What is your current Job Title or Role?
Safety Engineer
What advice would you have for young women who are interested in a STEM career or job?
I have one piece of advice for anyone interested in a STEM career - don't worry if you don't know exactly what you want to do or you don't get the highest grades - STEM is about being creative and skilled, you can learn the details on the job! Keep your studies or your experience as broad as possible for as long as possible, that way if/when you change your mind, you'll still have plenty of options open. I've been a scientist, science communicator, teacher, engineer and campaigner and I've loved all my roles in different ways!
How did you get to where you are today?
I started as a marine biologist, worked in the UK and abroad as a research scientist (in labs and in the field chasing sharks and sportfish!), and then started a whole new career in engineering after a chance encounter at a Women in STEM Plymouth networking event. If you had told me in school that I would be an engineer, I would never have believed you! That's one of the many reasons I'm so passionate about broadening the horizons of young women today - your gender shouldn't make a difference to what you want to do with your life.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
My job involves a mixture of things, which is one of the things I love about it - every day is different, whether I'm in the office writing reports, managing data, speaking to people, or out and about looking at engineering 'in the flesh'! At its core Safety Engineering is about communication, investigating and demonstrating how and why something is safe or putting systems in place to make it so.
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
I have always been interested in STEM, and although I didn't really know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I have always wanted to keep learning, so science was a natural choice. My parents were both scientists and so it has always been something I am aware of (although they never forced the issue). As a child my granddad was probably my biggest inspiration as he loved animals, a passion which runs through our family. When my dad got me a book on sharks as a 10 year old in the summer holidays, that was it, I was hooked! As an adult, I continue to be inspired by all the fantastic women in STEM that I work with - some of whom are also on this list. People who can make a real impact on their company, community and the world while still being honest, kind and respectful are my inspiration!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I can never decide which parts of my job I enjoy most - I really love working with people but I also find the inner workings of things fascinating (whether that's in biology or engineering!) and enjoy all the technical details.
What do you like to do outside work?
When I'm not at work I can be found campaigning for gender equality (as part of Women in STEM Plymouth) or trying to get out in the great outdoors, swimming and walking on Dartmoor or at the beach with my amazing husband, Phil, and our corgi, Laika (named after the first dog in space). I have always loved the arts as well as the STEM subjects, and firmly believe that they are not as incompatible as some people think. I enjoy photography (although I don't get as much time to do it as I'd like), love films and enjoy a trip to the cinema to see a movie, whether it's something art-house or the new Star Wars!