With International Women in Engineering Day approaching tomorrow (23rd June 2019), we spoke to one of Wiltshire Council’s women Engineers to find out more about her job and what her advice is to young girls and women looking to forge a career in the Engineering sector.
Diane Ware is a Highways Principal Technical Officer at Wiltshire Council. In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day we spoke to Diane to find out how her career in engineering has developed and what she loves most about the job.
Can you tell us about the start of your career and what got you interested in engineering?
All of my sisters and I liked to play outside, they played with frogs and worms whilst I was playing with bricks and sticks! I studied Geology at O-Level and started my career in the lab in Cornwall Council, for example I worked on the Salt Ash tunnel, if there were cracks I would investigate and experiment looking for solutions. I also worked on the new bypass in Cornwall and did a lot of work to solve drainage problems in coastal villages.
What work are doing now and do you find there are a lot of women in the same roles?
I have been a Principal Technical Officer since the end of 2017 at Wiltshire Council, I oversee larger highways works – basically this means anything bigger than pot holes! I work across different teams trying to get the job done with minimal disruption to the public. I would say there has always been a fair balance of women, during my time at Cornwall three out of nine employees were women and in road safety/traffic a third of the team are women. There hasn’t been any sexism through my experience.
What would your advice be to young girls who are looking to engineering as a career?
Personally, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, even when it’s raining outside I would rather be out fixing things than sitting in the office. So, if you have good people skills, like to problem solve, can react well to unexpected situations then engineering would be a good choice for you. There is no right answer either, so you get to work together with others and express your technical view point to solve problems!