseylink, said: “I think it is really important that we continue to highlight the hugely varied careers that make up a civil engineering project because far too many people – both men and women – are turned off engineering because they don’t realise how varied it is. I have female colleagues working in all disciplines: design, ecology, health and safety, geotechnical, PR and finance. We all contribute to building the Mersey Gateway Project.”
Jane Burgess is a Trainee Engineer with Merseylink who is also currently studying for a degree in Civil Engineering at Leeds Beckett University. She previously trained to be a journalist before picking up on her lifetime passion for civil engineering – inspired initially by the Channel Tunnel opening on her birthday – and retraining.
She said: “For me working on the Mersey Gateway Project has been an incredible opportunity. This has been my first construction site and I’m part of the team building the south pylon, working closely with sub-contractors and liaising with designers to ensure everything is done correctly.”
“My message to anyone thinking of developing a career in civil engineering would be go for it – lots of women are put off by thinking it is a male dominated industry, but there are lots of women working in a variety of roles on the project and it is an incredibly rewarding job. The satisfaction you get from being able to stand back and see something you have helped to build is amazing.”
The Mersey Gateway Project is on track to open this autumn. It will be a six-lane toll bridge connecting Runcorn and Widnes across the River Mersey. To find out more about the project, visit: http://www.merseygateway.co.uk/
Registration for the free-flow tolling system – which is the only way to access discounts – opens this summer and the easiest way to register and find out more information is at www.merseyflow.co.uk.