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International Women in Engineering Day: Career advice from a graduate engineer


Rebecca Pennell is a graduate engineer with Farrans. Here are some of her top tips for the next generation considering a career in this industry, on International Women in Engineering Day 2023.

What made you pursue engineering as a career path? 

I am passionate about being involved in things that make a positive impact to the world. I am also drawn to the challenge of solving problems and working with a team to achieve common goals. As a civil engineer, I get the opportunity to work on a range of projects to help improve the infrastructure of our local communities.

What does a normal day in your role involve? 

I am a site-based civil engineer so a lot of my time is spent out on site overseeing works and taking measures, however there is also a portion of office-based work involving health and safety, construction management and commercial elements.

What advice would you give to females who are considering engineering as a career a path? 

  1. Don’t be afraid to be different. Engineering is a male-dominated field, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. In fact, your unique perspective and experiences can be an asset to your team.
  1. Be confident in your abilities. Believe in yourself and your skills, and don’t be afraid to speak up.
  1. Find a mentor. A mentor can provide you with guidance and support as you navigate your career. Look for someone who is successful in the field and who you can relate to.
  1. Network. There are many organisations that support women in engineering. Get involved in these organisations, learn about new opportunities, and advocate for change.

What are your future career plans? 

I chose to work for Farrans because of the wide range of opportunities they offer for their graduates. It is a very inclusive organisation who have an excellent support network. I have been here for 18 months now but before I finished university, I spent a full year working on my industrial placement here. I want to become a chartered engineer, which is another reason why I chose to work for Farrans, as they offer their engineers an excellent foundation programme which sets you up towards chartership.