It’s not news that there is a significant difference in the amount of men working in engineering, compared with women across the industry. It’s why initiatives such as International Women in Engineering Day takes place every year.
This day is just one of many awareness campaigns to encourage everyone to join in to celebrate women in engineering and more girls and young women to consider engineering as a career.
Within the System Operator at National Grid, we are proud that all our Network Innovation Competition projects are led by female project managers. These are innovation projects that have been partially funded by Ofgem.
Biljana leads the Power Potential project in partnership with UK Power Networks. For the first time, this project will pioneer a ‘joined up’ industry approach to connect more renewable energy and storage technology to the grid through a new power market trial.
Outside work, Biljana is also a key member of the international council of large electric systems, CIGRÉ, and a passionate chair of its women’s network; advocating greater diversity in the engineering and energy sector.
“The UK energy sector needs more girls interested in engineering,” says Biljana. “We all need to be role models – I always say ‘we can’t be what we can’t see.’ Innovation projects are excellent, challenging opportunities to be enjoyed and develop in.”
Anne-Marie leads Project CLoCC, which aims to minimise the cost and time of new gas connections to the national transmission system. She says: “I am incredibly proud and privileged to be leading a high-calibre innovation team for National Grid, which includes, and is further supported by, a vast number of inspiring female specialists.
“The energy industry is an exciting, challenging and rewarding sector to work in. I hope that by raising awareness of the great opportunities available to women in this industry, we continue to close the gap and empower the younger generations of girls to follow their aspirations in the sciences.”
Lilian leads the Enhanced Frequency Control Capability (EFCC) project, which is trying to help resolve the challenge of maintaining system frequency; as it becomes more volatile as greener energy comes onto the electricity system.
“It is great to work for a company that hires staff based on their abilities and not their gender,” says Lilian. “I’m really proud to be leading the EFCC project with a great team of both male and female colleagues!”
Of course, there is no proof to suggest that either gender make better project managers. But ahead of International Women in Engineering Day, it’s great to highlight where we are breaking the mould in an industry that is traditionally male oriented.