22 June 2020

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day

International women in engineering day 2020

National Women in Engineering Day was launched in 2014 by the Women in Engineering Society (WES) and became international in 2017.

Now, every year on 23rd June, the world celebrates International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) to recognise the contributions and achievements of women in engineering globally.

As a tech company, our involvement in this conversation is important to us and our employees. At MHR, a quarter of our technical roles are held by women. This sits above the UK average which has plateaued at 16% since 2009. This pause in progress is concerning, and we strive to continue to encourage women to engage in technical roles both with us at MHR and worldwide.

“Always be willing to learn something new” – Divya Boyapati, Developer in Test at MHR

Why should women work in tech?

The technology sector is constantly evolving and so are its careers. The ever-changing and expanding markets bring new opportunities for professional development and applying skills to a variety tasks. As diversity of thought has been found to improve problem-solving, including women and other groups in solving current challenges faced by the technology sector as it drives future change is becoming more important.

Not only are careers in the technology sector bursting with infinite learning opportunities and exciting challenges to solve, the investment in the sector is also rising as the future becomes increasingly digital.

The UK tech investment grew to £10.1bn in 2019 and the sector’s Gross Value-Added (GVA) contribution is increasing six times faster than the GVA of the wider economy. These benefits also extend to employment opportunities in the technology sector. Over the past two years, tech employment has grown by 40% to now represent 9% of the UK workforce. Additionally, with over 130,000 vacancies for software developer roles in 2018, engaging women to fill these positions would drastically benefit technology companies.

The growth both in investment and importance of the industry makes careers in technology increasingly fulfilling and engaging.

But what if I don't have a relevant degree?

This is actually more common than you might expect – many people at MHR hold degrees in fields unrelated to technology!

“Being open-minded and having an analytics mind is required, and a desire to always contribute to the end goal” – Bisi Akinyemi, Test Analyst at MHR

One example of this is our Service Desk Analyst, Melanie Keward. Melanie holds a degree in Drama and Film Studies but attributes her change in career path to her inquisitive mindset and ever-growing interest in technology.

Similarly, Hannah Matthewson, a Junior Web Application Developer at MHR, studied Sports Science and held roles as a personal trainer, paralegal and nursing assistant before discovering her passion for web development. Hannah utilised online resources and courses to build her knowledge of coding and the enjoyment she experiences from continuously learning as a web developer.

Engaging in networking and an involvement in the tech communities can also benefit you during your career. Hannah Jeacock, Research Director at MHR, explains the value she has experienced from connecting with others through mentoring and events. Hannah also describes the expanding communities as a useful resource to create an important support network. So, whether you are starting your career or already established in the industry, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help, or offer guidance based on your experiences.

“Make sure you're at the forefront of telling people what you can achieve and demonstrate that through delivery” – Michelle Shelton, Product Planning Director at MHR

A career in technology isn’t solely reliant on your qualifications. There is significant value in your motivation to learn and rise to challenges. Don’t let your background hold you back from experiencing a career in the technology sector and start looking to your future today so next INWED we can celebrate your contributions to the engineering and tech industries!

Are you interested in starting your tech career? Or looking for a change? MHR is always looking for talented individuals with a passion for technology, check out our latest vacancies here.

Jo Howell

Jo is on MHR's Graduate Management Scheme after graduating from University of Exeter with a degree in mathematics and psychology.

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