UK Power Networks celebrates International Women in Engineering Day

Students, staff and potential employees will be taking part in events to encourage more women into the energy sector as part of the International Women in Engineering Day 2024 celebrations.

Taking place on 23 June, the day highlights and celebrates trailblazing women in engineering sectors around the world. With only 16% of engineers in the UK being female, it’s a chance to support current and future engineers and create a more inclusive environment.

UK Power Networks, which delivers power to 8.5 million homes across London, the South East and East of England, is participating in and hosting a suite of events in the week following the day.

These include taking part in a Women in Science and Engineering webinar on the company’s ‘10 Steps Framework’, a listening circle to hear the experiences of female engineers at UK Power Networks, and a ‘Powerful Futures’ STEM event in Harlow for 50 students drawn from various schools/colleges around the area on 24 June.

During the company’s May apprentice intake, UK Power Networks welcomed two women operations staff to its ranks.

Saffron Shaw, 26, from Mayfield, East Sussex, is training to be a substation fitter for UK Power Networks Services based at London Gatwick Airport.

She said: “I’m excited to start working for UK Power Networks! I know it is a great company to work for, and a career for life where I can see myself being here for many years. The company look after its employees and people are happy in their work.

“This job is less well known by girls and women so they probably don’t realise they can do these kinds of roles.

“My message to women or girls who might be interested in this role is to give it a go, you don’t know unless you try. I think women are starting to join these sorts of trades.”

Katie Grimwood, 36, from Bury St Edmunds, is going to train as an overhead linesperson at the company’s depot in Risby.

Transitioning from a previous career in teaching and child psychology, outdoors-loving Katie is excited to work on overhead powerlines to maintain and restore power to local communities.

Katie said: “My background is completely different. I was a teacher briefly, but I have always worked with children or adolescents in various helping roles, mental health or disability services, and always wanted to help people.

“I’m looking forward to beginning my career at UK Power Networks. I’m passionate about working outdoors and working in the local area. My stepdad was a linesperson, as is my partner, and they know I will enjoy the role!

“I will absolutely enjoy restoring power to the local community. It is one of the things that drew me to the profession. It’s really important to me that the work I undertake has value, which includes working in storms and making sure that we keep the lights on.”

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