What is your current Job Title or Role?
Waterfront Technical Authority Safety Engineer
What advice would you have for young women who are interested in a STEM career or job?
Be curious, find things that excite you. Dont be traditional, there are jobs that exist now that I couldn't have imagined when I left school. Be creative with your choices and enjoy the amount of options that are available. Don't let labels you perceive you have from school or your friends hold you back. I was always the clumsy one in my group but I ended up reparing everything from complex electronics to rolls royce engines!
How did you get to where you are today?
I joined the navy in 1992. I was trained as a metalworker (welding and plumbing) I worked my way up to Chief Petty Officer and left as a propulsion head of group managing a team of 15-20 on a warship in 2014. Life as mostly the only female in my department was a challenge at times. Thankfully much of the comments and attitude I had to deal with regarding women at sea has moved on but it did colour most of my career. I joined a safety consultancy in 2014 after undertaking further qualifications and left for my current role in 2017.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
I support amphibious ships primarily in the design of new equipment and implementation to ensure compliance with ship safety regulations. I often get involved on-board investigating specific equipment (overalls and safety boots required), crawling around machinery, and reporting back my findings to the design authorities. I meet with our colleagues in Bristol, Scotland and Portsmouth to discuss cross platform issues.
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
I wanted to be different and undertake a career that could educate and excite me. As a child I was good at dismantling things but wanted to really understand the engineering behind them (and put them back together).
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Meeting new people, seeing innovation and having an impact on my area of work.
What do you like to do outside work?
As an ardent heavy metal fan I attend a lot of gigs and festivals. My family fit nicely into our campervan and we are rarely at home in the summer. My ten year old could probably get us to Cornwall by herself! Rockfit and Zumba keep me active.