International Women's Day
March 2024
Inspiring inclusion with Megan Whitbread

Diversity and innovation are key to unlocking progressive organisational change and International Women’s Day acts as a beacon, celebrating and recognising the achievements of women across all industries. This year, the focus is on ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and our Megan Whitbread, Senior Electrical Engineer is making strides in her career, hoping to challenge stereotypes and redefine the engineering landscape.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we chatted to Megan about her experiences as a female in a typically male dominated domain, as well as her advice for women considering a career in the field.

Being a voice for change.

Taking on a new role can feel like a big jump says Megan, especially when you're a 16 year old apprentice, but having a mentor to look up to can really help, as you can’t be what you can’t see. It’s so important to have someone who understands your specific needs and challenges, particularly at such an early stage in your career and it’s exactly what Megan aims to be for the next wave of female engineers.

This kind of support can have a real impact, particularly for women who may already feel outnumbered and underrepresented, as it can act as a signal that they do belong and they do have a voice.

Beating imposter syndrome.

“When you start getting questions and realise you have the answers, that feeling of being an imposter starts to fade.”

The best way to beat imposter syndrome, according to Megan, is to “fake it till you make it.” Following the wise words of Rihanna, showing confidence, even when you're not feeling it, can lead to very real growth.

Stereotypes slowing diversity.

“I definitely felt out of place in the beginning. I think I was the only girl in my entire sixth-form college class.”

Megan was once the only woman in her engineering department at sixth-form and believes the low uptake may be as a result of the common misconception that it's a physically demanding job where you must, “get dirty”. Yet, majority of engineering work is done in an office environment. This may be a huge factor stopping many talented women from considering engineering as a career. The goal is to change this view and show the true diversity of the field. It's crucial to encourage more women into engineering to break down stereotypes and foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Advice for future engineers.

For women considering a career in engineering, Megan's advice is simple, “just give it a go!” If it piques your interest, pursue it. Changing your mind later is always an option. Remember, “everyone starts somewhere” and the learning never ends.